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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.


South African army raids Maseru, Lesotho, killing 42 people.

The bombing of South Africa's only nuclear power station at Koeberg, outside Cape Town, took place on 18 December 1982.

Fietas, Johannesburg: White' people receive leases to their first homes in primarily the southern part of Pageview. By the end of the year they start moving in.

Security Police continue to take measures including detentions and banning orders against students, journalists, clerics, black leaders, and a British citizen Steven Kitson. Guerrilla activity by the ANC increases markedly.

International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa [proclaimed by the General Assembly in resolution 36/172B of 17 December 1981].

International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions against South Africa.

OAU crisis over dispute concerning admission of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Black Local Authorities Act No 102:

Provided for the establishment of local communities, village councils and town councils for blacks in certain areas.

Commenced: 1 August 1983

Repealed by the Local Government Transition Act No 209 of 1993

The Ciskei National Assembly amends its Constitution so that no law in effect in the territory can be declared invalid by any court of law on the grounds that it contravenes fundamental human rights.

Labour Act No 18:

Enacted labour legislation similar to that of South Africa.

Commenced: 29 April 1983

Gazankulu: Business and Trading Undertakings Amendment Act No 7:

Commenced: 1 April 1983

KwaZulu: Marriage Amendment Act No 9:

Commenced: 25 February 1983

Commission of Inquiry into the Monetary System and Monetary Policy in South Africa

Mandate: To inquire into and report on the oversight on the monetary system and the monetary policy in South Africa.

Date of Report: November 1982

Chair: DE KOCK, G.P.C.

Ref: RP 93/1982

Commission of Inquiry into the Mass Media

Mandate: To continue with and build on the work of the Van Zijl Commission (1950-64), the Commission of Inquiry on Security Matters regarding the Defence Force and the Police Force (1979-80) and the Meyer Commission (1969-71), which investigated the desirability of establishing a television service.

Date of Report: 1982

Chair: STEYN, M.T.

Ref: RP 89/1981 ( 3 vol. )

In the Western Cape two federations of civic associations were formed. They were the Cape Areas Housing Action Committee and the Federation of Cape Civics.

The National Union of Mine-workers was formed.

Membership of FOSATU passed the 100 000 mark.

The International Security Act of 1982 replaced the International Security Act of 1950, the Suppression of Communism Act of 1953, the Riotous .Assemblies Act of 1956, and sections of the General Laws Amendments. The Act served to consolidate all security legislation. Other security legislation passed were the Protection of Information Act, Intimidation Act, and the Demonstrations in or near Court Buildings Prohibition Act.

264 people were detained.

85 people were restricted under the Internal Security Act.

87 people were either refused passports or had them withdrawn.

Sporadic boycotting of schools and universities continued.

Barbara Hogan is arrested for High Treason,and sentenced to ten years imprisonment for belonging to banned organization, ANC.

(Dorothy Nyembe awarded Soviet Union's People's Friendship Award.

Ruth First is killed by a letter bomb in Maputo.

5 January 1982

The forty-five mercenaries alleged to have commandeered an Air India Boeing and forced it to fly to Durban, after attempting a coup in the Seychelles in November 1981, appear in magistrates' courts in five South African cities. They are all to go on trial in South Africa.

7 January 1982

The Acting General Secretary of the Lutheran Church in South Africa claims that in addition to four ministers detained in Venda, T. Muofhe, a Lutheran elder, has died in custody. Brigadier T.R. Malandzi, head of Venda's National Force confirms this.

8 January 1982

The ANC President, Oliver Tambo, declares, at a gathering in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the ANC, that under the slogan 'Unity in Action' that 1982 will be a year of massive actions against the apartheid system.

11 January 1982

The United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid launches the International Year of Mobilisation for Sanctions against South Africa.

21 January 1982

A spokesman for the Lutheran World Federation, meeting in emergency session in Geneva, says there are now twenty-one people detained in Venda, two of whom are believed to have 'died of torture'. Attempts by the President of the South African Council of Churches, the Reverend Peter Storey and Bishop Tutu, to visit the detained clergymen are frustrated and they are expelled from Venda.

