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Thatscricket - News - Ntini, Ngam to attend black uprising ceremony

Published: Friday, June 15, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Johannesburg: South African cricketers Makhaya Ntini, Mornantau Hayward and Mfuneko Ngam will attend Saturday's 25th Anniversary commemorations of the June 1976 uprising in the sprawling mainly black residential township of Soweto near here."The three players will be present at the Morris Isaacson High School for the end of the fun run at 9:00 hours (local time) on Saturday, from where they will walk to the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Orlando West," United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) spokesperson Bronwyn Wilkinson said."Makhaya Ntini will say a few words at the memorial and will lay a wreath from the United Cricket Board and the South African national cricket team in memory of those who lost their lives in 1976," he said.The school was where the march in 1976 stated and Pietersen was the first child to be killed as police opened fire on the children.The protest by thousands of schoolchildren on June 16, 1976, is seen by many as the catalyst that led to mass mobilisation against the oppression of the majority black community (including the 1.2 million South Africans of Indian origin) by the white apartheid government.It eventually led to the first democratic elections in South Africa. Hundreds of pupils were killed or injured in police action that followed the march, and thousands went into exile as the apartheid security forces hounded them down.Many of those who went into such self-exile bettered themselves abroad and have returned as leaders in various fields, including government, in the new democratic South Africa.Meanwhile, efforts by the mainly South African Indian community of Chatsworth, south of Durban, to secure a 2003 World Cup game have gained new impetus.Following a meeting between Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour and the Action League for Transformation, the minister has agreed to help in attempts to raise funds for upgrading the stadium in the township.The League has in turn withdrawn its threat to boycott the Indian tour of South Africa that was scheduled for later this year. It had also written to Indian cricket authorities asking for the tour to be cancelled in support of their claim to a World Cup game.The controversy arose when 2003 Cricket World Cup executive director Ali Bacher reportedly promised there would be a game at the Chatsworth Oval when he visited the area two years ago, but later he said the facilities were not up to World Cup standards.IANS

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