Today in History

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Events of this day in the South African history/Twitter

These are some of the events that happened on this day, in the South African history.

1998    F.W de Klerk challenges TRC findings

After a notice was served on F.W de Klerk by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) informing him of its intention to make its findings regarding him public, he filed an urgent application to the Cape High Court in an attempt to prevent the publication of the report. The Commission’s findings on De Klerk were challenged on diverse grounds, including allegations of biasness against him by members of the commission. The matter was settled out of court between De Klerk and the office of the president, Nelson Mandela.

F.W De Klerk/sahistory.org
F.W De Klerk/sahistory.org

1991    PAC attends Patriotic Front Conference

After a long pursuit by the African National Congress (ANC) and other African countries, the Pan African Congress of Azania (PAC) acceded to meet with the ANC and other liberation movements including Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) in a Patriotic Front Conference held in Durban. The PAC initially demanded that deliberations be held at a neutral venue outside South Africa. In spite of the PAC’s later secession, deliberations proceeded and a concession on democratic dispensation was reached.

Pan African Congress/sahistory.org
Pan African Congress/sahistory.org

1988    Local elections in Townships

Following government’s introduction of Black Township Councils in the late 1980s, which attempted to co-opt Black leaders into the Apartheid system without sharing power, the government introduced elections to give the impression that these were popular and democratic councils. However, many Black people in various townships boycotted these local council elections and the United Democratic Front (UDF) organised anti-elections campaigns across the country. The government coerced people to go out and vote whilst increasing its repressive measures by detaining those who called a boycott of the elections. As a result of these repressive measures, the UDF declared the elections “Gunpoint Elections”.

UDF/sahistory.org
UDF/sahistory.org

1976    Transkei gains complete independence

The oldest of the independent homelands, Transkei, gained complete independence as an autonomous republic under the policy of separate development. At its opening session the Transkei National Assembly elected Paramount Chief Botha J. Sigcau as the Transkei’s first President and Kaizer Matanzima as Prime Minister. The new republic did not incorporate the apartheid ideology into its constitution, but became a multiracial state in which all citizens had the franchise. The Republic of Transkei was not recognised beyond South African borders. The General Assembly of the United Nations rejected the declaration of independence as invalid, and called upon all governments to deny any form of recognition to Transkei and other Bantustans.

Transkei logo/sahistory.org
Transkei logo/sahistory.org

1964    UN Special Committee on Policies of Apartheid appeals for assistance to families of apartheid victims.

The United Nations Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid issued an appeal to member states and organizations to assist families of persons persecuted by the government for their stance against the policies of apartheid. This came four years after the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) led a peaceful protest to Sharpeville police station, where they demanded to be arrested. This was in defiance of the pass laws.  Unfortunately, the situation turned violent as police shot and killed 69  people, leaving scores injured and others arrested in what became known as Sharpeville massacre.

United Nations logo/sahistory.org
United Nations logo/sahistory.org

1948    George Msimang, artist, is born

Artist George Msimang was born on 26 October 1948 in Durban. Msimang’s interest in art began at school although art was not offered as a subject. He left Lamontville High School in 1968 after completing Standard VIII. He came to the African Art Centre in Durban and was encouraged by Jo Thorpe to study at Rorke’s Drift. This he did for a year, beginning in 1969. In 1971 and 1972, through the support of the NSA and the Italian Consulate in Durban, he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. He returned there in the years 1973 to 1975 and 1985 to 1986.

Msimang’s work particularly from the late 1960s is known for recording township scenes and addressing political and social issues in a cartoon-like style. Msimang exhibited widely and his work is represented in numerous corporate collections including the Durban Art Gallery, University of Fort Hare and the Killie Campbell Museum. He has also exhibited a number of times at the UZ Festival of African Art. Msimang makes his livelihood from the sale of his artwork.

George Masimanga/sahistory.org
George Masimanga/sahistory.org

1939    Karel Schoeman, well known Afrikaans author, is born

Karel Schoeman was born on 26 October 1939 in Trompsburg, Orange Free State.  He matriculated from the HoÁƒÂƒÂ«r Jongenskool in Paarl in 1956, obtained a BA in languages at the University of the Freestate in 1959, and He went on to study at the Catholic Seminary in Pretoria.  In 1961 he joined the order of Franciscans in Ireland and novitiated to become a priest, but was released from his vows. He returned to Bloemfontein where he obtained an Honours degree in library science.  He then moved to the Amsterdam. where he worked as a librarian.  He moved back to South Africa and worked at the South African Library in Cape Town from 1983.

Schoeman is the author of 18 novels and numerous works of history, he is one of South Africa’s most awarded and highly-regarded authors. He is perhaps most renown for his works of historical fiction.  He has also translated several world literary classics into Afrikaans. Although he is renowned in South Africa, recognition outside of his native country is only slowly coming. This is no doubt due to the fact that he writes primarily in Afrikaans, although several of his non-fiction works are in English. Few of his novels have been translated into other languages In 1999 he was one of only two living South African writers to be honoured with a State President’s Award by Nelson Mandela on the occasion of the latter’s retirement. His numerous literary awards include: the Hertzog Prize in 1970, 1986 and 1995; the SAUK Prize for African TV dramas 1990; the Stals Prize for Cultural History 1997; and the Louis Hiemstra Prize for non fiction 2002.

Karel Schoeman, well known Afrikaans author, is born/sahistory.org
Karel Schoeman, well known Afrikaans author, is born/sahistory.org

1976    Paramount Chief, Botha Sigcau is appointed the first President of Transkei

Paramount Chief of Eastern Pondoland, Botha Sigcau who had earlier supported Bantu Authorities was appointed the first President of Trancskei at the opening session of the Transkei Assembly. Kaizer Matanzima became the Prime Minister as Transkei became the first Homeland to gain independence in 1976. On 30 December 1987, Major General Bantu Holomisa, commander of the Transkei Defence Force (TDF), led a bloodless coup against the Transkei government under Stella Sigcau.

Transkei coat of arms/sahistory.org
Transkei coat of arms/sahistory.org

 

1938    Richard J. Goldstone, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of SA, is born

On 26 October 1938, Richard Goldstone,a well-known figure in the legal fraternity, was born in Boksburg, Gauteng Province. In 1962, Goldstone graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and couple of years later he was made the judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court. Towards the end of apartheid, Goldstone headed a commission to investigate political violence and intimidation that took place between July 1991 and the 1994 general election. He then went on to serve as a judge of the Constitutional Court, and was tasked with assisting in the drafting of the South African Constitution, which was adopted in 1996. From August 1994 to September 1996 he was the first chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

In 2009, he was appointed to head a fact-finding mission to Israel to investigate violations against international human rights law with regard to Israel’s occupation of Gaza Strip. His involvement has been criticized on the basis that it was biased against Israel and that the report submitted in his name mostly included interviews with members of Hamas.

Richard Goldstone has been recognised internationally for his continuous contribution to the development of human rights law world-wide.

Richard Goldstein/sahistory.org.redroom.com
Richard Goldstein/sahistory.org.redroom.com

Source: sahistory.org

Compiled By: REFILWE GAESWE