February 1982

Fietas, Johannesburg: The Department of Community Development starts digging up roads and trenches around the remaining residents of Pageview's houses. This results in further court cases after which the trenches had to be moved. This period is referred to as the 'siege of Pageview'.

February 1982

In February Nell Aggett died in detention.

1 February 1982

The official Commission of Inquiry into the media, appointed in June 1980, under the chairmanship of Justice M. Steyn, tables its report. It recommends that a general council of journalists should be established by law to regulate entry into the profession and sit in judgement on journalists accused of violating a statutory code of conduct. The report's findings and recommendations are widely opposed.

3 February 1982

The six-man Commission of Inquiry into security legislation, under the chairmanship of Justice P.1. Rabie, presents its report and recommendations. It suggests that a Ministry of Law and Order be established with two separate components of Police, and a Directorate of Internal Security.

The Venda Attorney General announces he has ordered an inquiry into the death of Mr. Muffle to be held in the Sibasa Magistrate's Court in May.

Three draft Bills revising and streamlining South Africa's security laws are placed before Parliament, their object being to regroup and consolidate more than thirty existing security laws. The proposed legislation consists of: (i) an Internal Security Bill, to deal with the four redefined offences of terrorism', subversion', sabotage' and 'communism'; (ii) a Protection of Information Bill to replace the existing Official Secrets Act; and (iii) a Bill to combat a new offence of intimidation. These embody the recommendations of the Rabie Commission.

5 February 1982

Dr. Neil Aggett, acting Transvaal Regional Secretary of the African Food and Canning Workers' Union (AFCWU) is found dead in his cell at the Security Police Headquarters in John Vorster Square, Johannesburg, having been detained, along with several other Trade Union leaders on 27 November 1981. Widespread concern and condemnation, both external and internal, follow. He is said to be the forty-sixth person to have died in Security Police custody since 1963.

Signs treaty with Taiwan concerning cooperation in agricultural science and technology.

5 February 1982

Dr. Neil Aggett, a trade union leader, died in detention. He was the first white to die in detention.

11 February 1982

A call for a thirty minute work stoppage, in protest against the death of Dr. Aggett, is supported by virtually all independent black unions, and tens of thousands of workers. Outrage at his death cuts across racial lines, with white opposition politicians, lawyers, academics and churchmen leading demands for the end of prolonged detention without trial in solitary detention and the intolerable pressures it creates.

11 February 1982

More than 85,000 workers all over South Africa participated in a 30-minute work stoppage in protest against the death in detention of Dr. Aggett, and 5,000 persons attended his funeral two days later in Johannesburg.

16 February 1982

The Prime Minister confirms that the government accepts the Rabie Commission on security legislation recommendations, although these are criticized by the legal profession and politicians.

17 February 1982

South Africa:Signs security agreement with Swaziland.

18 February 1982

Botswana accuses South Africa of kidnapping a former Soweto student leader, Peter Lengene, from Gaborone and transporting him to South Africa. The Minister of Police confirms his presence in South Africa.

19 February 1982

The Minister of Justice, Kobie Coetsee, announces that the most comprehensive and intensive investigation is being carried out into the death in detention of Dr. Neil Aggett. A formal inquest will be held soon.

20 February 1982

Prime Minister P.W. Botha describes the National Party policy of inter-racial consultation and joint responsibility, as 'a form of power-sharing'. He expects that every Cabinet Minister will submit to this statement.

24 February 1982

Twenty-two Members of Parliament refuse to support a motion of confidence in Prime Minister P.W. Botha at a National Party Parliamentary caucus meeting. The Prime Minister gives them eight days to decide whether they wish to remain in the Party: they must recant by 11 am. on 3 March 1982.

25 February 1982

Louis Ie Grange, Minister of Police and Prisons, states in the House of Assembly that twenty-one trade unionists have been detained since the beginning of 1981, of whom ten have been released without charge and ten are still being held.

28 February 1982

More than 200 of the Transvaal National Party vote on either Dr. Treurnicht or Mr. Botha's interpretation of Party policy. The vote is 172 to thirty-six votes in favour of the Prime Minister. Dr. A. Treurnicht is immediately suspended as the Transvaal Party chairman.

