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JUNE 1976 Tribute Book (2) Ebook

Published by Eunice Rakhale - Molefe, 2022-01-30 15:59:47

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June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue i

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Tribute June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue i

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe ii

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Tribute June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Eunice Rakhale-Molefe iii

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Copyright ©2021 Eunice Rakhale-Molefe BOOK TOURISM An Imprint Of CEM Publishers [email protected] Scribe Elias Thebe Rakhale Edited by Victor Mecoamere Cover design by Christo Wolmarans All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior permission from the author or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (As amended). First Published in JHB South Africa 2012 as a coffee table book Republished 2021 ISBN 978-0-620-54937-0 ESP Catalogue Learner Teacher Study Material Library Resource (L.T.S.M) Senior Phase Gauteng Department of Basic Education. iv

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Dedication To my father and mother, Fume Johannes and Sebane Elsina Rakhale. My father, who – even though he was illiterate – had introduced me to reading by bringing old Reader's Digest magazines and copies of The Sunday Times newspapers from his place of employment; and my mother, who believed in my craft as a writer and made a huge personal sacrifice to ensure that my vision, both as a writer and publisher, could happen. i

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Heritage and Legacy Building Since 2009 ii

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Contents 11 12 Preamble Introduction 1 THE SCHOOL’S HERITAGE 16 Founding Headmasters, Alumni and Academia With the headmaster Mr Kenny Mavatulana Memorial Structures and The Classroom Museum With Educator Mr Tshepo Maphosa 2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 28 Naledi High School in the 60’s With Willie Bokala Soccer – Sir Stanley Matthew’s Men With Ruskin Movers Malobela 3 THE ROLE OF POLITICS 41 50 The Multiparty Approach Philosophy Diversity With David Kutumela 4 THE ROLE OF CHRISTIANITY The Christian Youth Club Liberation Theology Teen Outreach Program With Rev. P-N Raboroko Sr. 5 STUDENT LEADERSHIP 62 Academic Excellence With Reverend Frank Chikane Political Consciousness With Sibongile Mkhabela iii

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe The Head Boy With Popo Simon Molefe The Head Girl With Zanele Mthembu 6 8TH JUNE 1976 ROOM 8 92 The June 16 1976 March and Route With Educator Mr Andrew Moeletsi 7 THE LETTER 99 Life in Zola Township Soweto Leadership and Political Grooming Afrikaans As a Medium of Instruction Writing the Letter With Enos Ngutshane 8 16TH JUNE 1976 123 Meeting Khotso Seatlholo Student Leaders An Ordinarily Innocent Day With Oupa Ngwenya 9 GOVERNANCE AND GUIDANCE 137 The School Governing Body With Oupa Molapisi Life Skills With Lucky Ganzin 10 THE HUMAN STORY 148 Wednesday 16th June 1976 Milestones of The Heritage Book Project iv

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Acknowledgments This book would never have happened without the support of Naledi High School headmaster Kenny Mavatulana and the school’s governing body under the leadership of Thusi and Keneilwe Losaba, the heritage committee members, including Gift Ganzin, especially for their belief in the vision of this Heritage Book project. I also wish to acknowledge the educators – among others – Andrew Moeletsi and Tshepo Maphosa, who have a commendable desire to see Naledi High School being restored back to its former glory of academic, sporting and cultural excellence. I am also extremely grateful for the contributions of the Naledi High School alumni for availing their valuable work and family time to share their stories to inspire the learners to improve their academic performance, especially regarding the improvement of the poor matric results. My heartfelt gratitude also goes to Reverend PN Raboroko Sr, Willie Bokala, Ruskin Movers Malobela, Reverend Frank Chikane, Dr Popo Molefe, David Kutumela, Sibongile Mkhabela née Mthembu, Zanele Mthembu, Enos Ngutshane, Oupa Ngwenya, Oupa Molapisi and Lucky Ganzin. Finally, I wrote the book at a time when I was going through difficulties in my personal life. I thank God for having carried me through it all, and for having enabled me to complete this book project, despite the odds. 10

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Preamble I am a former student of Musi High School in Pimville, Soweto, which is one of the nine Soweto Heritage Schools in Soweto. I joined the school in 1971 – which was under the leadership of the then headmaster, Mr Xorile, whose deputy was popularly known as “Ntate”. I matriculated in 1975. My school life was greatly influenced by the late Mr Maphosa, who was my English teacher and a neighbour in Moletsane, Soweto. Socially, I had relied heavily on reading. I used to read the Readers Digest, which my late father used to collect from his employer. Additionally, I was a member of the Moroka Public Library in Rockville, also in Soweto. To this day, I am still a card-carrying member of the local library, which now has the benefit of universal access to all other libraries across the land. As was the case with many of my peers, politically, it was mostly university students who had raised our consciousness while they were volunteering to give us extra lessons. These had included the late National Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi. He used to remind us of our collective identity as young black girls. “Never forget that you are an African young woman, and that your beauty comes from your blackness and the texture of your hair. And do not believe anything else about yourself,” Selebi constantly, inculcate the Black Consciousness Movement philosophy in us. 11

