Apartheid pic

Combining the Timelines

  • Act of Union

    Act of Union
    South Africa became a unified state within the British Empire. It combined four British colonies as separate provinces within the new state: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State. Black people were denied the right to vote.
  • The Native National Congress

    The Native National Congress
    Was founded and later renamed the African National Congress (ANC). Its goal was to unite Africans and to secure their right to vote.
  • ANC Youth League Manifesto

    ANC Youth League Manifesto
    Urged new militant African leaders to wage a more vigorous campaign against racial descrimination. Its leaders are Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo.
  • NP wins the general election

    NP wins the general election
    The United Party Commissions the Fagan Report, which recommends gradualintergration of the races. The National Party commissions the Sauer Report, which recommends a policy of apartheid.
  • The ANC Youth League Progamme of Action Implemented

    The ANC Youth League Progamme of Action Implemented
    In 1944, Nelson Mandela and other young nationalists created the ANC Youth League. The Youth League Programme of Action was adopted as the official platform of the ANC in 1949. It emphasized the rights of African people to self-determination and laid out plans for strikes, boycotts, and civil disobedience.
  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages/Immorality Acts

    The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages/Immorality Acts
    To promote the separation of races by outlawing sexual relations and procreation between different populations.
  • Bantu Authorities Act

    Bantu Authorities Act
    Divided territories for Black people into bantustans/homelands based upon 10 tribal groupings. Stripped Black people of their rights to participate in the national government of SOuth Africa. Instead, Black people only had the right to vote for the puppet governments in their territory.
  • May Day Strike (SACP

    May Day Strike (SACP
    The ANC, SACP, ACPO co-ordinate a May Day strike. The police opened fire on the protesters killing 19 and wounding 30 people.
  • Population Registration Act

    Population Registration Act
    Required that every person classified within a hierarchy specified as white, colored, Asian or Bantu. Only white people could vote.
  • Group Areas Act

    Group Areas Act
    Formally divided South Africa where the different race groups had to live. The areas designated for Black people were called Bantustans. Black people had no property rights in the White areas, and could only live there with state permission.
  • Suppression of Communism Act

    Suppression of Communism Act
    Was legislation of the national government in apartheid South Africa which formally banned the Communist Party of South Africa and proscribed any party or group subscribing to communism.
  • Separate Representation of Voters Act

    Separate Representation of Voters Act
    Introduced to enforce racial segregation and was part of a deliberate process to remove all non-white people from the voters’ roll and revoke the Cape Qualified Franchise system.
  • The Pass Laws

    The Pass Laws
    Required all Africans to carry a more comprehensive passbook at all times. It was a complete record of the person’s life.
  • Defiance Campaign of 1952

    Defiance Campaign of 1952
    The ANC Defiance Campaign of 1952 was the largest scale non-violent resistance ever seen in South Africa. More than 8,000 people across towns in South Africa went to jail for defying apartheid laws. The campaign did not overturn apartheid, but it brought together people of all racial groups under the leadership of the ANC and the South African Indian Congress (SAIC). ANC membership grew from 7000 to 100 000.
  • National Day of Protest (SACP)

    National Day of Protest (SACP)
    The ANC called for a general strike and a day of mourning in protest at the May day murders. This call was supported by the African Coulored People’s Organization and the South African Indian Congress.
  • The Bantu Education Act

    The Bantu Education Act
    Provided an inferior and separate education for black children and youth.
  • The Public Safety Act

    The Public Safety Act
    Empowered the government to declares states of emergency and increased penalties for protestors. The penalties included fines, imprisonment and whippings.
  • The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act

    The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act
    Enforced the segregation of all public facilities. The aim was to eliminate any and all contact between white people and other races.
  • Natives Resettlement Act

    Natives Resettlement Act
    Armed the government with the bureaucratic machinery that would allow for resettlement of Africans.
  • Freedom Charter Campaign

    Freedom Charter Campaign
    United people of all racial origins in a common struggle to end apartheid and to establish a non-racial democratic state. It formed the basis of the country’s democratic Constitution of 1996. “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white…we, the people of South Africa, black and white together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter”.
  • Congress of the People

