Soweto

In the article below, journalist Lucille Davie unpacks the history behind the signing of the Freedom Charter. The article was first published on the City of Joburg's website on the 24 June 2005Click here to view more of Davie's work.

Nelson Mandela was there. Walter Sisulu was there. Helen Joseph was there. Father Trevor Huddleston was there. So were 3 000 ordinary citizens, demanding a better life for all under a new, non-discriminatory dispensation.

Ahead of the annual Youth Month anniversary on June 16, a heritage plaque will commemorate Mbuyisa Makhubu, one of the most tragic victims of the mass shooting by police of protesting students in 1976.  

Aged 18, Mbuyisa became the most recognised face of the Soweto student revolt, after his agonised figure was shown around the world carrying the murdered Hector Pieterson in the iconic image by journalist Sam Nzima. Mbuyisa picked up Hector Pieterson when he was mortally wounded, and took him to the nearest clinic.

Seth Mazibuko’s home located at 1806 Msimango Street, Orlando East dates back to the 1930s when it was used by the community as a founding headquarters of the Mahon Mission Church in the African Township, presided over by his grandparents who were deacons of the Church. 

In the article below, journalist Lucille Davie describes the restoration of the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in 2006. The article was first published on the City of Joburg's website on 27 January 2007Click here to view more of Lucille's work.

The first phase of the restoration of the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Soweto is almost complete, with the mythical figures coming alive again with the help of one of the original builders.

In the article below, journalist Lucille Davie tells the emotional story of the death of Hastings Ndlovu. Ndlovu is believed to be the first person killed during the Soweto uprising that began on 16 June 1976. The piece was originally published on the City of Johannesburg's website on 10 January 2005. Click here to view more of Davie's work.

The Soweto Theatre is a landmark structure built in an area with a powerful history. In the article below, Johannesburg enthusiast and well-known journalist Lucille Davie unpacks the details behind the theatre's design and construction. She also reveals the significance of the Jabulani Amphitheatre next door. The article was originally published on the City of Johannesburg's website on 12 June 2012. Click here to view more of Davie's work.

Dube is the name of a popular township in Soweto, but on a larger scale Dube is a well-known Nguni surname. However, in nature the name belongs to an animal, e-dube – a lovely, cheeky one with bold black and white stripes, the zebra. Here follows an exploration of the story of the Dube Township, Soweto’s own zebra. It is bound to reveal a few secrets and highlights how the Dube history differs from that of other Soweto townships. There are however, also similarities and a common apartheid and struggle past.

The following article, adapted from James Ball's 2012 masters dissertation, looks at the practical compromise made by the apartheid government and the Johannesburg City Council not to 'relocate' black communities living in Pimville in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is a bit heavy in places but a fascinating read nonetheless.

In the mid to late 1950s the United Party controlled Johannesburg City Council (JCC) and the Nationalist Government were thrown into crisis when a white man was murdered outside the Mai-Mai Beerhall to the east of the City. Patrick Lewis, the Chariman of the Council’s Non-European Affairs Committee, provided the following description of the incident:

The Petrus Molefe Monument, also known as the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Monument, is located in the Petrus Molefe Eco-Park on Mtambo Street in Dhlamini Soweto. Molefe was the first operative to be killed during the early operations of MK. Thank you to the City of Johannesburg for giving us permission to publish the details below.

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