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Introduction The idea of writing about the heritage of June 1976 emerged while I was still in the restaurant business. As part of our topical events calendar, I hosted a 16 June 1976 commemorative conversation dinner at the restaurant. No one had pitched up, except for my niece and her friends. A few weeks later, another event had come up. This time, we were celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Of course, the restaurant was full, including the whole of the Design Quarters. At this stage, I did not even know who St Patrick was, and why I was celebrating him. This had filled me with great sadness. There I was, celebrating a heritage about, which I knew nothing at all; yet, a few weeks earlier, nobody had come to celebrate our own heritage. From then on, I was burdened with the responsibility of ensuring that June 16 would be celebrated in the way it should be: The right way. This turning point had occurred in 2010! In documenting the history of June 1976, I wanted a different take, altogether. I was looking for the unique stories of the legacy of June 1976. Even though I am an alumnus of one of the nine heritage schools in Soweto, namely Musi High School in Pimville, I had thought that it would be sensible to start at the beginning, and where the momentous event had truly started – before the 16th of June, 1976; precisely the 8th of June 1976 – at Naledi High School. 12

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue This is where I met the headmaster, Kenny Mavatulana, another Musi High alumnus. We did not know each other then, as he had been ahead of me at Musi High School. Mavatulana gave an audience to my presentation. The next step was to meet the former students, themselves. In 2012, the African National Congress, ANC Centenary Celebrations gave an opportunity to such a meeting. The Centenary torch was travelling around the country and, on this day, it was to be hosted at Naledi Hall Soweto. It was here that Mavatulana had introduced me to some of the living heroes of June 1976. The first person I met was Zanele Mthembu, followed by Enos Ngutshane, then David Kutumela, Wire Khoali and Tseke Morathi. The timing was right, as the school was about to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2013, and the Heritage book project was to form part of the celebrations. A committee of former students had already been in existence and there was a register that was kept by the principal, with all their details. At their next meeting, the principal had arranged for me to present the book proposal to the committee. And it was agreed that the book had to be a pictorial coffee table book. The centenary celebration was a momentous experience for me. Second to my first vote in 1994, it was one of the most historic moments of my life. The Centenary torch was to arrive in the early hours of the morning, at 6am, to be exact. We had gathered in the school’s boardroom at 5am, ready to later walk to the Naledi hall next door. The governing body members had organised homemade soup with bread rolls as breakfast for our guests. 13

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe As this was taking place in winter and 5am was dark and cold, the soup was a good choice of menu. Later – once the proceedings were underway, and as the Naledi High School June 16 heroes were holding the torch with excitement – I heard one of them say, in a loud voice: “We are here, and alive! Thank GOD, we are alive! It is on this day that the spirit of the book had come alive! Naledi high school is part of the National Heritage June 16 Trail and the 8th of June was earmarked as an ideal historical date to coincide with the school’s 50th anniversary. In preparation for this important milestone, an advocacy function was held at the Booysens Hotel in Booysens, Johannesburg in March. At the event, one of the school's alumni, Zanele Mthembu, who is the chief director of the Gauteng Department of Education, challenged the pupils, parents, teachers, Mavatulana and her fellow alumni to set an example of self-reliance by contributing towards the funding which was required for the school's ambitious revival campaign – before seeking sponsorship from outside. This idea turned out to be the best advice, which had led to the success of the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The school’s learners of Naledi High had already bought into the project with their own fundraising initiatives and, by now, were meeting their targets. Later, as the heritage school book project was coming along, remarking about the significance of the book, Mavatulana had said: “If our children can learn the best from who we are, then we can secure ourselves the best future.” 14

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Above: Naledi High School Learners receiving copies of the heritage book during the 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Below: The school choir entertaining the guests at the event. 15

1Eunice Rakhale-Molefe The School’s Heritage Founding Headmasters, Alumni And Academia “A school is an institution that is concerned about the learners’ academic performance. Unless we address the school’s performance, we cannot truly celebrate. In celebrating the 50th academic year, with great care and thoroughness, strong management structures and acceptable education standards have been put in place, giving us light at the end of the tunnel.” – Former Naledi High School headmaster Kenny Mavatulana. Having visited several schools in preparation for this Heritage Book project, I have now realised how busy school principals can be. I also realised that having a confirmed appointment with the administrator in the principals’ office did not necessarily guarantee one an appointment with the principal. 16

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue And I have also noticed that such a confirmation could just be a matter of formality. Instead of welcoming me, the principal could be dealing with other urgent issues. It may be a parent who is faced with a life- threatening matter at home, and could desperately requiring the school to intervene for the learner to be able to attend class. Or it could be learner waiting for a disciplinary hearing. Or the principal might have been called urgently to the local education department’s District Office. Worse still, after waiting for the school principal to return from the District Office, the boardroom is being prepared for a meeting as the Learner Representatives Council members begin to walk in for a scheduled meeting with the self-same principal. From where I am sitting, the school is not any different from the reception area of a corporate entity. I finally get an interview with Mavatulana, which is held in his office. His assistant offers me a cup of tea. While I am filled with gratitude, I am sensitive to his time. We reminiscence over Musi High School, our alma mater and, soon, we are engaged in a deep analysis of our previous school’s principals and comparing them with Naledi High School’s former school headmasters. As I record and write, he remarks: “Are we doing the interview, already? I thought there was going to be some formalities!” Too late… the conversation was already way ahead of itself, as we continued to deal with the history of the school. 17

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Founding Head Masters “Naledi High School was established on 8 June 1963. This date came to be a significant date in the school’s life and history, and this shall be evident as you read on. The school was built during an era when the government’s intention was not to build high schools in the townships, so as to redirect the qualifying students to the homelands, where they could be moulded into the Apartheid model of thinking. “Naledi High School’s location forms part of the western border of Soweto, which was commonly referred to as the “Wild West” of Soweto, and was surrounded by what was then a large farming area which had been meant to service the primary schools in Tladi, Zola, Emndeni and Moletsane. Below are Naledi High School’s headmasters over the past five decades 1. Mr Mtimkulu; 2. Mr Molope; 3. Mr Tsotetsi; 4. Mr Msimango; 5. Mr Hlabane, and; 6. Mr Mavatulana, the incumbent. “Because of the role that they had played in the June 1976 Student Uprising, the nine schools have been declared as the Heritage structures forming part of the June 1976 Students’ Anti-Bantu Education Protest March Trail. Among many other great leaders, the nine Heritage Schools have produced a state president and a Deputy President, respectively. Notably, Sekano Ntoane High School in Senaoane, has nurtured South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, 18