March 1982

Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni and Nelson Mandela moved to Pollsmoor Prison. A few months later they are joined by Ahmed Kathrada.

In March, fifteen National Party members broke away to form the Conservative Party.

2 March 1982

The inquest into Dr. Aggett's death begins, and is immediately adjourned for six weeks, to allow further investigation.

Dr. Andries Treurnicht resigns as Minister of State Administration and of Statistics and announces the formation of the Conservative Party. It becomes the third largest Parliamentary group with sixteen Members of Parliament.

3 March 1982

In municipal and rural council elections in the Transvaal the National Party is still dominant, but loses ground to both the left and the right. The Herstigte Nasionale Party is elected to public office for the first time, winning six of Pretoria's thirty-six seats.

6 March 1982

F.W. de Klerk, Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, is unanimously elected the new leader of the Transvaal National Party.

7 March 1982

Six Front Line States meet in Maputo and decide to coordinate further their military and economic policies to counter South Africa's economic and military aggression.

The Commission of Inquiry into the constitutional, political, economic and social development of Natal/KwaZulu, set up by Chief Buthelezi in August 1980, publishes its report. Its central recommendation - that Natal should be merged with the KwaZulu 'homeland' to form a new multi-racial regional administration - is rejected by the government.

9 March 1982

Venda Advisory Council Act No 8:

Provided for a state advisory council to dictate state policy.

Commenced: 9 March 1982

10 March 1982

Over fifty squatters begin a hunger strike in St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, protesting against evictions from Nyanga squatter camp. The strike ends on 1 April 1982 after a meeting with Dr. P. Koornhof.

The trial begins in the Natal Supreme Court of the mercenaries accused of hijacking an airliner to flee from the Seychelles after a failed coup on 25-26 November 1981.

11 March 1982

Chief Gatsha Buthelezi maintains that majority rule, tempered by safeguards for whites and other minorities, offers the only realistic alternative to deepening confrontation.

Two former Soweto student leaders, K. Seathlolo and Mary Loate, are sentenced to fifteen and ten years' imprisonment under the Terrorism Act.

14 March 1982

A bomb wrecks the ANC offices in Islington, London, shortly before the beginning of a mass rally organized by the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

In a radio and television interview, Prime Minister P.W. Botha, sets out the principles on which he is leading the government towards a new Constitutional dispensation.

14 March 1982

London office of ANC bombed.

15 March 1982

Evidence of the government's complicity in the abortive coup plot against the Seychelles' Socialist government, is taken in camera.

18 March 1982

The Preferential Trade Agreement with Zimbabwe, due to expire next week, has been extended.

20 March 1982

At a meeting in Pretoria, attended by some 7,000 to 8,000 people, the Conservative Party of South Africa (CPSA) is launched. It brings together, in alliance with Dr. Treurnicht and the National Party rebels, the National Conservative Party (NCP or Nasionale Konservatiewe Party) and the Aksie Eie Toekoms (AET). It outlines fifteen guiding principles, of which the most important is that every group should have its own political structure and authority.

20 March 1982

A powerful bomb at 2:05 am destroyed the cells behind the Langa Commissioner's Court in Cape Town where thousands of pass law offenders are sentenced. The blast caused widespread damage in the office which houses personal files on Africans in the Western Cape.

It was apparently part of ANC campaign aimed at creating confusion in the apartheid administration by destroying records of blacks.

It took place on the eve of the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. No one was injured.

21 March 1982

Declaration by about 1,500 Mayors calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and all other South African political prisoners published by the Special Committee against Apartheid. (The Declaration was initiated by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, the Right Honourable Mr. David Kelly, with the support of the Special Committee.

21 March 1982

Declaration by about 1,500 Mayors calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and all other South African political prisoners published by the Special Committee against Apartheid. (The Declaration was initiated by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, the Right Honourable Mr. David Kelly, with the support of the Special Committee against Apartheid).

