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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.


Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC's military wing,is officially opened to women members.

Winnie Mandela detained under Terrorism Act and held in Solitary confinement for 17 months.

Dorothy Nyembe and ten others charged under Suppression of Communism Act and found guilty of harbouring members of MK, she is sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment.

Frances Baard is released, banned and restricted to Mabopane near Pretoria.

Mamphela Ramphele involved in student politics at the University of Natal Medical School and joins SASO under leadership of Steve Biko.

Representatives of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the American Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law arrive in South Africa to investigate recent legislation that seems to contravene basic principles of law and to create a trend of increasing state power over the individual without giving access to courts to seek redress. Meetings are held with senior officials of the Ministries of Justice, of the Police and of the Interior.

1969 - 1970

The establishment of the additional five members functioning as Cabinets is announced. Basutho ha Bozwa (Southern Sotho); Lebowa Territorial Authority (North Sotho); Venda Territorial Authority; Machangana Territorial Authority (Shangana, Tsonga); Zulu Territorial Authority.

The black South African student Organization (SASO) is formed.

January 1969

International Conference of Solidarity with the Peoples of Southern Africa and the Portuguese Colonies in Khartoum, organised by AAPSO and WPC.

Only liberation movements friendly to Soviet Union were invited.

3 January 1969

The Conservative Party agrees with the Republican and National parties to accept the principle of coalition at this stage, with the ultimate aim of amalgamation.

21 January 1969

South Africa:Signs treaty with Portugal (for Angola) on the first phase development of the water resources of the Cunene River Basin

1 February - 21 June 1969

During the Parliamentary session the government introduced 129 Bills. The Bills passed include measures intended to safeguard internal security arousing widespread objections from the Opposition and the legal profession.

2 February 1969

Eduardo Mondlane assassinated.

3 February 1969

The Leader of the Opposition introduces a no-confidence motion, that the government policy of separate development has failed and he proposes the establishment of separate nation-states in a federal system, in which the white population group would retain its leadership role.

7 February 1969

The Prime Minister announces that white entrepreneurs will be given long-standing contracts in the 'homelands' to speed up economic development.

11 February 1969

Four former National Party members join the newly formed Herstigte Nasionale Party.

12 February 1969

The South Africa Act Amendment Bill, repealing the provisions of the South Africa Act of 1909 for the possible incorporation into South Africa of Rhodesia and the former High Commission Territories (Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland), is passed with the approval of the Opposition at its second reading.

18 February 1969

John Vorster formally opens a new submarine cable between Cape Town and Lisbon.

22 February 1969

The fifteenth Annual Conference of the Trade Union Council of South Africa (TUCSA) alters its constitution in such a way as to debar Africans from membership.

23 February 1969

A new weekly air service between Johannesburg and New York, with an intermediate stop at Rio de Janeiro, is inaugurated in spite of the opposition of the UN Special Committee on Apartheid.

28 February 1969

Minister of Justice Pelser says forty-two persons are under house arrest in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act, eight of the orders being renewed for a further five years.

March 1969

Helen Suzman introduces a private members' motion on the subject of capital punishment asking for a commission of inquiry to examine the efficacy of the death penalty. No other Members of Parliament supported the motion.

4 March 1969

The Prime Minister declares in the Senate that the National Party will exercise its power to put into practice, as far as possible, the separation of the races.

10 March 1969

The Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, meets John Vorster for talks of a confidential nature.

18 March 1969

Please ensure that the event is listed in such a way that is answers the questions WHO? WHAT? WHERE and if interpretation is included WHY? (eg. South Africans vote in the first democratic elections in South Africa).

Minister of Defence, P.W. Botha, attends the launching in France of the first of three Daphne class submarines being built for the South African Navy.

26 March 1969

Please ensure that the event is listed in such a way that is answers the questions WHO? WHAT? WHERE and if interpretation is included WHY? (eg. South Africans vote in the first democratic elections in South Africa).

Ten African men and one woman receive prison sentences of from five to twenty years in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court on

South Africa:Signs air transport agreement with Austria.

April 1969

Mandela's letter to Minister of Justice demanding release of poltical prisoners.