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue while Meadowlands High School in Meadowlands, is former president Kgalema Motlanthe’s alma mater. Soweto Heritage schools 1. Madibane High School in Diepkloof; 2. Meadowlands High School in Meadowlands; 3. Morris Isaacson High School in Central Western Jabavu; 4. Musi High School in Pimville; 5. Naledi High School in Naledi; 6. Orlando High School in Orlando East; 7. Orlando West High School in Orlando West; 8. Sekano Ntoane High School in Senaoane, and; 9. Mbuyisa Makhubo Primary School in Orlando West. Notable Alumni from the Heritage Schools “The top most civil servant, Reverend Frank Chikane, who is formerly the director-general in the office of former President Thabo Mbeki, comes from Naledi High School. Dr Popo Molefe, the Premier of North West, also comes from the same school, as does Dan Mofokeng, who became a notable figure in the country’s military. “The science faculty is graced by the likes of Lucky Ganzin and Tseke Morathi. Additionally, South Africa had the privilege of representing the African continent through Morathi, while he was in exile in Tanzania. He had been nominated as a student of excellence, for which he had secured a bursary to study overseas. The Ganzin family continued to play a major role in preserving the legacy of the school, with Gift Ganzin having diligently served on the organising committee of the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations. 19

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe The education sector is well represented by Gauteng Education Department Chief Director Zanele Mthembu, who is a true foot soldier and former head girl of 1976 at Naledi High School. Mthembu was one of the girls who were at the forefront of the students’ protest march, together with Sibongile Mkhabela, who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. “In the media, Naledi High School has been represented by former Sowetan news editor Willie Bokala and columnist Oupa Ngwenya, former SABC acting Chief Operations Officer Mike Siluma, as well as Wire Khoali, who was previously at the helm at Lesedi FM. Naledi High School has nurtured several top students who have excelled in business studies and had then played a pivotal in the business arena, locally, regionally and nationally. These have included Isaac Motaung, a commercial lawyer who formerly sat in the management team of one of the largest retail outlets in the country. Anybody who knows the history of the school might remember people like Mr Mtimkulu and Mr Molope, the headmasters who were managing the school during the student uprising, and used to avail the school for political meetings, albeit under the guise of religious purposes. Unsurprisingly, Reverend Chikane used to fondly refer to Mtimkulu and Molope as the Umkhonto we Sizwe, MK’s of the education system. “The visit by former State President Jacob Zuma in 2012, confirmed the school’s place among the nine Heritage Schools in Soweto that had contributed immensely to the struggle for liberation. On 8 June 1976, the students at Naledi High School took security forces head-on and burned their car. For the first time, 20

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue the country had witnessed an open defiance of the Apartheid system by young people. Until this time, it had always been the labour movements and political organisations that had been protesting. The youth of Naledi High School had set a new record! “The news of the students protests had subsequently spilled over onto Robben Island, as has been witnessed by the late former State President, Dr Nelson Mandela, in his book, The Illustrated Long Walk to Freedom (p148): ‘In June 1976, we began to hear vague reports of a great uprising in the country. It was only when the first young prisoners, who had been involved in the June 16 student’s uprising, began to arrive on Robben Island in August that we learned what had truly happened. Suddenly, the young people of South Africa were fired up with the spirit of protest and rebellion. Bantu Education had come back to haunt its creators, for these angry and audacious young people were its progeny.’” He continued: ‘These young men were a different breed of prisoners from those we had seen before. They were brave, hostile and aggressive; they would not take orders and shouted: “Amandla!” at every opportunity. This was our first exposure to the Black Consciousness Movement. With the banning of the ANC, PAC and SA Communist Party, the Black Consciousness Movement helped fill the vacuum among young people.’ “The 16th of June 2012 saw the final vindication of where the school stood in the history of the liberation struggle when the Centenary Torch came to Naledi Hall. With the ANC being 100 years old – though prematurely – and the school being 50 years old, confirms the fact that Naledi High School is a child of the country’s political struggle. The school would like 21

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe to take the legacy forward, and to ensure that students learn about its place in history. Illustratively, having young Ntsako Mkhabela running a programme that supports learning and teaching at the school, for me translates to the rallying call: “Aluta Continua!” Bongi Mkhabela, a former student of Naledi High School, has seemingly passed on the baton to her daughter, and has surely done a fantastic job in the process. Ntsako has been given a great task and she seems to be up to the challenge – once again proving that, if our children can learn from the best about who we really are, we can secure the best future for ourselves. Academic Performance “A school is an institution that is concerned about powerful academic performance. Unless we address the school’s performance, we cannot truly celebrate the fruits of our collective effort. Sadly, in the past thirty years, the matriculation results at Naledi High School had been inconsistent, and had been repeatedly and rapidly falling, rising, then falling – fluctuating, like a yoyo – and had turned the school into an under- performing educational institution – which has turned a compromising position, indeed. Coinciding with the celebration of the school’s 50th academic year – with great care and thoroughness – strong management structures and appropriate education standards were implemented to give us a light at the end of the tunnel, which had resulted in a 76.4 percent matric pass in 2012 and an 81 percent matric pass in 2013. 22

