Fodor's Expert Review Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
Opposite Holy Cross Church, a stone's throw from the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Vilakazi Street, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum is a crucial landmark. Pieterson, a 12-year-old student, was one of the first victims of police fire on June 16, 1976, when schoolchildren rose up to protest their second-rate Bantu (Black) education system. The memorial is a paved area with benches for reflection beneath trees that have been planted by visiting dignitaries, an inscribed stone, and water feature. Inside the museum, multimedia displays of grainy photographs and archival footage bring that fateful day to life and put it into the context of the broader apartheid struggle. The museum courtyard has 562 small granite blocks as a tribute to the children who died in the Soweto uprisings. Suggested visiting time is at least 30 minutes. You can also hire an on-site tour guide to take you around (recommended donation is minimum R100).