Timeline created by lucas.p
  • 1956 Treason Trial

    156 anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela and almost the entire executive committee of the African National Congress, were arrested in a raid and tried for treason. The trial lasted until 1961, when all defendants were found not-guilty. During this period, however, leaders of various anti-apartheid organisations were given the opportunity to discuss concerns and strategies. During this time, the African National Congress began to question its strategy of nonviolence.
  • Sharpeville Massacre

    Following a protest against pass laws, approximately 7000 protestors travelled to the local police station. There, they demonstrated, but were soon cracked down upon with gunfire, which left 69 dead and 180 injured. The massacre was quickly met with massive outrage, domestically and internationally, and from both black and white groups. The UNSC passed resolution 134 in response to the event, and the event marked the beginning of South Africa's isolation from the international sphere.
  • Rivonia Trial

    16 leaders of the African National Congress, including Nelson Mandela, were arrested on charges of 221 acts of sabotage. During the trial, the ANC sought to widen their international support and recognition, and so Mandela delivered a highly publicised speech entitled "I am Prepared to Die." At its conclusion, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. Though the UNSC encouraged international sanctions against south Africa, it was not until 27 years later that Mandela was released.
  • Soweto Uprising

    In response to the institution of Afrikaans as the medium of education in schools in Soweto, up to 20,000 students took part in protests and demonstrations. A great many were beaten, shot, or killed, the first victims included a 15 and 12 year old. In the aftermath, the African National Congress rose as a body capable of uniting the angers of the students. At the same time, the UNSC also passed a resolution condemning the actions of the police and government.
  • Church Street Bombing

    The militarised wing of the African National Congress perpetrated a car bombing outside the Nedbank Square Building, which at the time, was in use by the South African Air Force. Launched as a response to a 1982 raid which killed 42 ANC supporters and civilians, the bombing held the Air Force's headquarters and personnel as targets. The bomb detonated ten minutes early, and so killed a number of civilians. The attack led to a lengthy trial, which ended in a grant of amnesty in 2000.
  • Election of Nelson Mandela

    The general election of 1994 was the first election held in South Africa which was both multi-racial, and granted enfranchisement to all adult citizens regardless of race. Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, won 63% of the vote. This was a crucial milestone in the progression of South Africa's pursuit of racial equality, recently succeeding the abolition of Apartheid.