Hector Pieterson Memorial – Soweto

Hector Pieterson Memorial – Soweto

The day we went to Soweto,  Jeanette suggested we had lunch at one of the establishments in Vilakasi Street, after our epic ‘jumping off a 100 metre tower’ !!!!!   Unfortunately, being the 1st of January and a public holiday, everything was closed.    Will definitely do it another time, and a visit to Nelson Mandela’s home is a must, which is also located along the same street.

We made our way to the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum.  The Museum was also closed but we wandered around the Memorial close to where Hector Pieterson, as a young 12 year old, was shot and killed by police during the Soweto uprising in South Africa.  Hastings Ndlovu was actually the first young boy to be shot and killed but there is no photograph as is the case with Hector being carried by a fellow student (Mbuyisa Makhubu) while Hector’s sister, Antionette ran next to them.

It’s a fascinating Memorial, each element symbolizes an aspect of that day – June 16 1976.

It was all explained by the guide

– the dry stone walls represent the children of Soweto

– the gentle waterfall represents the tears of the children

– the water/tears washing gently over the stones … the stones represent the children who were killed

Orlando Towers in the background … .gosh it’s high 🙂 … when you see them from a distance !!

  – the line of grass points to the other side of the road where Hector was shot – the line of grass lines up with the line of olive trees at the spot where he fell – in the opposite direction the line points to the door of the museum.  Hector’s sister, Antionette, works at the museum as a tour guide

Bradley listened intently …

I actually remember that day.  We were visiting family in Zimbabwe when we heard about via a news report.    It was absolutely shocking to hear.  I also remember thinking how cold the children would have been as Johannesburg is bitterly cold in the mid-winter mornings

On our way back to our car, I noticed this home, the occupants of which make the most of passers-by and visitors to the memorial by selling cold drinks and probably chips and goodies too, from a shed placed against their fence !!!   It was also closed 🙂

2 Replies to “Hector Pieterson Memorial – Soweto”

  1. I got to visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum a couple of years ago with my wife. Really a touching experience and one all South African’s should experience. Question. Have you been to Freedom Park in Pretoria? I had an even more spiritual experience there.

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