St John's College

We celebrate Youth Day to commemorate the Soweto Uprising of 16 June 1976.

A day that began as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of students against apartheid education policies, resulted in the massacre of these school children by the apartheid police.

Today, we pay tribute to the lives of these students, and the role that the youth has played in the liberation of South Africa.

As part of our #YouthDay celebrations, we were privileged to talk to some of our Old Johannians about what they remembered of the Soweto Uprising on 16 June 1976, and what it was like for black students and staff at St John’s during the dark era of apartheid.

Thulani Khanyile, Vice-Chair on the Council of St John’s College (OJ Nash 1989) and Louis Seeco (OJ Nash 1985) were among the first black students to attend St John’s College in the 80s.

Dingisono ‘Dixon’ Buthelezi and maMavis Buthelezi were young adults working at the time of the Soweto Uprising, and are both still faces we get to see at the College today.

We honour this opportunity to listen to the voices of the unheard at that time, and to hear their perspective of a painful but seminal time in the history of our country.

This is the first step in a greater shared memories journey at St John’s College. #LuxVitaCaritas