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Your comments: Soweto uprising, Bill Gates and more

Kevin Anderson | 18:01 UK time, Friday, 16 June 2006

Liveblogging is normally a challenge, but it's even harder today with the Holland v Ivory Coast game on as well. It's 2-1 to Holland after an electric first half. i'll post some updates about the match as well as your comments on 30 years after the Soweto uprising in South Africa and Bill Gates decision to focus on his philanthropy.

We'll also talk about what cheap goods are worth to you.

Nepal opens government to rebels

Just an hour before we went on air, the news came that the Nepalese government is to dissolve parliament and set up an interim government that will include the country's Maoist rebels.

Rjendra, a Nepali in Germany, said that this was a win-win for Nepal. The people can now decide whether they want a representative government or a constitutional monarhcy.

And Rajesh from Kathamndu said that he and fellow Nepalis thought that the people now decide the king's future. People are hopeful now that the Maoists are on board. There are no more blockades, no strikes. As a businessman, he can now move his goods, and people can move freely now.

Rjendra said there was no choice whether to trust the rebels or not. This was the way forward. Rajesh said that government must move forward with caution and disarm them slowly.

Soweto uprising: 30 years later

As Anu said, on 16 June 1976, the black school children of the South African township of Soweto took to the streets in protest at the apartheid regime's plans to teach them in the Afrikaans language. Dozens of children were shot dead by the police, sparking riots throughout the country.

Milton Nkosi, the BBC bureau chief in Johannesburg, remembers the uprising well. He was 10 years old. It was a cold Wednesday morning, and he and his fellow students were preparing for their mid-year exams. There was no indication that anything this historic would happen. He saw police shooting at unarmed black students with placards saying: 'Down with Bantu education' and 'Away with Afrikaans'.

It was his first experience with tear gas. It was the first time he saw trained police dogs. He also looting as some criminals took advantage of the situation.

He said that the uprising gave a boost to a tired anti-Apartheid struggle. Many of their leaders had been jailed. But the students in Soweto gave the movement a new impetus.

Dan Montsisi, Johannesburg student representative in 1976, said that it was unfortunate that whites were also attacked. But the students were upset and angry at the symbols of white Africa. He told of how then Nelson Mandela told black students needed to remember that in the future they would be living in a multi-ethnic democracy.

Andrew, a 22-year-old white man from Durban, said his dreams for the country were not fulfilled. The World Cup in 2010 will show the world that the country is moving in the right direction. All South Africans need to remember the uprising.

Dan said: "South Africa is now on the right path."

Milton said that the spirit of the commemoration was multi-ethnic, but in practice it was not. Generally, he said that most white people stay at home during these commemoration. On TV, you see largely black people.

We had several e-mails and text messages about South Africa. Sefi Usman in Kwara State, Nigeria sent us this in a text message:

I don't think South Africans, like all other Africans, have been able to handle their 'deserved' freedom.

Mohamed Ahmed Mansour of Monrovia sent us this text message:

We will never forget Soweto 76 it inspires deep Love for the KIDS.

Liston sent us this text message:

The brutal reaction of state organs & police, to the 1976 student riots, helped to unite black people even more against apartheid. The memory of this event & others, are a stark reminder of the sacrifices black people made to earn our freedom. S.A. is now on the road 2 eradicating the vestiges of apartheid.

Lt J Y Kwarteng, Ghanaian Peacekeeper in Liberia, sent us this text:

Bravo! South African Blacks for the peaceful way you have lived with the Whites after Apartheid! Have my sympathy for the 16 June incident. May the souls of those who perished rest in peace! Long live South Africa!

Despite our callers saying that there was no violence after Nelson Mandela was released and that the truth and reconciliation process had helped bring peace, one person asked in a text why former South African President FW De Clerk wasn't brought up on war crimes charges.

Bill Gates gives up his day job

Bill Gates has announced that he will give up his day-to-day responsibilities at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropic activities.

He's already spent vast fortunes fighting malaria, HIV Aids and polio. So what will his legacy be? Will he be remembered as much for his philanthropy as for his computers? If you had 30 billion dollars to spend on good causes, what would you do with it?

Berryl in Canada said she would love to be in his shoes.

Anu mentioned Clippy the paper-clip, the cartoon helper that still is in some versions of Microsoft Office. Well, the cartoon helper characters were the legacy of a failed interface for Windows 3.1 Bob, which Melinda French, now Melinda Gates was a project manager of for a while. Go here to find out more about that.

John in Scotland said that we should credit Bill Gates for developing an operating system that has become a world standard. He said that Windows won out because it is the best.

Aliyu, Jos Nigeria sent us this text message:

As a teacher in a country where too many people prefer shortcuts, I HATE to hear it mentioned that Gates was a drop out. It fools my students and renders me useless. .

Dauda Wugira, in Abuja Nigeria sent us this text message:

Bill Gates exploits the rich to give to the poor. He is a good capitalist.

Maria had this idea for Bill Gates:

Gates should use his money to educate people in the 3rd world. What they need is empowament, not handouts.

Mr Chris Ugwueze, in Nigeria sent us this text:

Microsoft led by BILL GATES is an epitome of corporate social responsibility in the world. May the blessings & wisdom of God continue to rest on them.


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