23 March 1982

South Africa is to expand its military call-up to include all white men aged between seventeen and sixty-five, almost doubling the size of its forces. Commando units are to be strengthened.

24 March 1982

The United Nations Security Council Commission of Inquiry, investigating the abortive Seychelles coup, fails to reach a definitive conclusion on the extent or level of South African knowledge or responsibility.

25 March 1982

In announcing the 1982 Defence Budget, Owen Horwood reaffirms that the government's highest priority remains that of giving South Africa an effective defence capability and a self-sufficient arms industry.

25 March - 20 April 1982

The Seychelles coup trial is adjourned to allow the defence and prosecution to go to the Seychelles to hear key witnesses.

26 March 1982

Eight political detainees are released. They will all appear as state witnesses in the 'Barbara Hogan case' on 30 April 1982.

28 March 1982

ARMSCOR's Chairman announces that South Africa has produced a world-beating 155-millimetre artillery system - the G5 gun.

April 1982

Siphiwo Mtimkhulu of COSAS disappeared in April, 1982.

1 April 1982

Nelson Mandela and three other ANC leaders were moved from Robben Island to Pollsmoor prison.

8 April 1982

The Bloemfontein Appeal Court turns down appeals by three ANC members sentenced to death in November 1980.

13 April 1982

The inquest into Dr. Aggett's death reopens, and it is argued that he met his death by 'induced suicide'.

14 April - 16 April 1982

A special Commission, empowered by the Supreme Court, hears evidence in Victoria, Seychelles, relating to happenings at the airport during the attempted Seychelles coup.

15 April 1982

The main provisions of the Constitutional Amendment Bill give rise to speculation that Coloured and Indians are to be appointed to senior government posts.

21 April 1982

A Group Areas Amendment Bill introduced on 7 March 1982 and enacted on 21 April, maintains the existing commitment to the principle of separate residential areas, schools and amenities for different races, but excludes sports from its provisions.

30 April 1982

President Kaunda of Zambia meets the Prime Minister, P.W. Botha on the Botswana border to discuss the political situation in Namibia and South Africa. This is the first meeting between any leader of a Front Line State and a South African premier since the Victoria Falls meeting between B.J. Vorster and President Kaunda on 25-26 August 1976.

6 May 1982

Three leaders of the black South African Allied Workers' Union (SAAWU) are charged under the Terrorism Act. They are remanded in custody until 28 May and their names added to the pending 'Barbara Hogan trial'.

11 May 1982

The leader of the Herstigte Nasionale Party, Jaap Marais, is charged in the Pretoria Regional Court with disclosing secret information on the country's oil supplies.

The Prime Minister announces that eight very important Western intelligence agents, held by the Soviet Union, and one South African soldier, held in Angola, have been exchanged somewhere in Europe for Major AM. Kozlov, a senior Soviet intelligence officer arrested in South Africa in July 1980.

12 May 1982

The multiracial President's Council presents its recommendations for a reform of the constitutional and political system. Its principal proposal is that a degree of power-sharing between the White, Coloured and Indian communities should be introduced at central government level. The Black community is specifically excluded, except at local government level. The proposals are rejected by Black leaders and criticized by both wings of the opposition.

12 May 1982

A powerful bomb damaged the office of the West Rand Administration Board in Meadowlands, Soweto, at 7:00 pm. No one was injured.

21 May 1982

A full bench of eleven judges of the Appeal Court upholds an appeal against a conviction under the Terrorism Act, on the grounds that the Act is inconsistent with Bophuthatswana's Declaration of Fundamental Rights enshrined in it's Constitution and based on the European Convention on Human Rights.

22 May 1982

The Intimidation Act specifies that it is an offence to assault or threaten any person in order to compel or induce that person 'to do or to abstain from doing any act or to assume or to abandon a particular standpoint'.

24 May - 26 May 1982

Asian Regional Conference for Action against Apartheid, Manila, organised by the Special Committee against Apartheid in cooperation with the Government of the Philippines.

1 June 1982

The inquest into Dr. Aggett's death is adjourned for the third time when police object to the use, as evidence, of a statement made by Neil Aggett fourteen hours before his death, in which he declares under oath, that he has been assaulted and tortured.