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue “For a historic centre, the school has produced great giants who had made great strides in various social, economic, cultural, political and sporting spheres across the country and the world, but the poor results had sadly hindered a healthy relationship with some of its former students. The aim of celebrating the heritage of Naledi High School is to inspire learners to bring the school back to its former glory. The graph has continued to grow, as was seen in 2019, through an overall improvement of 87.2 percent matric pass rate, which was a difference of 16.2 percent from the 2018 matriculation results and a 25.7 percent difference from the 2017 matriculation results. By then, the school had obtained an overall of 52 distinctions. Of these, two were in Business Studies and 50 in Life Orientation. The school has also claimed a 100 percent pass rate in Business Studies, Setswana and English. Significantly, the parents at Naledi High School had also started to play a meaningful role in helping to improve their children’s academic performances. The school’s governing body chairperson Mrs Thusi and its secretary Ms Keneilwe Losaba, both of whom are coincidentally former learners at the school, have shown great passion in their respective leadership roles. They have also been keen to replicate the proud history of the school in terms of excellence in academic performance and sporting and cultural excellence. They from part of the team that has worked together with the teachers to improve the poor matric results, which had negatively affected the image of the school. The proactive role that has been played by the school’s Representative Council of Learners (RCL) who serve on the School Governing Body (SGB) is a reminder of 23

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe the leadership quality of the school’s June 1976 stalwarts. The aim of commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the school is to create a sense of pride and duty for our students, and to show them, exactly, what the education system can do for them. We want to do away with the “DJ Generation,” which has cheapened our education system, and to ensure that education takes a vital space in their hearts. As I emerge from the headmaster’s office, I bump into a horde of students who are rushing back to class after their lunch break, and I reflect on how rewarding this interview had been. Mavatulana had given me a comprehensive overview of the school, and had also outlined what he was hoping the school book project would achieve. This was going to help me in mapping out a course that we would have needed to navigate, as well as the requisite storytelling that would positively impact the lives of the current learners, and would help to motivate them to want to do better. And knowing that those who came before them were normal learners just like them, but had chosen to work hard to achieve excellence. And to remind them that their predecessors had sought change – both as individuals and a collective, for the creation of a better image for the school. But, first, I had to visit the school’s classroom museum, as the headmaster had insisted, earlier. Outside, Tshepo Maphosa was waiting for me, and we had promptly started off at the memorial plaque in front of the school’s administration block. 24

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Memorial Structures And The Classroom Museum “My priority is in teaching and ensuring a pass grade that will usher the learners into a secure future. Secondary to that I am a historian, passionate about the dynamics of the politics of South Africa. I feel privileged to be walking the grounds daily where history took place.” – Tshepo Maphosa, an educator at Naledi High School. On 1 July 1974, there was a bus accident that had involved a number of pupils from the school and ten died. Today there is a plaque recording the much-publicised Lourenco Marques Bus Disaster and its victims in the school grounds. The plaque was unveiled thirty years after the accident on 16 June 2004 by Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who was then the Gauteng Education MEC. As we stand in front of the 1974 Lourenco Marques Bus Disaster Commemoration Plague in the school yard, educator Tshepo Maphosa reveals that the Naledi High School alumnus and the community of Naledi had been pivotal in working together to ensure that the plaque should be erected. Zanele Mthembu, who was part of the committee that had been charged with the construction of the memorial structure, concurs and adds: 25

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe “It was imperative that there should be a memorial around the loss of our fellow students and teacher. Some individuals never recovered from the trauma of the disaster.” As we silently stood in front of the memorial plague, lost for words, I suddenly remembered two of the learners who were among the deceased, Lydia and Selina, who were my schoolmates in Primary school. Lest we forget them… Lourenco Marques 1974 Bus Disaster Memorial Lydia Saohatse, who was born on 7 October 1956; Abram Aphane, who was born on 11 April 1952; Rosina S Matsie, who was born on 27 March 1959; Mabel Radikonyana, who was born on 15August 1953 Moses Makhutle, who was born on 1 November 1948; Jabulane D Mota, who was born on 29th July 1956; Boiki Ditjoe, who was born on 17th October 1953; Lorraine N Maeta, who was born on 15th May 1957; Selina Sejake, who was born on 13 October 1954, and; Ellen Matlhare, who was born on 15 July 1953. Speaking to Maphosa brought back memories of his late father, who was my English teacher at Musi High School in Pimville, Soweto. His love for literature had greatly influenced my life. He used to turn a boring book like Shane, our set work, into a beautiful piece of work. Unlike other teachers, he never carried a bag to class, just one book per class, per subject; that’s all. Always immaculately dressed, Mr Maphosa was also a good family man, who was imbued with strong Christian values, and was also a minister who used to specialise in youth development and marriage counselling. He was my hero! 26

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue The cover photo of the book was taken in the school classroom during a tour of the museum. Explaining his role as the curator of the museum, Maphosa, who is coincidentally the son of my former teacher, had elaborated: “The purpose of the school classroom museum is, first and foremost, to encourage learners to aspire to greatness, knowing that they walk in the footsteps of great men and women who fought and died for our freedom. “Secondly, the museum offers an opportunity for the school and the local community of Naledi to celebrate the school’s history and heritage. “Naledi High celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. The school forms part of the Commemorative Historic Trail of the June 16, 1976 March. As the curator of the museum, my duty is to accurately preserve the role that the school has played in the history of June 16, and (to ensure) that irreplaceable documents are properly preserved. The classroom museum serves to celebrate this unique history in which the school features as one of the nine Heritage Schools of Soweto. “As the liberation struggle partisans began to visit the school after 1995, some of the creative learners made pencil portraits of the guests. These form part of the wall display. The wall is filled with signatures of honorary visitors, next to their compliments and comments. The museum display also features objects that give a picture of what it was like to be a student in 1976. The uncomfortable two-seater desks; the black and white school uniforms, tyres, stones and many other items forming part of the paraphernalia that the students had used to defend themselves against the police officers’ teargas and guns. The school already 27

