Mark Shinners


“You Mothopeng, acted to sow seeds of anarchy and revolution. The riots you engineered and predicted eventually took place in Soweto on June 16 and at Kagiso the next day.” These are the words of Judge Curlewis in the Supreme Court of South Africa in a secret court hearing on 1 July 1979. He was sentencing to imprisonment for the Soweto Uprising(June 16) the following accused Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leaders and members: Zephania Mothopeng 30 years, Moffat Zungu 7 years, Michael Matsobane 15 years, Daniel Matsobane 12 years, Marks Shinners 12 years, John Ganya 11 years, Benny Ntoele 10 years, Johnson Nyathi 10 years, Themba Hlatswayo 8 years, Goodwill Thlale 8 years, Julius Landingwe 8 years, Sithembele Khala 7 years, Goodwill Moni 7 years, Zolile Ndindwa 7 years, Jerome Kodisang 5 years and Hamilton Keke 5 years.

As we mark the 36th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, it is important that suppressed facts and truth about this inspiring history of political bravery and heroism by the youth of this country are revealed and recorded for posterity and for humanity in general.

In the Supreme Court of South Africa at Bethal, Judge Curlewis found for the apartheid regime’s prosecution in 1979, that the Pan Africanist Congress played a leading role in the Soweto Uprising which erupted on 16
June 1976. Evidence before Judge Curlewis showed that the PAC organised and fixed the date on the Soweto Uprising.

Several witness testified how PAC under the leadership of Zephania Mothopeng organised the Soweto Uprising. For instance, Adam, one of the witnesses testified before court that in one of the underground meetings of the PAC disguised as the Young African Religious Movement(YARM), Mike Motsobane introduced PAC leaders as from Soweto.

The Epic Story of June 16 Uprising

The plan to overthrow then Apartheid government began as early as 1963 when Zephaniah “The Lion of Azania” Mothopeng was in the notorious Robben Island prison following his arrest during the PAC led Anti-Pass Campaign on the 21st March 1960. He was a member of the PAC National Leadership at the time.

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