2 June 1982

The State President commutes the death sentences on three black men, for their part in the attack on the Soekmekaar Police Station in 1980, to life imprisonment.

2 June 1982

Intimidation Act No 72:

Repealed s 10-15 of the Riotous Assemblies Act No 17 of 1956.

Commenced: 2 June 1982

2 June 1982

Internal Security Act No 74:

Following the recommendations of the Rabie Commission of Inquiry, this Act provided for the following:

Ø. Sections 4 and 6: Banning of organisations, if the Minister had reason to believe than an organisation was using, encouraging, or threatening violence or disturbance in order to overthrow or challenge state authority or bring about change.

Ø. Sections 5 and15: Banning of publications.

Ø. Sections 19(1) and 20: Banning of people, including confinement to a particular district, prohibition from attending any kind of meeting and prevention from being quoted. Also provided for house arrest.

Ø. Section 28: Indefinite preventive detention.

Ø. Section 29: Indefinite detention for interrogation. Detainees were held in solitary confinement.

Ø. Section 29(2): The validity of a detention order was not subject to court challenge.

Ø. Section 31: Detention of potential witnesses for not longer than six months or for the duration of a trial.

Ø. Section 30: Empowerment of the Attorney-General to order that prisoners arrested be refused bail.

Ø. Section 50: Fourteen-day preventive detention. A low-ranking police officer could detain a person deemed to be threatening public safety. For the detention to be extended beyond fourteen days, a magistrate's permission was required.

Ø. Sections 46-53: Prohibition of meetings.

Ø. Section 54: Redefinition of 'communism' to include campaigns of civil disobedience and creation of racial hostility between European and non-European races of the Republic (SRR 1982: 222). This definition was removed by the 1991 Internal Security and Intimidation Amendment Act.

Ø. Section 54(2): Proscription of such activities as the promotion of 'general dislocation' or the causing of 'prejudice or interruption' to an industry or undertaking 'with the purpose of effecting social, political, constitutional, industrial or economic change'.

Ø. Section 56(1): A ban on the publication or dissemination of any stateme made by a listed person, except with the permission of the Minister of Law and Order.

Ø. Section 62: Prohibition of actions causing, encouraging or fomenting feelings of hostility between different population groups.

Commenced: 2 July 1982


3 June 1982

The Protection of Information Act is given Presidential Assent. Under threat of heavy penalties the Act implicitly places the onus on the press not to publish reports of a detention where this might endanger state security.

Revised figures for the Defence Budget indicate the funds available to the South African Defence Force have been increased to R3,068 million.

4 June 1982

A senior ANC member, P. Nyaose and his wife, are killed by a car bomb in Swaziland. Their deaths are blamed on the South African government by Alfred Nzo, the ANC Secretary-General.

The Supreme Court rules that the statement of Neil Aggett is admissable as evidence.

4 June 1982

A bomb exploded in the elevator of the building in the centre of Cape Town which houses the President's Council. One man was killed. According to Security Police, 60 attacks by insurgents belonging to the ANC were recorded last year. That number compares with 19 in 1980 and 12 in 1979.

5 June 1982

The Commission of Police reports a wave of bomb attacks on major installations, buildings used by government departments and quasi-government organisations.

Prime Minister P.W. Botha persuades a combined gathering of the Provincial and Parliamentary caucuses of the National Party to accept the new constitutional proposals.

The inquest into the death of Dr. Neil Aggett reopens after a seven week break.

10 June 1982

The newspaper proprietors and editors of all the main South African newspapers, both English and Afrikaans, unanimously opposed to the government's planned legislation, decide at an emergency meeting in Johannesburg to establish a media council which will operate independently from the State.

14 June 1982

Albertina Sisulu, wife of ANC leader, Walter Sisulu is placed under a banning order for the fifth time since 1963.

The Minister of Cooperation and Development, Dr. Piet Koornhof, announces in the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly in Ulundi, that the KaNgwane national state and the lngwavuma district in the north of KwaZulu are to be incorporated into the Kingdom of Swaziland. This Cabinet decision is strongly opposed. Outrage is expressed not only by the governments of KwaZulu, KaNgwane and 'homeland' leaders but by all four opposition parties.