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe has a long-established alumni register. The headmaster, Mr Mavatulana, has gone to great lengths to ensure that the register is updated, and he is keeping in touch with the former students.’’ Above: Naledi High Heritage School old classrooms. Below: The new classrooms. 28

2June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Historical Background Naledi High School In The Sixties “Those were the days; when every parent wanted their child to attend Naledi Secondary School. My father was no different. The schools were branded around their headmasters, who they were, what they stood for, their school results and the type of students they produced. – Willie Bokala, a former Naledi High School student and former Sowetan News Editor Willie Bokala is formerly an award-winning journalist for the Sowetan newspaper. As with many retirees, he is far busier than when he was working fulltime, as a journalist. Through his wife, Glory Bokala, who is a schoolteacher at Naledi High School, we managed to secure an appointment and met in Dobsonville, Soweto. 29

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe On time for our appointment, we find him ready and waiting and busy, feeding his dog. After brief introductions and familiarities, like a true professional, Bokala dives straight into the interview. “The sixties were days of (the) harsh realities of life at Naledi Secondary School,” Bokala reflects with the typically photographic mind of a journalist. “Your status was determined by your lunch menu. Whether your lunch was made of fat cakes stuffed with suspiciously dodgy liver spread and Atchaar or – for the more affluent student – a few fat cakes with lots of chips, polonies and Atchaar. These (were the types of) students (who) would sit (at the) front (in) the classroom, so that they could display their fancy lunch. The students with less fancy lunches would sit at the back. Your lunch determined your social position and where you would sit. The former (those with inferior lunch boxes) sat at the back of the class, on empty crates. “Those were (the) days, also, when wearing school uniform saved you from the “Blackjacks” (local police who would be found) prowling the township streets at night for those who did not have a “Special”. This was a document permitting “non-whites” – as Africans were referred to, during Apartheid – to move around predominantly white neighbourhoods at night. Those were also the days when every parent wanted their child to attend Naledi Secondary School. My father was no different. This was the school that had produced the best results in what used to be known as the Transvaal, beating several other legendary schools, including the Morris Isaacson and Orlando High Schools. The schools were branded around their 30

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue headmasters; who they were, what they stood for, their school results and the type of students they produced. The school principal, Mr Rudolph Mtimkulu, was a soccer fanatic who loved the school dearly. He would be often seen patrolling the school grounds dressed in the school’s colours which were black and white, which were complemented by grey trousers. These colors served a dual purpose, as they also happened to be the colours of his favourite soccer team, Orlando Pirates. I believe that at some point, he was the deputy chairperson of the “Buccaneers” – as the club was commonly known. Academic Performance “I was one of the not so intelligent students. The classes (that were designated the symbols) A to C were for the intellectuals. The rest were for the academically challenged students like myself, the “Wonke–Wonke” class, as I had called it, then. This rule – however – did not apply to those students that did not come from the same feeder schools. The students who were from outside the feeder schools were allocated one classroom, irrespective of their academic record. I was one such student, as I came from Kimberly in the Northern Cape. “This strange allocation had positioned me favourably, though, and allowed me to share a class with one of the most intelligent individual our school had ever produced, the late Dr Faith Modise Matlaopane, who originated from Schweitzer Reneke in the North West. Ours was a strange friendship, of two extremely different individuals. One was highly intelligent, while the other one was mediocre. It was a case of opposites attract, sugar and salt, chalk and 31

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe cheese; but we were bonded by our love for soccer, and being from the same neighborhood. While I studied very hard, to be able to understand, Matlaopane never seemed to be engrossed in his studies. With a soft brain that seemed to absorb information easily, he simply read and understood most if not all the things better than most of us. There were several other intelligent students, but no one matched Matlaopane. He topped the class and the whole school, consistently, until he attained his Junior Certificate (Grade 10) qualification. Matlaopane went on to study medicine at the University of Natal, and later completed his internship at Groothoek in Mahwelereng (in the then Northern Transvaal, and now known as Limpopo). Remarkably, the late Dr Faith Modise Matlaopane was the first Health MEC in Northern Cape during President Nelson Mandela’s term of office. “As a struggling student from the “Wonke-Wonke” class, I failed most of the subjects; never English, though. Speaking of a soft brain, mine could only absorb the English language. My father was a great reader. Sundays were for splashing out on all the newspapers, including Sunday Times, Sunday Express and Sunday Post. My Sundays were spent engrossed in a variety of newspapers, fascinated by journalists like Sydney Matlhaku – an entertainment reporter, and “Doc” Bikitsha, a top columnist. Never one for formal English books, I only read crime thrillers author James Hardly Chase. Writing also came naturally to me. I could sit and watch a soccer match and write a story about what I had seen. With time, I started posting these scribbled sports articles to The World newspaper. Obviously, these were never published, as I had no clue 32

