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City to rename streets after student heroes
southafricastreetsjpg.jpegIn an effort to pay tribute to the leaders who played a role in the student uprising of 16 June 1976, the City of Johannesburg has decided to rename four streets in their honour.

The City has budgeted R40 000 for the renaming, which involved a thorough consultation process with family members and the running of advertisements in newspapers inviting the community to participate in the process.

A park located on stand 930 Central Western Jabavu, near the starting point of the march that protested the use of Afrikaans in schools, will be named the June16 Memorial Acre Park.

"We see this as a fitting tribute to the memory of youth leaders who changed the face of South Africa and made an immense contribution to the liberation of our country," says the mayoral committee member for development, planning and urban management, Ruby Mathang.

Tsietsi Mashini Street
One of the most dynamic activists of the time was Tsietsi Mashinini who attended Morris Isaacson High. Widely known in the community for eradicating violent gangs that roamed Soweto during the 1970s, he also called for non-violent action from schools protesting the new education laws. 
Through his continued activism, Mashinini became one of the most wanted men in the country by the police and security forces. He fled to Liberia that year, married, had four children, and died under mysterious circumstances in 1990.

The road on which his house was located, Pitso Street, will be renamed after him.

Lekgau Mathabathe Street
The headmaster of Morris Isaacson High School, Lekgau Mathabathe, who courageously supported the student protest, will have a road bordering the school named after him.

Lekgau was detained for his involvement in the protest, and on his release, was detained again after mobilising teachers under the banner of the Soweto Teacher's Action Committee.

Wycliff Tobo Street
Kayizana Wycliff Tobo, a staunch member of the Soweto Civic Association (SCA) that was at the forefront of the struggles against rent increases and the demolition of shacks, played a leading role in the initial mobilisation of communities to stand up against apartheid laws. 
The street on which he lived, Tshabangu Street, will be renamed Wycliff Tobo street.

Danny Kekana Street
Another member of the SCA and the Congress of South African Student, Daniel Kekana was known as more action than talk, fighting battles against criminals who targeted defenceless residents. 
After surviving a bullet wound in the neck by suspected police agents, he became more committed to the struggle, and used his parent's home to hide ammunition for the military wing of the African National Congress, Umkhonto weSizwe, as well as well-known operatives like Peter Mokaba.

A vigilante group stabbed him to death in 1989, which provoked a massive retaliation by residents, who in turn hunted them down.

The road on which he lived, Bochabela Street, will in future be called Danny Kekana Street.

Photo from The Star​