Mbuyisa Makhubo

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Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole runs beside them.

Mbuyisa Makhubu (born 1957 or 1958) is the 18-year-old South African school boy seen carrying Hector Pieterson in a famous photograph taken by Sam Nzima after the latter was shot during the Soweto Uprising in 1976.[1]

After the photograph was released, he was harassed by the security services, and was forced to flee South Africa. His mother, Nombulelo Makhubu, told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that she received a letter from him from Nigeria in 1978, but that she had not heard from him since.[2] She died in 2004, seemingly without knowledge of what had happened to her son.[3] Mbuyisa was one of a number of South African activists given refuge in Nigeria immediately following the Soweto incident. He was one of three who were settled in a boarding high school in South-Western Nigeria - Federal Government College, Warri during the 1976/77 academic year. But all failed to settle, and had moved on within the year.[4]

In 2013, claims emerged that a man, Victor Vinnetou, imprisoned in Canada for the previous eight years on immigration charges was Makhubu.[5] Genetic tests were conducted to determine whether this man is indeed Mbuyisa Makhubo.[6] It was later reported that the DNA tests did not substantiate the man's claim to be Makhubu, to the disappointment of Makhubu's family, [7] though the DNA test was reported to have been done on a family member without blood relations to both parents.[8]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Khangale, Ndivhuwo (2005). "Mystery around June 16 icon lingers on". IOL news. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  2. ^ Sosibo, Kwanele. "http://mg.co.za/article/2014-06-12-red-herrings-plague-search-for-mbuyisa-makhubu". Mail and Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2014-11-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Direct evidence of students in the college at the time
  5. ^ "Spotlight on Makhubo's DNA tests ahead of Youth Day". Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  6. ^ "http://citizen.co.za/195625/dept-verifying-mbuyisa-makhubo-dna-tests/". The Citizen. Retrieved 16 June 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ Eyewitness News (27 September 2013). "Makhubu family wants more DNA tests". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Freed from Canadian detention, South African man left in limbo". Retrieved 2018-04-01.