Development of Human Rights in South Africa

Timeline created by arshad
In History
  • DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY

    Jan van Riebeeck, representing the Dutch East India Company, founds the Cape Colony at Table Bay
  • BRITISH SEIZE CAPE COLONY

    British forces seize Cape Colony from the Netherlands. Territory is returned to the Dutch in 1803; ceded to the British in 1806.
  • SHAKA ZULU

    Shaka Zulu founds and expands the Zulu empire, creates a formidable fighting force.
  • GREAT TREK

    1835-1840 - Boers leave Cape Colony in the 'Great Trek' and found the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.
  • Boers proclaim

    Late 1850s - Boers proclaim the Transvaal a republic.
  • British grant

    1852 - British grant limited self-government to the Transvaal.
  • Natal separates

    1856 - Natal separates from the Cape Colony.
  • Arrival of thousands of labourers

    1860-1911 - Arrival of thousands of labourers and traders from India, forebears of the majority of South Africa's current Indian population.
  • Diamonds discovered

    1867 - Diamonds discovered at Kimberley.
  • Britain annexes

    1877 - Britain annexes the Transvaal.
  • British defeat

    1879 - British defeat the Zulus in Natal.
  • Boers rebel against the British

    1880-81 - Boers rebel against the British, sparking the first Anglo-Boer War. Conflict ends with a negotiated peace. Transvaal is restored as a republic.
  • Gold is discovered in the Transvaal

    Mid 1880s - Gold is discovered in the Transvaal, triggering the gold rush.
  • British troops

    1899 - British troops gather on the Transvaal border and ignore an ultimatum to disperse. The second Anglo-Boer War begins.
  • Treaty of Vereeniging

    1902 - Treaty of Vereeniging ends the second Anglo-Boer War. The Transvaal and Orange Free State are made self-governing colonies of the British Empire.
  • Formation of Union of South Africa

    1910 - Formation of Union of South Africa by former British colonies of the Cape and Natal, and the Boer republics of Transvaal, and Orange Free State.
  • Native National Congress

    1912 - Native National Congress founded, later renamed the African National Congress (ANC).
  • Land Act introduced

    1913 - Land Act introduced to prevent blacks, except those living in Cape Province, from buying land outside reserves.
  • National Party

    1914 - National Party founded.
  • Secret Broederbond

    1918 - Secret Broederbond (brotherhood) established to advance the Afrikaner cause.
  • South West Africa (Namibia) comes under South African

    1919 - South West Africa (Namibia) comes under South African administration.
  • The Union of South Africa parliament

    1934 - The Union of South Africa parliament enacts the Status of the Union Act, which declares the country to be "a sovereign independent state". The move followed on from Britain's passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which removed the last vestiges of British legal authority over South Africa.
  • Policy of apartheid

    1948 - Policy of apartheid (separateness) adopted when National Party (NP) takes power.
  • Population classified by race.

    1950 - Population classified by race. Group Areas Act passed to segregate blacks and whites. Communist Party banned. ANC responds with campaign of civil disobedience, led by Nelson Mandela.
  • Seventy black demonstrators

    1960 - Seventy black demonstrators killed at Sharpeville. ANC banned.
  • International pressure against government

    1960s - International pressure against government begins, South Africa excluded from Olympic Games.
  • South Africa declared a republic

    1961 - South Africa declared a republic, leaves the Commonwealth. Mandela heads ANC's new military wing, which launches sabotage campaign.
  • ANC leader Nelson Mandela

    1964 - ANC leader Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Prime Minister

    1966 September - Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd assassinated.
  • black 'homelands'

    1970s - More than 3 million people forcibly resettled in black 'homelands'
  • clashes between black protesters

    1976 - More than 600 killed in clashes between black protesters and security forces during uprising which starts in Soweto.
  • township revolt

    1984-89 - Township revolt, state of emergency.
  • FW de Klerk replaces PW Botha

    1989 - FW de Klerk replaces PW Botha as president, meets Mandela. Public facilities desegregated. Many ANC activists freed.
  • ANC unbanned, Mandela released

    1990 - ANC unbanned, Mandela released after 27 years in prison. Namibia becomes independent.
  • Start of multi-party talks. De Klerk

    1991 - Start of multi-party talks. De Klerk repeals remaining apartheid laws, international sanctions lifted. Major fighting between ANC and Zulu Inkatha movement.
  • Agreement on interim constitution.