April 1969

John Vorster says members of the South African Police Force will remain on Rhodesia's borders while this is necessary in South Africa's own security interests.

A charges of having contravened sections of the Terrorism Act and the Suppression of Communism Act and of having plotted violent revolution and open warfare in South Africa in collusion with foreign Communist-led groups in Ethiopia, Algeria, the Soviet Union, Tanzania and Zambia.petition, bearing over 10,000 signatures, to restore academic freedom to these universities is sent to the government.

1 April 1969

Public Service Amendment Act No 86:

Established the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) (Horrell 1978: 449).

Commenced: 1 April 1969

Repealed by s 37 of the Public Service Act No 111 of 1984.

8 April 1969

Ratifies extradition treaty with Botswana.

9 April 1969

The Abolition of Juries Bill, providing for the ending of trial by jury comes into force.

10 April - 16 April 1969

A nation-wide student campaign is conducted to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Extension of University Education Act which enforced racial segregation on the universities.

16 April 1969

The Fifth Summit Conference of East and Central African States in Lusaka adopted a Manifesto on Southern Africa.

16 April 1969

The Fifth Summit Conference of East and Central African States in Lusaka adopted a Manifesto on Southern Africa.

23 April 1969

The Prime Minister announces to the House of Assembly that the government carried on discussions with other nations to fill the power vacuum in the Indian Ocean after Britain's proposed withdrawal in 1970.

24 April 1969

Minister of Defence, P.W. Botha, submits a White Paper to Parliament providing for a 5 year defence plan, with an estimated expenditure of R1,647,000,000 (about 1,000,000,000 Pounds Sterling).

30 April 1969

Separate acts give five University Colleges for blacks full university status although the Central government retains tight control.

May 1969

The Mogorogoro conference called for an all-round struggle. Both armed struggle and mass political struggle had to be used to defeat the enemy. But the armed struggle and the revival of mass struggle depended on building ANC underground structures within the country.

Twenty-four Africans appear in the Grahamstown Supreme Court on charges relating to sabotage. Twelve of the alleged Poqo members are acquitted, and twelve receive prison sentences.

Seven-day ANC consultative conference held in Morogoro, Tanzania. The main aim was to bring about a qualitative change in the organisational content of movement in keeping with the new situation - namely a Revolutionary People's War.

Inaugural conference held of the South African Students Organisation (SASO) at Turfloop University.

5 May 1969

P.W. Botha, the Minister of Defence, announces that an air-to-air projectile has been perfected by South Africa

13 May 1969

The Minister of Justice announces that the former Pan-Africanist Congress leader, Robert M. Sobukwe, has been released from detention. He is permitted to live in Kimberley, subject to restrictions. Being banned under the Suppression of Communism Act, he may not be quoted.

16 May 1969

For purposes of intense security legislation the South African Bureau of State Security is established (later referred to as BOSS).

The Publications and Entertainments Amendment Bill gives the Publications Control Board powers to prohibit subsequent editions of any South African periodical whose contents have been declared undesirable.

30 May 1969

Statistics of police action during the year 1 July 1967 - 30 June 1968 include 47,370 cases involving the safety of the state and good order and that 45,230 persons have been prosecuted for such crimes or offences.

31 May 1969

Rectifies exchange of notes with France to air services treaty dated 31 January 1966.

4 June - 10 June 1969

The Minister of Defence, P.W. Botha, accompanied by General Hiemstra, Lieutenant-General J.P. Verster, Chief of the Air Force and Lieutenant-General W.P. Louw, Chief of the Army, visits France. He denies that the visit involves the purchase of arms.

5 June 1969

A Bill is tabled in Parliament banning henceforth any merger between newspapers published in South Africa, unless authorized by the relevant ministry. The government can veto the acquisition of a newspaper, or the majority interests in a newspaper, by anyone not possessing South African nationality, or by a group controlled by non-South Africans.

12 June 1969

The leader of the Labour Party appeals to the voters to reject apartheid regulations.

15 June - 17 June 1969

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Hilgard Muller Visits Portugal, and says that Portuguese and South African forces stand as a bulwark against the domination of the African continent by foreign powers.