16 June 1982

An ANC spokesman in Lusaka calls for increased participation by white sympathizers in the black emancipation struggle.

On the anniversary of the Soweto uprising, police bar forty-seven local and overseas journalists from entering Soweto and tear gas is later fired to disperse crowds at the Regina Mundi Cathedral.

17 June 1982

Dr. Koornbof defends the proposed border adjustment between Natal and Swaziland as 'a step towards the fullfslment of a long-cherished ideal of the Swazi people... to be united under one king in one country'.

18 June 1982

The Government Gazette publishes a Proclamation by which the forty-two member KaNgwane Legislative Assembly is dissolved, and, together with the Ingwavuma district, placed under the direct control of the Department of Cooperation and Development, despite the opposition of the great majority of the Legislative Assembly.

20 June 1982

The Swaziland government welcomes South Africa's offer to hand over parts of KaNgwane and KwaZulu to Swaziland, since, it claims the territory is historically Swazi.

23 June 1982

A Defence Amendment Bill provides for a re-organization of the defence system intended to give the South African Defence Force (SADF) adequate manpower to deal with almost every conceivable threat, internal or external, but as flexibly as possible so as to ensure the minimum of disruption to normal life.

24 June 1982

The police confirm that three leading members of the black journalist trade union, the Media Workers Association of South Africa have been arrested and detained under the General Laws Amendment Act.

25 June 1982

The Durban Supreme Court cancels the state's announcement of 18 June 1982 that it has repossessed the Ingwavuma region of KwaZulu, on the grounds that the government did not meet its legal obligation to consult fully with the KwaZulu authorities before making its announcement. The State President responds by issuing a new Proclamation, under a different law, once again placing Ingwavuma under government control.

29 June 1982

After the Court is told by the Head of Interrogation at John Vorster Square, Major Arthur Cronwright, that the Security Police have withheld statements by Dr. Aggett because they contain secret information relating to the Communist Party, and that he had given permission for Dr. Aggett to be interrogated for a sixty-two hour period, the inquest is adjourned until 20 September 1982.

Libya, as chairman of the OAU, supports Swaziland's claims to South African territory. Its Foreign Minister outlines Libya's position during a visit to Mbabane, at the end of June.

30 June 1982

The Provincial Council of Natal passes at a special sitting, a resolution urging the government to hold a referendum in Natal and in the Ingwavuma region of KwaZulu on the proposed land deal. The government has also been challenged to hold a referendum by Enos Mabuza, former Chief Minister of KaNgwane.

July 1982

Fietas, Johannesburg: Two Pageview residents, a mother and her four-year-old daughter, are killed when a neighbouring wall that was being demolished collapses on them. The tragedy is blamed on the City Council and the Department of Community Development, who are blamed of negligence and a lack of precautions in their operations.

1 July 1982

It is announced that some political prisoners have been granted remission of their sentences and released.

Helen Joseph, who has been under a series of banning orders since she became the first South African to be placed under house arrest in October 1962, is released from such restrictions.

2 July 1982

The Internal Security Act becomes operative. Opposition parties oppose the massive powers given to the authorities to investigate any organization or publication.

6 July 1982

Following an order granted to the KwaZulu government by the Supreme Court in Natal, officials of the Department of Cooperation and Development begin withdrawing from the disputed Ingavuma area. The Prime Minister denies that he is going to reconvene Parliament to deal with this crisis, but may exercise this option later.

The Prime Minister announces a government reorganization, including the creation of a new portfolio of Constitutional Development, the rearrangement of six ministries and the appointment of three new Ministers.

16 July 1982

South Africa's first State President, Charles Robberts Swart, dies, aged eighty-seven.

30 July 1982

The Federal Congress of the National Party supports the set of constitutional reforms outlined by Prime Minister P.W. Botha, and explained to the Congress by the Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Chris Heunis. If enacted, Parliamentary rule, based on the Westminster model, will be replaced by a Presidential system, with real power still concentrated in white hands. The tri-cameral structure is specifically designed to maintain National Party control of legislation.