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue how the newspapers worked. Yet, I continued to write and post my articles. “It was while I was at Sekano-Ntoane High School, where I matriculated, that I got a call from Lesley Sehume, who was then the Sports Editor at The World. Sehume took me on his team as a sports journalist. To avoid missing the deadline, I had to give my report over a “Dictaphone”. And this is how my career as a sport journalist took off. Soon, thereafter, in 1975 to be precise, I was deployed to the news department by Percy Qoboza, who was then the News Editor. This evoked a lot of tension and negativity between the two men. Sehume had felt that, as a person who had discovered me, I was destined for his department. But Qoboza – on the other hand – was focusing on the talent, potential and opportunity, and positioning my career with the vision and direction of where the newspaper was heading. The seventies were interesting times in journalism. The print media was shifting from reporting on crime and soccer – which the white bosses had insisted on – to general news and politics. The white journalists who wrote on politics understood our politics better than us, because they specialised in their areas of reporting, making them experts. On the other hand, African journalists were forced to write only on specific matters like soccer and crime. As a news reporter, it was politics that had appealed to me. I quickly had to teach myself politics. I was able to achieve this by being actively involved in the daily running of the relevant (community and political) organisations. In other words, living the struggle. 33

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe The politics of that era “Being close to the political players and their various activities oftentimes put me in awkward, yet rewarding positions. I knew what the Mayor of Soweto, Mr Tolika Makhaya, was up to while having information about the activities of the South African Students Organization, SASO, Black Peoples Convention, BPC and South African Students Movement, SASM. This awkward convenience paid off eventually, as can be indicated by the article below, which was published in the Sowetan's Twenty Fifth Anniversary Coffee Table Book: “Willie Bokala and Duma ka Ndlovu stuck close to the organisers of the June 16 March and gave the world their story as they hopped from one hideout to another. We got to know of the Soweto Students Representative Council, of the charismatic leader, Tsietsi Mashinini and of his “Cabinet”, people like Khotso Seatlholo and Murphy Morobe, through the writings of Bokala and Ndlovu. This was The World’s story, as the flames engulfed the country.” “Understanding the structures of political organizations (positioning) was critical because of the banishment of many organizations. Black Peoples Convention, BPC, for the masses, which was led by Aubrey Mokoape; South African Students Organization, SASO – for the students – which was led by Aubrey Mokoena; the South African Students Movement, SASM, which was led by Billy Masetlha and Ndibe Motapanyane; National Youth Organization, NAYO – the youth wing – which was led by Zweli Sizani. These organisations were the vehicles that were leading us to freedom. The politics of the day were such that organisational membership 34

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue was not important, while critically focusing on the common enemy was crucial. Sadly, we have lost sight of the fact that this was what had pushed the liberation struggle forward, often against all odds. “The highlight of my career was when the Soweto Urban Council was brought to its knees, with the resignation of the entire executive council. The saga of this episode will soon be disclosed in my upcoming book, (The) Death of The Urban Bantu Council. Music and Soccer “We had quite a number of excellent teachers, but I would like to single out a few. Mr Osmond Ferdinand, an ardent classical music lover and a conductor of the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, brought the musical flair to the school, about which it became well known. With him as the head of the music department, the school became well-grounded in music and won quite a few trophies in several music competitions. Mr Zephaniah Senkgane was another exciting teacher and a great sportsman, with an ideal athletic body. He ran marathons and, unlike other soccer coaches, he himself played soccer and served as a consulting coach for the Transvaal Football Association of Teachers. “The teachers used Naledi Secondary School as their home ground, giving us an opportunity to watch soccer at all levels. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of his command of the English language, which was hilarious to say the least. In addition to his strange pronunciation, Senkgane liked ‘high sounding’ words, with little meaning. Just thinking of him makes me laugh! On the other hand, he was an excellent Sesotho language teacher. 35

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Finally, there was Mr Matlala, who taught Afrikaans and was also a very dedicated teacher. The strength of the school lay in the fact that the school had a team of teachers who had all excelled in their respective subjects; hence the quality of the students the school has produced; as has been profiled in the book. “As I have already mentioned, Naledi Secondary School was the hub of good soccer. The school became the unofficial soccer academy for professional clubs to pick from. Patson ‘Kamuzu’ Banda, the greatest goal keeper the country has ever produced, was identified and picked by the school principal for Orlando Pirates. The school team itself had the best football team in South Africa, often beating all the other schools’ football teams at regional, provincial and national levels. At some point, Orlando Pirates, who were then the ‘Champion of champions’, did not have a team that qualified to challenge them and it was recommended that the Naledi High School team be appointed to challenge the ‘Champions’. The team was eventually adopted by the legendary Sir Stanley Mathews as one of his development programmes. 36

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue Soccer Sir Stanley Matthews’ Men A Profile Of Ruskin “Movers” Malobela My talent was first spotted at an early age; when I was aged around nine or ten. It was my sport teacher, Mr Thulare, at Sediba Thuto Primary School in Mapetla Extension, Soweto who took notice of this gift. I came to Naledi High School in 1972, being already involved in soccer, and already playing for the local team, Naledi Roaring 40’s. The environment was conducive to my soccer career because of Naledi High School headmaster Mr Rudolph Mtimkulu’s love for the sport. The school was flooded with talented players. In some sense, it was like a soccer academy. The difference was that we were all expected to participate in all sporting activities, without any exceptions. “In 1973, after I had played for the junior soccer team for a year, I was promoted to the senior team. I had earned my space in the senior team and was excited. I blended with the team, easily, as two of my club mates, Steve Mofokeng and Wanda Kgobe, were also at the school. With Patson Band as goalkeeper and a team of highly-skilled players, the Naledi High School’s squad dominated the school league. 37