23 June 1969

Twenty-four Africans from the Graaff-Reinet district appear in the Grabamstown Supreme Court on charges under the Sabotage Act. They are alleged to have conspired or incited others to kill whites or police in the Graaff-Reinet district of the Cape Province between January 1966 and January 1967.

27 June 1969

A Bill on Separation of Races is passed, which includes the provision that no person could be classified white if one of his parents was classified coloured. It prohibits the hearing of third-party objections to race classification and empowers the Secretary for the Interior to change a person's race classification.

30 June 1969

A Bill affecting state security called the General Laws Amendment Bill is passed, despite rejection by the Opposition and severe criticism by the Bar and a number of judges. It contains far-reaching provisions and restrictions affecting the administration of justice and the disclosure of evidence. Security matters are now defined as including any matter relating to the Bureau of State Security (BOSS), and its relationship with any person. The government denies it is creating a dictatorial and despotic institution but this radical measure is seen as having far-reaching implications for the independence of the judiciary.

July 1969

South African Students Organisation (SASO) is launched

July - February 1969 - 1970

A number of groups of Africans are tried for subversive activities. The group includes Winnie Mandela.

July 1969

The constitution South African Students' Organisation (SASO) was adopted, with Steve Biko as president.

Other leading party members included: Barney Pityana, an ex-Fort Hare student from Port Elizabeth, Harry Nengwekhulu, Hendrick Musi, Petrus Machaka, of Turfloop, Manana Kgware also from Turfloop, Aubrey Mokoape, a medical student. Indian friends of Biko's, J Goolam, former medical student and, Strini Moodley, an ex-student at the University College of Durban-Westville. Though the new organisation was committed to a philosophy of black consciousness, however it did not reject the liberalism of NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) right away, as the officials were only too aware that many members still held lingering loyalties towards the multiracial organisation.

1 July 1969

In preparation for the Council's taking-over the responsibilities, the Department of Coloured Affairs is replaced by the Department of Coloured Relations.

3 July 1969

Twelve Africans on trial at the Supreme Court in Grahamstown, accused of having conspired to take over a town and kill whites are acquitted on the charge, but are given prison sentences ranging from seven to one year's Imprisonment for being members of the illegal organization, Poqo. Twelve others are acquitted.

10 July 1969

The lengthy and expensive trial of Laurence Gandar and Benjamin Pogrund, of the Rand Daily Mail, on charges under the Prisons Act ends with both being found guilty but receiving light sentences. The press wins a moral victory, but the trial discourages editors from publishing reports on prison conditions.

1 August 1969

The Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, M.C. Botha, outlines the government's homelands policy, in Pretoria. He declares that whites are trustees of the blacks, but this trusteeship is not permanent, and he forsees the establishment of autonomous nations, coexisting peacefully on the basis of a practical interdependence.

6 August 1969

South Africa signs the Agreement on Rescue and Return of Astronauts and Space Objects.

9 August 1969

The French Minister of State for National Defence confirms the continued supply of French arms to South Africa, except for anti-guerrilla equipment.

12 August 1969

The United Nations Security Council's resolution calls on South Africa to withdraw its administration from Namibia immediately, and, in any case, before 4 October 1969. South Africa is condemned for refusing to comply with previous United Nations resolutions.

23 August 1969

An alleged Soviet spy, Y.N. Loginov, who was arrested in 1967, is handed over to a non-communist country, West Germany.

The Republican Party issues its election manifesto which does not oppose separate development but demands increased services to combat crime.

2 September 1969

P.W. Botha, the Minister of Defence, announces the establishment of a third naval base at Saldana Bay, about eighty miles north of Cape Town.

5 September 1969

John Vorster appoints a Commission of Inquiry under Justice HJ. Potgieter, of The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to investigate South Africa's security network, and to hear objections to its security legislation. Terms of reference include threats of conventional war, guerrilla war, terrorism and internal subversion; recommendations are to be submitted concerning the effectiveness of security and amendment to legislation.

10 September 1969

Nine Africans are charged before the Pretoria Supreme Court with taking part in terrorist activities between 1966 and 1968 in the Elandsfontein, Transvaal.

16 September 1969

The Prime Minister announces that a general election will be held in April 1970.

