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.

1985     State of Emergency enters 100th day

The state of emergency entered its 100th day after it was announced on July 20. P.W Botha in an attempt to suppress growing opposition to Apartheid introduced the State of Emergency. However, the state of emergency failed to achieve its objectives. On this day, sporadic violence were reported in various parts of South Africa, especially in black townships where large contingents of South African Defence Force troops had been deployed to enforce emergency regulations. Within these 100 days, more than 5000 people were detained, including the popular cleric Dr Allan Boesak. More than 850 people were killed including political activist and Lawyer Victor Mxenge.

P.W Botha/sahistory.org
P.W Botha/sahistory.org

1961   Walter Sisulu and others are arrested for attending a party

Walter Sisulu, Lillian Ngoyi and Alfred Nzo were arrested after attending a party that was used as a cover up for a political meeting at the house of Lillian Ngoyi.  They were charged with contravening section 9(1) of Act 44 of 1950. The case was later withdrawn because there was no sufficient evidence provided to prove that the party was in fact a meeting.

Sisulu was later arrested at Liliesleaf Farm outside Rivonia along with 7 other members of Umkhonto we Sizwe High Command. On this occasion Sisulu was not released. He, together with Nelson Mandela and 8 others were charged for treason in October 1963 and convicted. In June 1964 he was among 8 of the accused sentenced to life imprisonment at Robben Island. He was released at the beginning of the negotiation process that paved the way for a non-racial democracy in South Africa.

 

Walter Sisulu/sahistory.org
Walter Sisulu/sahistory.org

1982     Beyers Naudé is served with his second banning order

Beyers Naudé was born into a family that was fully committed to the preservation of Afrikaner nationalism. His father was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and was a founding member of the Afrikaner Broederbond, a secret society aimed at promoting Afrikaner nationalism. Although joining the Broederbond himself at the age of 25, and serving as a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church for twenty years, Naudé began to question the justifications of the apartheid system. The Sharpeville Massacre was a turning point in Naudé life, as it was this event that inspired him to end his support for the policies of the DRC. Three years later he founded the Christian Institute of Southern Africa (CI), which was aimed at promoting inter-racial dialogue. Simultaneously, he resigned from the DRC and the Broederbond. These decisions would lead to his isolation from the Afrikaans community.

Naudé progressively became an outspoken critic of the apartheid regime, particularly with regard to the role that the DRC played in furthering the system of oppression. In 1970, he openly agreed with decision of the World Council of Churches to financially support liberation movements in southern Africa. Following constant harassment by the Security Forces, Naudé was forced to close the CI. In 1977, he was banned for the first time, and on 28 October 1982, he was banned for a further three years. This order was the first to be served under the comprehensive security law, the Internal Security Act of 1982, and the order could not be questioned in court of law. Naudé was eventually unbanned in 1985, and was succeeded by Desmond Tutu as the head of the South African Council of Churches (SACC).Having witnessed the contribution that he made to securing freedom and democracy in South Africa, Naude passed away in 2004.

Beyers Naude/sahistory.org
Beyers Naude/sahistory.org

 1971    The death in police custody of Ahmed Timol, political activist and underground operative, is confirmed

On 28 October1971, the death of anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Timol,was officially confirmed. It was revealed that the thirty year old teacher at the Roodepoort School and one of nineteen Indians in detention, died after he had plunged from a window on the tenth floor of John Vorster Square Police Station (now Johannesburg Central Police). His death was confirmed by police officers Brigadier P. Kruger and Sergeant Rodrigues, who alleged that he had committed suicide.

Timol became the seventeenth person to die in detention under security laws. He was a member of the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Following calls from the opposition and others for a judicial inquiry into the deaths of police detainees, Prime Minister B.J Vorster stated on 29 October 1971 that he found no need for such an inquiry.

Ahmed Timol/sahistory.org
Ahmed Timol/sahistory.org

1908    Harry Frederick Oppenheimer is born in Kimberley

Harry Frederick Oppenheimer was born in Kimberley on 28 October 1908 was born in Kimberley on 28 October 1908 to Ernest Oppenheimer and Mary Lina Pollock. Oppenheimer completed his primary education in Johannesburg and proceeded to study at Charterhouse in England. After that, he enrolled at Christ Church in Oxford where he graduated in philosophy, politics and economics in 1931. Upon completing his studies Oppenheimer returned to Johannesburg to join Anglo American Corporation which was founded by his father in 1917.

Oppenheimer joined the South African Corps and served under the Fourth South African Corps during World War 2 in North Africa. He then returned to South Africa and became Managing Director of the Corporation in 1945. During the 1950s he was involved in the expansion of Anglo American’s gold mining operations on the west Witwatersrand and copper mining interests in Zambia.

Oppenheimer became actively involved in politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament for Kimberley in 1948 under the United Party. After the death of his father in 1957, he resigned from his parliamentary seat but continued to express his views on political issues. During the 1960s and 1970s Oppenheimer oversaw expansion of the diamond industry and De Beers which saw the emergence of Anglo American as a major international company.

Oppenheimer was instrumental in the formation of the Progressive Party which was later renamed the Progressive Federal Party (PFP). He continued to provide financial support for the party throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Oppenheimer was chairman of Anglo American Corporation and De Beers Consolidated Mines for over 25 years until he retired from those positions in 1982 and 1984. Despite stepping down, he remained active in his family’s business interests.  Oppenheimer died in Johannesburg on 19 August 2000.

Harry Frederick Oppenheimer was born in Kimberley on 28 October 1908/sahistory.org
Harry Frederick Oppenheimer was born in Kimberley on 28 October 1908/sahistory.org

1887     Chief Mqikela dies

The Paramount Chief Mqikela, eldest son of Chief Faku and first chief of East Pondoland, died in Qawukeni, near Palmerton, Pondoland. Chief Mqikela took over from his father as paramount chief of the Pondos in 1868, but because he supported the Griquas of Kokstad in their revolt against the Cape government in 1878, his recognition as paramount chief was withdrawn and the country was divided into Eastern Pondoland (the Qawukeni) under Mqikela’s rule and Western Pondoland (the Nyandeni), ruled by his half brother Victor Poto Ndamase. Mqikela was succeeded by his son Chief Sigcawu (Sigcau).

Chief Mqikela dies/sahistory.org/africamediaonline.com
Chief Mqikela dies/sahistory.org/africamediaonline.com

 

Source: sahistory.org

Compiled By: REFILWE GAESWE