    1993 - Agreement on interim constitution.
  • ANC wins first non-racial elections.

    1994 April - ANC wins first non-racial elections. Mandela becomes president, Government of National Unity formed, Commonwealth membership restored, remaining sanctions lifted. South Africa takes seat in UN General Assembly after 20-year absence.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission

    1996 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu begins hearings on human rights crimes committed by former government and liberation movements during apartheid era.
  • Parliament adopts new constitution

    1996 - Parliament adopts new constitution. National Party withdraws from coalition, saying it is being ignored.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission

    1998 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission report brands apartheid a crime against humanity and finds the ANC accountable for human rights abuses.
  • ANC wins general elections

    1999 - ANC wins general elections, Thabo Mbeki takes over as president.
  • ANC prevails in local elections.

    2000 December - ANC prevails in local elections. Recently-formed Democratic Alliance captures nearly a quarter of the votes. The Inkatha Freedom Party wins 9%.
  • 39 multi-national pharmaceutical

    2001 April - 39 multi-national pharmaceutical companies halt a legal battle to stop South Africa importing generic Aids drugs. The decision is hailed as a victory for the world's poorest countries in their efforts to import cheaper drugs to combat the virus.
  • Court acquits Dr Wouter Basson

    2002 April - Court acquits Dr Wouter Basson - dubbed "Dr Death" - who ran apartheid-era germ warfare programme. Basson had faced charges of murder and conspiracy. ANC condemns verdict.
  • Walter Sisulu, a key figure

    2003 May - Walter Sisulu, a key figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, dies aged 91. Thousands gather to pay their last respects.
  • Ruling ANC wins landslide election

    2004 April - Ruling ANC wins landslide election victory, gaining nearly 70% of votes. Thabo Mbeki begins a second term as president. Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is dropped from the cabinet.
  • Investigators exhume

    2005 March - Investigators exhume the first bodies in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigation into the fates of hundreds of people who disappeared in the apartheid era.
  • Former deputy president Jacob Zuma

    2006 May - Former deputy president Jacob Zuma is acquitted of rape charges by the High Court in Johannesburg. He is reinstated as deputy leader of the governing African National Congress.
  • President Mbeki, often accused of turning a blind eye to crime

    2007 April - President Mbeki, often accused of turning a blind eye to crime, urges South Africans to join forces to bring rapists, drug dealers and corrupt officials to justice.
  • Appeals court rules that state prosecutors

    2009 January - Appeals court rules that state prosecutors can resurrect their corruption case against ANC leader Jacob Zuma, opening the way for Mr Zuma's trial to be resumed, just months before general election.
  • South Africa hosts the World Cup

    2010 June - South Africa hosts the World Cup football tournament.
  • Local elections

    2011 May - Local elections, with opposition Democratic Alliance nearly doubling its share of the vote since the last poll.
  • Member of white extremist group found guilty

    2012 July - Member of white extremist group found guilty of plotting to kill Mandela and trying to overthrow government.
  • Nelson Mandela dies

    2013 December - Nelson Mandela dies, aged 95. Tributes to "the father of the nation" flood in from throughout the world.
  • Ruling ANC party

    2014 May - Ruling ANC party wins a majority in general elections.
  • President Zuma announces plans to limit farm sizes

    2015 February - President Zuma announces plans to limit farm sizes and ban foreign farmland-ownership in an attempt to redistribute land to black farmers - a longstanding ANC pledge.
  • Supreme Court rules President Zuma

    2016 March - Supreme Court rules President Zuma violated the constitution for not repaying public money used to improve his private residence.
  • President Zuma dismisses widely-respected Finance Minister Pravin

    2017 April - President Zuma dismisses widely-respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, leading to the country's credit rating being cut to junk status.
  • President Zuma resigns under pressure from the governing ANC

    2018 February - President Zuma resigns under pressure from the governing ANC over corruption charges, which chooses veteran trade unionist and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as his successor.
  • Period: to

    Development of Human Rights in South Africa