Imvubu Newsletter

Nompendulo High School Massacre 20th Anniversary

© Cindi, F. Imvubu 17:2, 1.

On Tuesday, 23 July 1985 a student meeting was held at Nompendulo High School in Zwelitsha, near King William’s Town. I was a student there at the time. When the students started protesting for better education the Ciskei police responded with violent action, resulting in four students drowning in the Buffalo River near Zwelitsha and others being injured and subsequently arrested.

The names oCindi Aug 2005f the four students who died are Mlandeli Botha, Ntombekhaya Magoxo, Noxolo Pango and Vuyani Patsa. The 23 July is the day on which we honour all the young people who lost their lives in the struggle against apartheid and Bantu Education, and in so doing we preserve the memories of our fallen heroes and heroines. Students were fighting to establish a free, democratic and non-racial education system in South Africa.

A memorial has been erected at Nompendulo High School as part of a community heritage project to bring recognition to marginalised aspects of our history and promote nation building and reconciliation. It has an educational value especially for the youth in our province.

The memorial gives recognition to the role played by the students in their fight for a democratic and non-racial education system. It promotes nation building and reconciliation because the families of students who died in the struggle will feel that the deaths of their children were not in vain and their historical contribution is being recognised. It also raises the awareness of the public concerning the pivotal role played by students in the struggle for national liberation. The memorial is of educational benefit to future generations concerning the liberation struggle in which their predecessors engaged.