About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.


Whites in Zimbabwe rebel against the British government.

Transkeian Police Act No 5:

Provided for a national policing service and the various powers vested in it.

Commenced: 6 January 1967

The Indian Education Act is passed,placing Indian education under the control of the Department of Indian Affairs. In 1976, the SA Indian Council took over certain educational functions. Indian education was also made compulsory.

20 January 1965

It is reported in London that the British government will not issue a permit for the export of the ground-to-air missiles South Africa requires.

22 January 1965

Parliament opens with debate on a motion of 'no confidence' in the government in which the opposition attacks the separate development, Bantustan policy an the grounds that the creation of independent states could offer an entree for communism inside the Republic.

25 January 1965

Abram Fischer, Q.C., standing trial under the Suppression of Communism Act, fails to arrive in court, forfeits his bail and disappears. Letters are read in court enumerating the reasons for his action and making a bitter attack on government policy. A warrant of arrest is issued.

30 January 1965

Minister of Justice B.J. Vorster, tells Parliament that 1,095 people have been detained under the ninety-day clause during the eighteen months the imprisonn1ent~without4rial law has been in operation.

5 February 1965

The Prime Minister, speaking to the House of Assembly, states that territorial separation is not the essential part of the apartheid policy -political separation is. He will not hesitate to use force to ensure white domination in the white man's own area.

12 February 1965

A proclamation applies a section of the Group Areas Act to all public places of recreation, including sporting events, theatres and concerts so that such places in white areas could not be frequented by non-whites and vice versa.

13 February 1965

The unofficial Dutch mission, under Professor W.G. de Gaay Fortman, coming to South Africa to discuss apartheid, is cancelled. The tour will no longer be undertaken because the government has refused permission for the mission to meet Dr. Albert Luthuli.

25 February 1965

Archbishop Owen McCann of Cape Town becomes South Africa's first Cardinal when he is invested by Pope Paul in St Peter's Basilica.

26 February 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency, South Africa and the United States for the application of safeguards.

4 March 1965

Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd, discloses that the restriction on Seretse Khama, now Prime Minister of Bechuanaland, visiting South Africa has been lifted and friendly relations with Bechuanaland are now desired.

6 March 1965

Justice D.H. Botha, the Commissioner appointed to inquire into the activities of secret societies - the Broederbond, the Freemasons and the Sons of England - is unable to make any finding against any organizations.

15 March 1965

The prolonged hearing of the dispute over the constitutional position of South West Africa is resumed by the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Extensive evidence is led on behalf of South Africa.

18 March 1965

The Director-General of the South African Atomic Energy Board, announces in Pretoria that South Africa's first nuclear reactor has 'gone critical'

24 March 1965

Provincial Council elections show a sharp swing to the government side and shock the opposition UP. Although provincial, the campaigns are conducted on national, particularly racial, issues.

30 March 1965

The proposal is made that members of the International Court of Justice should make a personal visit to South West Africa, South Africa, Liberia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere in Africa as the Court might wish. The invitation is rejected.

2 April 1965

Twelve people are found guilty of charges brought under the Suppression of Communism Act, by being members of the Communist Party, taking part in its activities and furthering its aims. On 13 April they are sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from one to five years.

6 April 1965

The International Court of Justice at The Hague hears the arguments of Ethiopia and Liberia in the South West Africa cases presented by E.A. Gross of the New York Bar. It is alleged that South Africa has infringed its League of Nations Mandate by applying its racial policies in the territory.

7 April 1965

The United Nations Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid, meets and is informed of the executions in South Africa of W. Bongco and F.J. Harris for acts arising from their opposition to apartheid.

9 April 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement on the facilitation of international maritime traffic.

13 April 1965

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the temporary waiver from 1 July 1964 to 5 May 1965 of the margin of preference on flat white maize.

22 April 1965

South Africa:Signs agreement with Swaziland on air services.

24 April 1965

The Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, formally opens the Transkei Assembly Session, giving a preview of the more important legislation to be introduced. Bills include one to establish a separate Transkei flag and one to reorganize the Regional, Tribal and Community Authorities and consolidate existing legislation.

29 April 1965

South Africa:Signs treaty with Denmark, Norway and Sweden on the temporary amendment of the air agreements of 1958.

30 April 1965

The Indians Education Bill is passed, providing for the transfer of the control of education of Indians from the Provincial Councils to the Indian Affairs Department of the central government, despite opposition from the UP.