August 1982

Ernest Dipale died in detention.

5 August 1982

The twentieth anniversary of the arrest of Nelson Mandela is marked by a call for his release by China, publicized in the Communist Party organ, the Peoples Daily and an appeal signed by more than 2,000 mayors from fifty-three countries, made public by the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid in New York.

6 August 1982

Three ANC members are sentenced to death for attacks directed against the Moroka and Orlando Police stations in Soweto and the Wonderboom Police station in Pretoria in which four policemen were killed. The attacks took place in May 1979 and December 1981.

8 August 1982

Lieutenant-General Johann Coetzee, Head of the Security Police, announces that Ernest Dipale, arrested under the new Internal Security Act and charged with furthering the aims of a banned organization, has been found hanged in his cell at John Vorster Square. He is the forty-seventh person to die in detention. PFP's justice spokesperson, Helen Suzman, calls for the whole structure of detention laws to be changed.

9 August 1982

The PFP's spokesman on Police Affairs, Ray Swart, calls for a commission of inquiry into all aspects of the conditions of detainees under security legislation. The Minister of Law and Order promises a clear-cut policy statement on the treatment of security detainees, but it will not be a formal code of conduct, nor will it be embodied in a law.

13 August 1982

The Minister of Manpower, S.P. Botha, states there have been 182 strikes in the first six months of 1982, involving 51000 workers. Disputes in the gold mines have been violent, resulting in riots and some deaths.

17 August 1982

Dr. Ruth First, wife of ANC leader Joe Slovo, and herself a political activist, is killed by a letter bomb in Maputo.

19 August 1982

In a by-election in Germiston the National Party retains its seat, but with a reduced majority, reflecting a considerable swing to the Conservative Party.

25 August 1982

The World Alliance of Reformed (Presbyterian and Congregational) Churches (WARC) suspends the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) and the Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk (NHK) from membership because of their support for apartheid. They may still attend meetings, but no longer have the right to vote.

26 August 1982

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) chooses the South African Reverend Alan Boesak, of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, as its new President.

27 August 1982

National Security Act No 13:

Replaced Proclamation R252 of 1977. Provided for detention without trial, banning of individuals and outlawing of organisations and publications. Offences were defined in typically broad terms (SRR 1982: 386-7).

Commenced: 27 August 1982

6 September 1982

Former American Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, lectures South Africans on the need for racial reform and a new Constitution during a two-week private visit to South Africa.

14 September 1982

The Transvaal Congress of the National Party overwhelmingly supports P.W. Bothas constitutional proposals.

21 September - 21 December 1982

During the proceedings of the General Assembly of the United Nations resolutions are adopted appealing for clemency for ANC members sentenced to death for alleged guerrilla activities, asking the IMF to refrain from granting credit or assistance to South Africa, and condemning a South African raid into Lesotho on 9 December 1980.

22 September 1982

The Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk (NHK) severs its ties completely with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) rather than accept WARCs ruling that apartheid is contrary to the scriptures.

30 September 1982

The Appeal Court in Bloemfontein rules that the Presidential Proclamation issued in June, purporting to restore Ingwavuma to South African jurisdiction, is null and void since the State President acted ultra vires. It is announced that a Commission under the chairmanship of Frans Rumpff, will be appointed to investigate and report on conflicting claims between KwaZulu and Swaziland.

1 October 1982

A report compiled by the Detainees' Parents Support Committee provides detailed evidence of systematic torture as an integral feature of the detention system.

9 October 1982

Applications for parole by the thirty-four mercenaries involved in the Seychelles attempted coup are refused. Most are due to be released in January 1983.

16 October 1982

The Southern African Black Alliance (SABA) and the PFP declare their total opposition to the pending constitutional changes involving the creation of a tricameral Parliament

21 October 1982

Barbara Hogan is sentenced in the Rand Supreme Court to an effective ten years in prison for high treason and membership of the ANC. Hogan admitted her membership, but pleaded not guilty to treason.

