Africa

South Africa marks anniversary of 1976 Soweto uprising

  • A young girl watches the laying of the wreath ceremony, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial, in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, near to a painting depicting the iconic photo showing 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, being carried after being shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising, displayed by an artist for commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    A young girl watches the laying of the wreath ceremony, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial, in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, near to a painting depicting the iconic photo showing 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, being carried after being shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising, displayed by an artist for commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children wearing school uniforms watch the laying of wreaths, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, for commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Children wearing school uniforms watch the laying of wreaths, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, for commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

  • A young boy walks way from a displayed iconic photo showing 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, being carried after being shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising,at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    A young boy walks way from a displayed iconic photo showing 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, being carried after being shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising,at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, June 16, 2016, for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of uprisings. South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

South Africans are commemorating the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the anti-apartheid struggle, a 1976 black student uprising in the Soweto area of Johannesburg that led to a deadly crackdown but launched a new phase of opposition to white minority rule.

Thousands danced and sang Thursday at a stadium in Soweto where President Jacob Zuma later spoke of the students gunned down by apartheid-era security forces.

Zuma listed democratic advances in South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994 and lamented the violence of some students today who have burned school buildings in protests over high fees and other grievances.

June 16 is a national holiday in South Africa.