An unofficial declaration of war

In this hurried statement, written by Tsietsi Mashinini just before he fled into exile in late August 1976, he condems the police action of the previous two months and calls it "an unofficial declaration of war". But he pleads with his fellow students: "I, Tsietsi Mashini, appeal [to] students to report back to school and notify the authorities of any injured, dead or missing students. We still have our end [of term] exams to write and we must have our priorities sorted."

Look at images of the original hand-written statement: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

- Reference: Mashinini, T. Handwritten Statement, August 1976. Karis-Gerhart Collection, Cullen Library, University of the Witwatersrand, Folder 795

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"I, Tsietsi Mashinini, appeal to students to report back to school."
Tsietsi Mashinini, 1976
Picture © British Thames Television


In this lesson plan, learners are asked to think about how the different people in their lives would describe them. They are asked to reflect if they think that their caregiver or teacher would say the same things about them as their best friend. They will apply their insights on differing perspectives to historical sources such as newspapers and letters.

Lesson plan
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Archive Photo Gallery
Images from the short life of Tsietsi Mashinini.
Artwork Photo Gallery
Five views of the Tsietsi Mashinini memorial
The concept for the memorial
Johannes Phokela discusses the development of his concept for the memorial to Tsietsi Mashinini
Take a 360º tour of Mashinini's memorial opposite his former high school on Mputhi Street, Soweto.
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