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe The Black 11, as we became known, later, won a championship to be curtain raisers for the League Cup Final between Orlando Pirates and Amazulu Stars. This was a huge milestone that put us on the pinnacle of the South African soccer fraternity. The Schools League was divided into four areas: North, East, South and West. In 1973, the area champions competed for the finals; and it was Naledi High School against Morris Isaacson High School, and we won the game. Morris Isaacson could not handle the situation of being second best, and this had then resulted into a riot. Soon after the curtain raisers match for the League Cup final, we were selected to be part of a development programme. The school that were represented in the development programme were Naledi High School, Orlando High School, Orlando North High School, Orlando West High School, Diepkloof Secondary School and Dr Vilakazi High School in Zola, Soweto. The selection was made from all the schools but, because of the saturation of talent at Naledi High School, five of Sir Stanley Matthews Boys, including the captain of the team, were from Naledi High. The players who were selected from Naledi High School were Gilbert Moiloa (who was also the select team’s captain), Owen Parkies, Joel Masoeu, Oriel Mathobela and myself. “Being selected by Sir Stan Matthews came with a huge sacrifice for me, as I was now playing professional soccer; first for Moroka Swallows’ Babes, and later joining Moroka Swallows Big XV. 38

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue The financial impact was that I could no longer assist my aunt with my schooling. The sacrifice was worth it though. I had the opportunity to be trained by one of the two masters of the game in the world, Sir Stanley Matthews. There was also another opportunity, to travel overseas and meet another world master of the game, the great Pele, in Brazil. “The trip to Brazil was a historic one, because the odds were against us. Due to Apartheid, the South African Football Association was banned from international soccer. Nevertheless, history was made when one of my soccer mates Oriel Mathobela, got to touch the historic Soccer World Cup trophy that Brazil had won three times, then, and was theirs to keep, for life. Bearing in mind, that to the Brazilians, the cup is a well-guarded treasure of a football-loving nation. Unbeknown to Oriel, then, the same tournament would come to South Africa thirty-seven years later. Sir Stanley Matthews, the English wizard of dribble, was subsequently banned from coaching black players by the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee. “In a newspaper article, Jack Blades wrote and said: ‘The boys of Sir Stan took to Brazil (and) they did something seemingly impossible. They went to Brazil at a time when South Africa was suspended from international football, and played two mini-internationals. They trained with World Cup stars and they even laid hands on the (Soccer) World Cup (trophy). They were Sir Stan’s men, a team of schoolboys from Soweto.’ 39

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe “Being involved in all the faculties of sports (, arts and culture) helped me to be a well-rounded human being. One was expected to participate in music, athletics and other extra mural activities. With no idling time in my hands, I had to succeed in whatever I was doing. Fitness and stamina are critical in soccer and this had required me to be diligent and disciplined in my training. The family values that were instilled in me by my aunt, who raised me, set me up for a successful soccer career, and for this, I am grateful!” 40

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue The Role Of Politics “The “Wild West” – as our area was known, then – was politically dry. My mandate was to “warm up” the students, politically, convert them from the Students Christian Movement (SCM) to the South African Students Movement (SASM) and establish new cells.” – David Kutumela, a former Naledi High School student. David Kutumela is a former Naledi High School student who played an ambassadorial role between the schools and political organisations, refocusing the direction of the different movements. Together with Tseke Morathi and Ndibi Motapanyane, they conspired in the escape of Enos Ngutshane on 8 June 1976, using the well-known “Popo Molefe Gate” for his escape. Molefe is also a member of the Naledi High School Alumni, who were serving in the June 16 and Solomon Mahlangu Foundations. 41

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Kutumela is one of the former students that I had met during the centenary celebration at Naledi Hall. On that day, we met in Pretoria at a coffee shop that served traditional South African breakfast that had included boerewors, my favourite tomato and onion gravy and homemade bread. For the purpose of the interview, Kutumela was already there – waiting – when I arrived, and – as a result – no time was wasted. The Multiparty Approach “As a member of the National Youth Organisation, NAYO, under the leadership of Zweli Sizani, I was deployed to Naledi High School to establish a cell that was to form a base for the West Rand. Naledi High School, as fellow Naledi High School alumni, Enos Ngutshane used to fondly refer to his alma mater, was ‘The Great School on the Golden West.’ The deployment happened at a time when the then headmaster, Mr Molope, had been seconded to the school. With the solid relationship, I had already established with Mr Molope at Morris Isaacson High School, both as a teacher and a neighbour in Mofolo Township, the task was easy to execute. Molope and Mr Mathabathe, besides being school principals, had a good understanding of the politics of the day; and this had created a strategic environment for the political organisations to coexist. Reverend Raboroko, in his designated chapter in this book, explains how the Christian movement had 42

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue worked side-by-side, with the different organisations. Regarding how these political structures had coexisted and worked cohesively towards the common goal of removing the Apartheid government from power, there were three levels of infiltration and of politicising the masses, via the workers – Black People’s Convention, BPC, tertiary institutions – South African Students Organisation, SASO and the high school students – South African Students Movement, SASM. “The Black People’s Convention was led by Kenny Rachidi. Its purpose was to promote the Black Consciousness Movement philosophy among the workers. With the idea that – as African people – we had the power within us to change the adverse circumstances that the Apartheid system was subjecting us to. The South African Students Organisation was led by Aubrey Mokoape. Although the South African Students Organization was a student body, was also a political organisation that had plugged the gap that had been left by the banning of the African National Congress and Pan Africanist Congress, PAC. Their mandate went beyond politics, and included literacy, health, skills development and gardening projects. They were a resourceful force to be reckoned with, as they did not leave their communities behind. Most of them taught at high schools during the holidays, or whenever the ‘System’ had banished them from the universities. 43

