Morris Isaacson High School

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Morris Isaacson High School
Morris Isaacson High School.jpg
1349 Mphuti Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto
Coordinates 26°14′44″S 27°52′20″E / 26.2455°S 27.8722°E / -26.2455; 27.8722
Type Government
Colour(s) Blue and White

Morris Isaacson High School is a government secondary school in Soweto. Founded in 1956, the school took an important role at the start of the Soweto Uprising in 1976.


Morris Isaacson High School sign sponsored by Coca-Cola

The school was named for Morris Isaacson who was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant in 1896. He had become wealthy by trading and he set up a fund for black students to complete their education to university level.[1] It was Isaacson who funded this school.[2] Isaacson gave enough money to build a school with ten classrooms and it opened in 1956 with 300 pupils when it was called "Mohloding School".[3]

On 8 June 1976, the South African Police attempted to arrest Enos Ngutshane at Naledi High School. He was the local leader of the South African Students Movement.[4] He had sent a letter to the government about the imposition of Afrikaans as the language to be used in schools. The police failed to apprehend him, and the police were stoned and a Volkswagen Beetle was set on fire by the students.[5]

On 16 June, students had gathered at Naledi High School to walk to Morris Isaacson High School in Jabavu.[4] Tsietsi Mashinini, a student at this school was a leader of the march of protest.[6] The plan was to gather at Orlando Stadium, but before that the Police arrived and school children were shot.[4]

On 1 May 1993, Nelson Mandela visited the school to celebrate the school's role in the Soweto Uprising and nation's transformation.

By 1995 the school had 36 classrooms, 1100 students, and 34 teachers.[3]



There is a statue of Teboho Mashinini by Johannes Phokela on the grounds that was unveiled on 1 May 2010 by the Mayor of Johannesburg.[9]


  1. ^ Shimoni, Gideon (2003). Community and conscience : the Jews in apartheid South Africa. Hanover, NH: Brandeis Univ. Press [u.a.] p. 259. ISBN 1584653299. 
  2. ^ a b Trewhela, Paul (2009). Inside Quatro : uncovering the exile history of the ANC and SWAPO. Auckland Park, South Africa: Jacana Media. p. 229. ISBN 1770097767. 
  3. ^ a b Mothibeli, Tefo (17 June 1995). "HUMBLE FAÇADE OF MORRIS ISAACSON BELIES IMPORTANT ROLE PLAYED IN SA HISTORY". Sunday Star. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Nzimande, Bafana (16 June 2013). "Soweto uprising school turns 50". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Unrest breaks out at Naledi High School as Security police confront learners". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Mecoamere, Victor (27 May 2013). "Naledi High turns 50". Sowetan Live. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Bridge, Sherilee; et al. (2007). Trailblazers : South Africa's champions of change. Lansdowne, South Africa: Double Storey Books. p. 84. ISBN 1770131108. 
  8. ^ Maharaj, edited by Mac (2001). Reflections in prison (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 244. ISBN 1868723542. 
  9. ^ "Unveiling of the Tsietsi Mashinini statue". Retrieved 25 July 2013.