27 October 1982

An intensified campaign to enforce the pass laws leads to increased prosecutions in the Cape Town area. The government is working towards stricter enforcement of influx control, particularly in the Western Cape.

28 October 1982

The Reverend Beyers Naudé is served with his second banning order, restricting him for a further three years. The order is the first to be served under the comprehensive new security law, the Internal Security Act of 1982, on the sole discretion of the Minister of Law and Order, and the decision cannot be questionned in court.

3 November 1982

Four leading South African journalists are charged under the new Protection of Information Act. The charges relate to reports concerning National Intelligence Service agent Martin Dolinchek, his involvement in the Seychelles attempted coup, and NIS reaction to his capture by Seychelles security forces.

4 November 1982

The results of four Parliamentary and three Provincial Councils by-elections demonstrate a vote of confidence by the electorate in the governments proposals for constitutional reform.

5 November 1982

On the 20th anniversary of the General Assembly resolution on sanctions against South Africa, the United Nations presented awards, for outstanding contribution to the international movement for sanctions against South Africa, to:

the late President Houari Boumediene (Algeria)

Romesh Chandra (India)

Madame Jean Martin-Cisse (Guinea)

The Most Reverend Trevor Huddleston, C.R. (United Kingdom)

The late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (United States of America)

Jan Nico Scholten (Netherlands)

13 November 1982

Security Police have failed to obtain a single conviction against any of the twenty trade unionists detained and interrogated during the last eighteen months.

22 November 1982

The President's Council, mandated to consider South Africa's constitutional future, releases its final report. Central items of its plan include establishment of a strong executive President chosen by a triracial electoral college, a three-chamber Parliament representing the White. Coloured and Indian communities, and a division between national and communal interests. It reaffirms the need for separation of executive and legislative power.

23 November 1982

Swaziland and Lesotho take steps to clear themselves of suspicion of allowing insurgents of the ANC to use their territory as springboards for attacks on South Africa.

25 November 1982

The government concedes another legal defeat in its attempts to transfer the KaNgwane 'homeland' to Swaziland. Dr. Piet Koornhof, Minister of Development and Cooperation, announces the withdrawal of a Proclamation dissolving the Legislative Assembly of KaNgwane issued in June 1981. As a result of the settlement, Enos Mabuza, Chief Executive Councillor of KaNgwane, withdraws his application to the Pretoria Supreme Court for return of the administration of KaNgwane to the tribal authorities. The government is ordered to pay his legal costs.25 Nov. 1982 Minister of Law and Order, Louis le Grange, announces a new series of directives for the protection of detainees.

26 November 1982

South Africa:Signs loan agreement with Malawi.

27 November 1982

Prison authorities release thirty-four of the forty-two mercenaries involved in the hijacking of an Air India plane after the abortive Seychelles coup. Released after four months imprisonment are twenty-one South Africans, six Britons, five Zimbabweans, one Australian and one Austrian. The eight still in prison include the commando leader, Colonel Mike Hoare.

2 December 1982

Afrikaans poet, Breyten Breytenbach, is released from prison after serving seven of the nine years to which he was sentenced in 1975.

3 December 1982

South Africa:Signs amendment to multilateral Convention on Wetlands.

9 December 1982

South African forces raid houses in Maseru, killing thirty members of the ANC and seven women and children caught in the crossfire. A chain of sabotage incidents within South Africa are blamed on the ANC command structure in Lesotho. The incursion is widely condemned

13 December 1982

Security Police arrest the leader, Eugene Terre'Blanche and eight other members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) after uncovering illegal arms caches in different parts of the country.

17 December 1982

Up to 100 ANC members are reported to have been detained in Swaziland. The arrests are confirmed by the Swaziland Police Commissioner and a large cache of arms in the north of the country is found.

18 December - 19 December 1982

Four explosions occur at the Koeberg nuclear power station for which the ANC claims responsibility.

21 December 1982

At the conclusion of a forty-four-day inquest into the death in detention of the white trade union leader, Dr. Neil Aggett, the Johannesburg magistrate, Pieter Kotze. finds that no one is to blame for his death. The verdict, which completely exonerates the Security Police, is greeted with astonishment and anger.

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.