    Congress of the People
    Was held over two days in a field in Kliptown, just outside Johannesburg. Up to 7 000 people from all over the country attended from a wide range of anti-apartheid groups: The ANC, PAC, CD (Congress of Democrats – whites), SAIC (Indians), ACPO (coloureds), SACTU (Trade Unions), FASW (Federation of S. African Women).
  • Police at Congress of People Meeting

    Police at Congress of People Meeting
    Police surrounded the meeting, recorded names of people signing the charter, used this to arrest 156 of them and put them on trial the following year.
  • The Women’s March

    The Women’s March
    20,000 ANC women marched to the Prime Minister’s office to deliver a petition calling for the abolition of the pass laws. Although Prime Minister Strijdom had been told about the march, he chose not to be at the Union Buildings on the day. The anti-pass campaign ultimately failed and, by the 1960s, millions of black women were forced to carry passes.
  • The Treason Trial

    The Treason Trial
    The police arrested 156
    Congress Alliance leaders (104 African, 23 white, 21 Indian and 8 coloured) and charged them with treason under the Suppression of Communism Act.
  • Pan-Africanist Congress splinters away from ANC

    Pan-Africanist Congress splinters away from ANC
    A group of radicalized activists split away from the ANC to form the PAC. They felt that the focus of the ANC was being lost through its compromises with non-Black organizations and that it was time to pursue a more vigorous “Africanist” campaign which would secure “Black Power” in Africa (“Africa is for Africans”).
  • ANC And PAC Outlawed

    ANC And PAC Outlawed
    The ANC and the PAC were outlawed. Due to his overall ‘responsibility’ for the Pass Protest in Sharpeville, Sobukwe was arrested and jailed until 1969.
  • Stock Limitation Act

    Stock Limitation Act
    Introduced by the state under the pretext of land betterment. The act paved the way for the forced removal or slaughter of cattle belonging to African people in the reserves.
  • Sharpeville Massacre

    Sharpeville Massacre
    20,000 PAC-mobilized protesters left their homes without their passes and gathered in Sharpeville, a township in the Transvaal about 30 miles south of Johannesburg. The police responded by opening fire on the unarmed throng. During this assault, 69 Black people were killed and another 186 were wounded, the majority of whom were hit in the back.
  • Winds of Change

    Winds of Change
    British Prime Minister Harold MacMillans delivered his “Winds of Change” speech, suggesting that Black nationalism was a force that had to be acknowledged and accepted.
  • Resolution 1598

    Resolution 1598
    UN Resolution 1598 condemns apartheid.
  • PAC Develops Poqo

    PAC Develops Poqo
    In the PAC, Leballo set up a militant wing called Poqo (pure), which launched a campaign of terrorism against property.
  • South Africa A Republic

    South Africa A Republic
    South Africa declared itself a republic. Its request to remain a member of the commonwealth is rejected by the British government.
  • ANC Develops Umkhonto we Sizwe

    ANC Develops Umkhonto we Sizwe
    In the ANC, Mandela set up a militant wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) which launched a campaign sabotage against individuals.
  • Resolution 1761

    Resolution 1761
    UN Resolution 1761 encourages members "separately or collectively, in conformity with the charter" to break trade and diplomatic relations with South Africa.
  • The Rivonia Trial and Mandela’s “I am prepared to die” Speech

    The Rivonia Trial and Mandela’s “I am prepared to die” Speech
    Ten leading opponents of apartheid went on trial for their lives on charges of sabotage. In arguably the most profound moment, Nelson Mandela renounced his chance to be cross-examined in favour of a speech from the dock in which he condemned the court and the laws he was charged with breaking as being illegitimate.
  • Formation of the African Resistance Movement (ARM) Bombing of Johannesburg Station by Frederick John Harris

    Formation of the African Resistance Movement (ARM) Bombing of Johannesburg Station by Frederick John Harris
    A group made up largely by white students who had been part of the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). On 24 July 1964, Frederick John Harris, a member of ARM, planted a time bomb in the Johannesburg station. One person was killed and 22 were injured. Both ARM and the ANC condemned his action. He was sentenced to death and executed in 1965.
  • Mandela Imprisoned: Sent to Robben Island and was given a life sentence.

    Mandela Imprisoned: Sent to Robben Island and was given a life sentence.
    By imprisoning leaders of MK and the ANC, the government broke the strength of the ANC inside South Africa. At the same time this increased international criticism of apartheid.