The people shall speak ... their own languages

The issue of language has been a sensitive one since June 16 1976, when Soweto pupils rose up against Afrikaans as a primary language in schools.

South Africa’s Constitution, which came into effect on February 4 1997, recognises 11 official languages, to which the state guarantees equal status.

But in a country that is dominated by the use of English, how equal, in fact, are these languages? And how willing are South Africans to fight for their respective tongue?


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