Today's Big Stories

Neurosurgeon describes treating the wounded children of Soweto Uprising in '76

40 years ago, neurosurgeon Dr Rasik Gopal was on duty the day that hundreds of young causalities flooded through the doors of Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

It was a regular Wednesday morning in the wards until the hospital staff heard reports that schoolchildren were being shot at during protests.

Gopal describes the chaotic scene in the corridors of the emergency wing, which he says left him traumatised.

The corridors were full of stretchers.. children were bought by ambulance and by police.

Dr Rasik Gopal, Neurosurgeon and professor

Gopal treated severe injuries and explained that the young people were struck with both bullets and batons.

He says though doctors of all races attended to the patients, tensions remained visible between black and white practitioners, as police disrupted their work in search of evidence.

There was a lot of anger and division, but everybody attended to the patients and gave them the best treatment possible.

Dr Rasik Gopal, Neurosurgeon and professor

Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:

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