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Onthatile Mogotji
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The forgotten hero of the day……..

17 June 2014, 22:15

It was June 16th, 1976, and students in various townships across South Africa, were protesting due to the fact that the government of the day, and especially the education department was enforcing a policy of Afrikaans being a medium of education amongst black school children.

A protest that started in St Morries School spilled over to Soweto, the heartland of a densely populated area in the south western part of Johannesburg.

As was consistent at the time, the SAPS called in to monitor and assist in the protest, doing crowd control, which all had to be done peacefully,

Yet the situation suddenly became violent, and in the protest the SAPS started using live ammunition and as a consequence young innocent children died.

A momentous photograph of one of the students that were fatally injured in the protest, where his limb and dead body was carried by one of the protestors, became viral, and synonymous to the events of the day.

Yet amazingly the dead, became the hero of the day, and the one that was carrying his body, Mbuyisa Makhubu has disappeared into obscurity. He faced live ammunition in his brave heroic act, and showing the world, what the consequences of the day meant.  Yet his name and his fame have eluded the history of the country.

On that day, he disappeared, if he was also a victim and was fatally shot and killed remains a mystery. His family had not seen him since. It has been 38 years in which they wonder on a daily basis what really happened to him. Was he shot, killed, tortured, or what was his destiny?

The family of this hero, that showed the world the brutality of the day, have been neglected, living in absolute poverty, are destitute and the significant role that their brother, son, played in the events of the day, disappearing into obscurity.

It is indeed a sad state of affairs that the hero has been forgotten, his family never having closure on what has happened to him, and they being destitute and poverty stricken, with the government of the day failing on its duty to recognize them as it should be, affording hero status to the one that was shot and killed, conveniently neglecting the one that was carrying him……
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