It was cold and overcast as pupils gathered at schools across Soweto on 16 June. At an agreed time, they set off for Orlando West Secondary School in Vilakazi Street, with thousands streaming in from all directions. The planned to march from the school to the Orlando Stadium.
\"By 10.30am, over 5 000 students had gathered on Vilakazi Street and more were arriving every minute,\" say Bonner and Segal. In total, \"over 15 000 uniformed students between the ages of 10 and 20 [were] marching that day\".
Once at the stadium, the plan was to agree on a list of grievances, and then possibly to march to the offices of the Transvaal department of education in Booysens, in Johannesburg\'s southern suburbs.
But this didn\'t happen. Police formed a wall facing the pupils, warning them to disperse – an order met with resistance. Teargas was fired into the crowd and police dogs released. In the chaos, children ran back and forth, throwing stones at the police – who fired more teargas.
Bonner and Segal quote a student leading the march, Jon-Jon Mkhonza: \"Students were scattered, running up and down ... coming back, running ... coming back. It was some kind of game because they were running away, coming back, taking stones, throwing them at the police ... It was chaos. Whenever the police shot teargas, we jumped the wall to the churchyard and then came back and started discussing again.\".