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June 16 is Steve Biko’s work!

Tsietsi Mashinini, leader of June 16, 1976 uprising

By Andile Mngxitama

It’s June 16 soon. We must once again explain. It was not the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) or African National Congress (ANC) that sparked the great uprising.

The June 16, 1976 uprising was in fact the result of the work of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement, and specifically his unsurpassed testimony during the SASO/BPC trial which started on 2 May 1976 and lasted for four days – the trial itself spanned some 17 months. The whole of the then Transvaal was elecrified by this beautiful articulate young man.

Abram Tiro had laid the organisational foundations in Soweto, having mentored the likes of Tsietsi Mashinini who is the undisputed leader of the uprising.

Let me repeat! June 16, 1976 was a direct result of Steve Biko’s revolutionary work. Let no one be permitted to distort our history!


Andile Mngxitama is the President of BLF, a radical black consciousness organization.

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