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe “The South African Students Movement was under the leadership of Billy Masala, Ndibe Motapanyane and Zweli Sizani. The movement was formed to unite students across the country, to address their grievances with the Bantu Education system, one of these being Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. It is the protest action against the Bantu Education system that led to the June 1976 Students’ Uprising. After the Sharpeville Massacre and the banning of the ANC and PAC in 1960, the Apartheid government had thought that they had everything under their control; until the 16th of June 1976. Since then, there has been a series of political struggles that led to the end of Apartheid in 1990, and ultimately, to the first Democratic Elections in 1994. This was a multiparty approach which had been based on the common enemy principle. Upon being recruited, the members had to undergo training, in the form of workshops. Individuals who excelled in specific areas, led the workshops. Roller Masinga was an expert on missions and setting up cells, the basics on ammunition theory and the practical handling of ammunition. Aubrey Mokoape’s focus area was pain tolerance: ‘If you can endure the first pain, you will survive the rest that is to follow,’ Mokoape used to say, although he had added that this would not make the pain any better. Philosophy Diversity “The process of raising political awareness was straightforward and swift because of the role that the media had played then. 44

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue We were taught different philosophies, including socialism, communism, Marxism and Liberation Theology. We were able to understand the aims and methods of each of these philosophies, its shortfalls and how these could be used for us to attain and benefit our freedom. We were able to learn that Free Enterprise tended to put wealth and power in the hands of people who owned and controlled their own means of production; but that Democracy, on the other hand, could create a balance by putting in place the systems and mechanisms that protected the workers. “Lest we forget the humiliation of 1886; let us recall that the African mine workers – during the discovery of diamonds and gold in Kimberley and Witwatersrand – were regarded as only being there to help the white man to dig his gold. And that the Africans were contracted for a period of time, to be used as cheap labour, and they were then later sent back home, back to poverty and dismantled family structures. The economy of our country is driven by workers, hence the importance of workers to be united and formalised. Unless we have workers, there can be no finished products, therefore no profits. Through our labour, we have the power to change our circumstances. This power should be used with discernment, diligence and regard to discern and recognise the sacredness and value in the work that we do; be it working as a shop assistant, washing the dishes in a restaurant or cleaning the toilets, and so on. How one carries out their task will distinguish them from another person doing the same job. 45

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe To be diligent in the service that we would be providing would be driving the economy of our country, however menial these tasks may be. “The first democratically elected president of our country Dr Nelson Mandela epitomised diligence in everything he did; be it starting a vegetable garden whilst in jail, or polishing his own shoes as a president before a meeting. That is what we need to consider when we think of the fruits of our labour as part of the bigger picture of the economy of our country. To regard our labour as being a part of the bigger picture is not necessarily a means to earn a salary. But we needed to be able to recognise how power can easily lead to corruption, greed and dictatorship. So that, after attaining freedom, we do not find ourselves reverting to the ways of our former oppressors. This must be recognised as something that is inherent in all of us. We will, then, not speak of corruption as something outside of ourselves, so that we are able to get rid of it, individually and collectively as families, businesses, institutions, organisations and custodians of our democracy. “The Black Consciousness Movement was pivotal at this stage, as the Apartheid apparatus was teaching us that we are an inferior race. In contrast, the Black Consciousness Movement brought to light the beauty of being African and the pride that comes along with it. The aim was to eradicate the self-hatred that came with skin bleaching and unnatural hair; the disregard of our African names; and frowning upon our indigenous languages and food, including our traditional South 46

June 1976 Commemorative Dialogue African national outfits. Things that we take for granted today, are things that had to be fought for back then, and of those things were fought for at great cost, I might add. “Liberation Theology used to point us back to the stories in the Bible, including the stories of freedom from oppression and how God had dealt with the issue of land. Training was intense and vigorous, often requiring endurance. Those who were in leadership had deserved to be in those positions, and had come to earn their positions through integrity and commitment. Leadership was one area that was outstanding about Naledi High School. There are a few individuals who stood out from the rest, namely Sibongile Mkhabela, Enos Ngutshane and Popo Molefe. “Mkhabela was the first and only woman to be welcomed officially by my commander. The same as a lioness, and with strong convictions, she was always at the forefront. I remember her words of commitment to those who were going into exile, when she had said: “Go, I will remain and keep the home fires burning.” True to her words, she got involved in many different campaigns; fighting the white ideology, fearlessly. Molefe, on the other hand, was the epitome of discipline, a well-groomed elegant dresser and head boy. “Ngutshane was a wise and subtle individual who was wired for military intelligence. Unless he trusted you, you would never get to know him. 47

Eunice Rakhale-Molefe Fundraising was one of his strengths, which used to be greatly appreciated by the newly-formed SASM branch. “Different methods of disseminating messages were employed. The petrol bomb message is the one that I remember clearly. In October 1975, a pamphlet in the form of a ‘cartoon’ started circulating (pamphlets were a common means of communication). Struggling to interpret the cartoon, I sought the help of a fellow student who was known as Zweli. After scrutinising the cartoon for a while, we discovered that it was an artistic interpretation on how to make a petrol bomb. With this information in our hands, we needed a strategy to circulate this information widely. From a post office in Jeppe Street, Johannesburg, we bought a box of envelopes and stamps. Through the ‘Yellow Pages’ telephone numbers directory, we mailed the cartoon to every African family in the directory. We later found out that a lot of artistic people had managed to decode the cartoon message easily. By June 16, almost everyone knew how to make a petrol bomb. There was no formal instruction. People had to figure it out, themselves. “On a monthly basis, various guest speakers were invited to address the students. Every now and then, the guest speakers had included government representatives who had viewed this as an opportunity to promote their propaganda and misinformation to mislead the students. They had not been aware, though, that – on the other hand – for the principal, it was an opportunity to reverse the psychology of 48

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