19 September 1969

Four agreements are signed in Lisbon connected with the construction of the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, the main one being between the governments of South Africa and Portugal.

24 September 1969

At the first election of Coloured Persons' Representative Council, the anti-Apartheid Labour Party gains a majority of forty elective seats.

Ratifies multilateral treaty on the rescue and return of astronauts and the return of objects launched into outer space.

30 September 1969

The final results of the Coloured Persons' Representative Council election are announced at which the Labour Party obtained a large majority of seats: Labour Party 26, Federal Party 11, Republican Party 1, National People's Party 1, Conservative Party 0, Independents 1. Percentage poll 48.75%.

October 1969

All known 'verkramptes' are expelled from the National Party, including Dr. A. Hertzog, Jaap Marais, W.T. Marais and Louis Stofberg.

Over 2,000 'verkrampte' delegates gather in Pretoria to form a new party under the leadership of Dr. Hertzog. Launched as Die Herstigte Nasionale Party (HNP) its programme emphasizes exclusive Afrikaner nationalism and true Christian principles'.

2 October 1969

South Africa formally rejects a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on it to give independence to Namibia and to withdraw its administration from that territory before October.

7 October 1969

The government announces the twenty nominated members of the Coloured Persons' Representative Council for the four provinces. These include thirteen defeated candidates; all are supporters of separate development; thus the government ensures that the defeated Federal Party will command a majority in the new Council. All other contesting parties condemn the government's action.

9 October 1969

P.W. Botha announces the location of the first missile base for experimental tests.

16 October 1969

The United Party declares that it will oppose the National Party's policy and will moot a certain measure of self-government for the urban black.

19 October 1969

The Progressive Party decides to fight the election in opposition to the government's policy of separate development.

21 October 1969

South Africa:Signs amendments to a multilateral treaty for the safety of life at sea, 1960.

26 October 1969

The United Nations Committee on Non-Self-Governing Territories adopts a resolution drawing the attention of the Security Council to the deteriorating situation in Namibia following Pretoria's refusal to relinquish its hold over the mandated territory. The resolution is passed by ninety-six votes to two, with six abstentions (Britain, France, Australia, Botswana, Malawi and Ivory Coast).

31 October 1969

The twenty-fourth General Assembly meeting of the United Nations condemns South Africa for its persistent refusal to withdraw from Namibia.

November 1969

The Attorney-General of the Transvaal prosecutes Dr. Hertzog and Jaap Marais under the Commissions Act of 1947 for allegations made concerning the finance allocated to BOSS.

20 November 1969

The first session of the Coloured Persons' Representative Council is officially in Bellville and immediately takes up the question of equal pay for coloureds for equal work.

20 November 1969

The General Assembly - in resolution 2505 (XXIV) - welcomed the Lusaka Manifesto on Southern Africa and recommended it to the attention of all States and peoples.

20 November 1969

The General Assembly - in resolution 2505 (XXIV) - welcomed the Lusaka Manifesto on Southern Africa and recommended it to the attention of all States and peoples.

21 November 1969

South Africa votes against the lengthy resolutions regarding Southern Rhodesia's independence, passed by the twenty-fourth General Assembly of the United Nations.

The twenty-fourth General Assembly of the United Nations condemns South Africa for its collaboration with Portugal and Southern Rhodesia and for the intervention of its forces against the peoples of Angola and Mozambique; and for its apartheid policies.

29 November 1969

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty on the intervention on the high seas in cases of oil pollution casualties.

1 December 1969

The trial begins at the Supreme Court in Pretoria of twenty-two Africans, including Winnie Mandela, accused of pro-Communist and subversive activities, of instigating guerrilla warfare and of organizing Africans in Communist countries. Winnie Mandela refuses to enter a plea. A British subject, Philip Gording, held incommunicado in prison since May 1969 appears as a state witness, is given immunity from prosecution and is released on 8 December 1969.

11 December 1969

South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland sign a new customs agreement in Pretoria, to come into operation on 1 March 1970.

30 December 1969

The International Monetary Fund announces that it will agree to purchase gold from South Africa, subject to certain conditions. The price of $35 per oz. is agreed upon.

Source: http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/chronology/main-chronology-1960s.html

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.