4 May 1965

Units of the SADF are now being equipped with a rifle made completely in South Africa. It is the R1-7.62 mm rifle, developed from the Belgian FN rifle, with improvements.

7 May 1965

The Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, M.C. Botha, announces in Parliament that Local Authorities must issue permits to householders who wish to have more than one servant sleeping on their premises. This is construed as a move to keep the suburbs white at night.

8 May 1965

The opposition leader Sir de Villiers Graaff, speaking in the Legislative Assembly, claims that the number of Africans in white areas will continue to increase indefinitely if the country's rate of economic development is maintained.

Chief Leabua Jonathan, leader of the Basutoland National Party which is to form the Protectorate's first government, tells political refugees that they are welcome to stay provided they do not use Basutoland as a base for operations against South Africa.

12 May 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement amending the international sanitary regulations - WHO regulation no. 4.

13 May 1965

The Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill is passed. It is designed to prevent the publication of information which would hamper or nullify the operations of the security police.

15 May 1965

South Africa:Signs treaty with Portugal concerning SAA and TAP on air pooling.

18 May 1965

The Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Bill lays down that the four white Members of Parliament elected to represent Coloureds will sit for fixed five-year terms and will no longer be elected eight days before the White Parliamentary elections. The effect is to prolong the terms of the present M.P.s for Coloureds and postpone a new election for Coloured voters who might elect Progressive Party members.

19 May 1965

A Commission is appointed to inquire into an experiment involving twelve gold mines in which African miners have been employed.

21 May 1965

The Minister of Defence states that South Africa has already made progress in building up her own military power and is almost independent in the provision of small arms.

22 May 1965

Minister of Defence Fouché announces that R12m. had been spent on the defence radar screen in the Transvaal.

25 May 1965

South Africa:Signs agreement with Belgium on reciprocity regarding admission to medical practice.

3 June 1965

President Kaunda of Zambia says that an eight million Pound Sterling air base is being built by South Africa in the Caprivi Strip and accuses South Africa of warmongering. The Minister of Transport, B.J. Schoeman, replies that the air strip being constructed at Katimo Mulilo, is intended only for administrative purposes when roads in the Caprivi Strip are impassable.

5 June 1965

The Constitution Amendment Bill of South Africa provides for an increase in the number of members of Parliament from 160 to 170.

7 June 1965

The Police Amendment Bill, passed unopposed, empowers the police to search without warrant any person or premises within one mile of South Africa's borders and to seize anything found. It is designed to combat the infiltration of saboteurs from other parts of Africa.

10 June 1965

South Africa:Signs agreement with Southern Rhodesia for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

15 June 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement on arbitration for a global commercial communications system.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, published on 5 March 1965, but amended by a Select Committee provides that the number of Parliamentary seats will be increased by ten, and that the 'loading' and 'unloading' of constituencies should be applied on a country-wide instead of a provincial basis.

19 June 1965

The government has instructed its Ambassador to The Hague to inform the Dutch government of its displeasure over a grant of 100,000 guilders being made to the Defence and Aid Fund for assistance to the victims of apartheid. This is seen as interference in the domestic affairs of South Africa.

22 June 1965

The Suppression of Communism Amendment Bill authorizing the Minister of Justice to prohibit the publication of statements or writings of those furthering or defending the aims of Communism.

25 June 1965

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill is enacted. Among its provisions this Bill empowers the Attorney General to order the Court not to give bail to defendants and to arrest and detain, for up to six months before a trial, any state witness who might be open to intimidation, or be considered likely to abscond. The General Bar Council of South Africa criticizes the Bill as a grave interference with the rule of law and the administration of justice.

25 June 1965

Criminal Procedure Amendment Act No 96 (180-Day Detention Law):

Provided for 180-day detention and re-detention thereafter. The Attorney-General was empowered to order the detention of persons likely to give evidence for the state in any criminal proceedings relating to certain political or common-law offences. Unlike the ninety-day provision, this did not specify interrogation as part of the detention. Detainees could be held for six months in solitary confinement and only state officials were permitted access. No court had the jurisdiction to order the release of prisoners or to rule on the validity of the regulations under the Act.

Commenced: 25 June 1965

Repealed by s 344 of the Criminal Procedure Act No 51 of 1977 except for ss 319(3) and 384.

1 July 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty for the extension of the International Wheat Agreement 1962.

The police raid the editorial offices of the Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg and confiscate documents relating to a series of articles on prison conditions written by Harold Strachan.

3 July 1965

A restriction order is served on Harold Strachan of Durban in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act. He has already been imprisoned for three years for conspiring to cause explosions.

