Today in History: 26 September

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela/Photo:

2004  Nelson Mandela is voted the greatest South African. Former SA president and long serving political prisoner, Mandela was voted the Greatest South African in a TV show that had the country nominate their 100 most favourite personalities.

2004   In the Athens Paralympic Games Natalie du Toit wins her fifth gold medal, the 50m freestyle, in a world record 29.52sec, after having won gold in the 100 butterfly (1:07.69 world record), 100 freestyle (1:02.83 Paralympic record), 200 IM (2:29.98 world record) and the 400m freestyle (4:28.09 world record). She also won silver in the 100m backstrokes and claimed fourth in the 100 breaststrokes.

2003   Two South Africans are appointed to a high-profile Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA). The University of Natal’s Professor Alan Whiteside and World Bank managing official Dr Mamphele Ramphela are members of the 20-person commission.

1992   A bilateral summit between delegations of the ANC and the South African Government, led respectively by Nelson Mandela and President De Klerk, agrees on a record of understanding.

Nelson Mandela and F.W de Klerk/Photo
Nelson Mandela and F.W de Klerk/Photo

1950 The energy and chemical company, Sasol, is registered. The history of Sasol began in 1927 when a White Paper was tabled in Parliament to investigate the establishment of a South African oil-from-coal industry. It was realised then that, because South Africa did not have crude oil reserves, the country’s balance of payments had to be protected against increasing crude oil imports.


1936 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of President Nelson Mandela, is born – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of President Nelson Mandela, is born in Bizana, Pondoland. Madikizela-Mandela was a staunch opponent of P W Botha’s government and this earned her a title of ” mother of the nation “. Madikizela-Mandela played a role in the founding of the Black Women’s Federation and the Black Parents’ Association. Both worked towards the ending of Apartheid.