Here are some of the events that took place on this day, within the South African history.
1965 Abram Fischer is struck off the roll of advocates
The Johannesburg Bar Council struck Abram Fischer’s name off the roll of advocates for his role in the struggle against apartheid. As an advocate Fischer defended people such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and eighteen others after they were arrested for participating in the Defiance Campaign.
He also led the defence in the Rivonia Trial from 1963-64. On 23 September 1964 Fischer was arrested for contravening the Suppression of Communism Act. At the start of the trial he was granted bail to enable him to leave the country and argue a case in England, undertaking to return. Upon his return, he attended his trial which commenced on 16 November 1964.
Fischer then went underground early in 1965 and eluded the security police until his arrest in December of the same year. In 1966 he was found guilty of contravening the Suppression of Communism Act and conspiring to commit sabotage. He was sentenced on 9 May 1966 to life imprisonment.
At his trial Fischer expressed no regrets for his involvement in the struggle against apartheid exclaiming ‘I believe what I did was right’. While serving his sentence Fischer became ill and after initially delaying his release on medical grounds, the government released him in 1975. Fischer died a few weeks after his release. After the fall of apartheid, Fischer’s daughters, Ilse Wilson and Ruth Rice applied to have their father reinstated to the roll of advocates. In a historic ruling in October 2003, a full bench of South Africa’s high court posthumously reinstated Bram Fischer to the roll of advocates 40 years after he was struck off the roll.
1964 South African pop queen, Brenda Fassie, is born
Brenda Nokuzola Fassie a South African Pop Queen, was born in 1964 in Langa, a township near Cape Town. She was named after the American country singer Brenda Lee. The daughter of a pianist, Brenda began singing to her mother’s accompaniment at a very young age, and at the age of five, she had tourists paying to hear her sing. Brenda Fassie died on 9 May 2004 after allegedly taking a drug overdose. She is survived by her son Bongani Fassie.
1955 Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo is born
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was a deputy president of South Africa and wife of former public prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka, was born in Claremont, Durban. She was appointed as deputy president by President Thabo Mbeki in a gender-friendly move on 22 June 2005 after his dismissal of Jacob Zuma.
1884 First Black-owned newspaper is published
The first Black South African newspaper, Imvo Zabantsundu (Opinion of the People), was published by Thanda Press in King William’s Town as an independent political newspaper for Black people. Its first editor was Tengo Jabavu, well-known politician and educationist. The paper survived a banning order during the Second South African war (or Second Anglo-Boer War) from August 1901 until 1902. Imvo was discontinued in 1998.
Compiled By: REFILWE GAESWE