South Africa appoints ambassadors, R.H. Coaton to Argentina, J.C.H. Maree to Australia, A.A.M. Hamilton to Spain.

8 July 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement on transit trade of land-locked states.

10 July 1965

The Netherlands Foreign Minister Dr. Luns says at The Hague that the Dutch government's gift of 20,000 Pounds Sterling to the Defence and Aid Fund is pledged to an organization legally active in South Africa for many years, and is part of their international care and responsibility role.

5 August 1965

South Africa's first atomic reactor, Safari I, is opened by the Prime Minister at Pelindaba near Johannesburg. Nuclear power will be used for peaceful purposes only.

8 August 1965

Following the findings of the Viljoen Commission into the employment of African labour in twelve gold mines, the experiment is terminated. The Minister of Mines, J.W. Haak, says the government has decided that the colour-bar in the mining industry should be withdrawn.

20 August 1965

The Transkei Chief Minister, Chief Kaiser Matanzima, tells an election rally in the Umzimkulu District that the Transkei has been given self-government so that people can rule themselves according to their customs. He promises that European-owned farms will soon be bought by the South African government and distributed to the people.

24 August 1965

South Africa:Signs a treaty with Great Britain on the temporary waiver from 5 May 1965 to 7 January 1966 of the margin of preference on flat white maize.

4 September 1965

Dr. Verwoerd clearly indicates that no Maoris will be acceptable in any New Zealand rugby team visiting South Africa in future. There is a strong reaction in New Zealand to this declaration of policy.

10 September 1965

Regulations covering the detention of 180-days detainees held as witnesses, are published in the Government Gazette.

21 September 1965

The leader of the opposition United Party presents the party's Race Federation Programme to delegates to the Natal Congress.

13 October 1965

William Rowntree is nominated as the new American ambassador to South Africa to replace J.C. Salterwaite, due to leave South Africa on 18 November 1965.

14 October 1965

South Africa:Signs treaty with France on air pooling, concerning SAA and UTA.

19 October 1965

New electoral divisions are defined and plans are open for inspection. 160 electoral divisions are provided for the House of Assembly - an increase of ten - and in addition there will be six for South West Africa and four for Cape Coloured voters.

27 October 1965

The Prime Minister opens a new international radio service, 'The Voice of South Africa', intended to counter the hostile propaganda beamed to the Republic from foreign sources.

1 November 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement on the prolongation of the International Sugar Agreement.

2 November 1965

Members of the Basutoland Congress Party demand the incorporation into Basutoland of 'Congo Territory', a large area of the Orange Free State, Natal and Eastern Cape Province.

3 November 1965

Following a decision of the Johannesburg Bar Council the name of Abram Fischer is struck off the roll of advocates.

6 November 1965

A R500,000 grant offered to the proposed new Afrikaans University in Johannesburg by the Johannesburg City Council, is accepted by the University Committee.

9 November 1965

Establishment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Programme for the Education and Training Abroad of South Africans.

11 November 1965

On the eve of the Rhodesian Declaration of Independence, South Africa's Prime Minister announces that South Africa will continue to maintain normal friendly relations with both Britain and Rhodesia, adopting an official neutral position.

Abram Fischer, Q.C. is re-arrested in Johannesburg.

13 November 1965

The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Robert Selby Taylor, says in his charge to the Synod of the Church of the Province of South Africa, constituted in Cape Town, that barriers erected to keep races apart are creating in the minds of many a serious conflict

17 November 1965

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement further extending the international wheat agreement of 1962.

14 December 1965

Accepts Procès-verbal extending the declaration of 13 November 1962 on he provisional accession of Yugoslavia to the General Agreement of Tarrifs and Trade.

Accepts Procès-verbal extending the declaration of 5 March 1966 on the provisional accession of Iceland to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

15 December 1965

The United Nations General Assembly, in its twentieth session, passes a resolution strongly condemning the apartheid policies and calling for economic and diplomatic sanctions against South Africa.

15 December 1965

The General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to establish a United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa to provide humanitarian assistance to persons persecuted under discriminatory and repressive legislation in South Africa and to their dependants.

20 December 1965

A re-organisation of the South African Defence Force replaces the General Staff with a body to be known as the 'Supreme Command' with the Commandant-General as Chairman and the Executive Commanders as members.

31 December 1965

The government's attitude to Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence is defined by the Prime Minister, Dr. Verwoerd, when he says that South Africa will not be coerced into any form of boycott.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to theThis resource is hosted by the site.