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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

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1964

Vuyisile Mini, W. Mkaba and Z. Khanyiga, all eastern Cape trade union leaders are executed for killing a police informer.

1964 - 1970

Fietas, Johannesburg: All Pageview residents are issued with eviction orders

1964

African Self Help Association is set up.

Frances Baard is sentenced to five years under Suppression of Communism Act for ANC activities.

Hilda Bernstein escapes to Botswana, then London and becomes a member of the External Mission and Women's section of the ANC

In the face of strong opposition by rank-and-file members (who were mostly white), to some of its more "radical" policies, NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) dipped sharply to the right, confining itself to symbolic multiracial activities and protests after-the-fact against government infringements on academic freedom.

Thus began a phase of deep frustration for the small black membership as virtually all channels for the expression of anti-apartheid sentiment were closed, They allowed themselves to be co-opted into the new non-risk style of NUSAS politics, since they were unable to articulate their injustices adequately.

In the face of strong opposition by rank-and-file members (who were mostly white), to some of its more "radical" policies, NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) dipped sharply to the right, confining itself to symbolic multiracial activities and protests after-the-fact against government infringements on academic freedom.

Thus began a phase of deep frustration for the small black membership as virtually all channels for the expression of anti-apartheid sentiment were closed, They allowed themselves to be co-opted into the new non-risk style of NUSAS politics, since they were unable to articulate their injustices adequately.

Black Labour Act No 67:

Consolidated the laws regulating the recruiting, employment, accommodation, feeding and health conditions of black labourers.

Commenced: 1 January 1965

Repealed by s 69 of the Black Community Development Act No 4 of 1984.

Education Act No 2:

Overrode South African apartheid schooling systems and provided for black schooling and subsidies.

Commenced: 1 April 1965

4 January 1964

In a New Year message, the South African Prime Minister says it is justifiable for the whites to refuse to commit national suicide and to fight for self preservation.

6 January 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with France on the installation of a scientific space tracking station in South Africa.

13 January 1964

The United Nations Secretary-General names four experts to examine the problem of apartheid in South Africa in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution of 4 December 1963. They are: Sir Edward Asafu-Adjaye (Ghana); Josip Djerdja (Yugoslavia); Sir Hugh Foot (United Kingdom); and Alva Myrdal (Sweden).

17 January 1964

Leader of the Opposition, Sir de Villiers Graaff, demands a judicial inquiry into the activities of the Broederbond, and demands the resignation of the Prime Minister from this society. Dr. Verwoerd refuses to resign.

24 January 1964

It is announced that efforts by Britain's Foreign Secretary, Mr. Butler and Glasgow University to obtain permission from the South African government for Albert Luthuli to leave Natal and be installed as Rector of Glasgow University have failed.

27 January 1964

The appointment of the group of experts to examine the problem of apartheid, in terms of the United Nations Security Council resolution of 4 December 1963, is completed.

30 January 1964

Signs treaty with Great Britain on the suspension of the margin of preference on butter.

4 February 1964

The International Court of Justice announces that in the South West Africa cases (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v. South Africa) the counter-memorial of South Africa has been filed. 20 June 1964 is fixed as the time limit for the filing of replies by Ethiopia and Liberia and 20 November 1964 for the filing of South Africa's rejoinder.

The number of men required for military training in 1964 is to increase by 60%, i.e. from 10,368 to 16,537.

5 February 1964

The South African government informs the United Nations Secretary-General that it is unable to agree to a visit by the group of experts, as it would be an interference in the internal affairs of the Republic.

6 February 1964

The Rt. Rev. Robert Selby Taylor, Bishop of Grahamstown, is elected Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Province of South Africa, in succession to Dr. Joost de Blank who recently returned to Britain on medical advice.

7 February 1964

The Transkei opposition leader Paramount Chief Victor PoW, forms South Africa's first African political party - the Democratic Party. Its aims include the retention of the Transkei as an integral part of South Africa.

8 February 1964

The leader of the South African opposition, Sir de Villiers Graaf, agrees with the government that the composition of the proposed United Nations Committee to Study Apartheid is such as to preclude any possibility of an objective or impartial inquiry and that the group should not be received in South Africa.

15 February 1964

The governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting in Geneva, votes in favour of suspending South Africa from participation in its Annual General Conferences. The resolution is passed by thirty-two votes to fourteen with two abstentions.

23 February 1964

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 1964

A Bill, presently before Parliament, provides for the establishment of a Coloured Representative Council comprising thirty elected and sixteen nominated members. The State President will be able to confer power on the Council to make laws for coloureds in respect of finance, local government, education, community welfare and pensions.

March 1964

The South African delegation walks out of the World Health Organization (WHO) having been deprived of its voting rights.

5 March 1964

South Africa:Signs multilateral declaration on the provisional accession of Iceland to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

7 March 1964

The Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Dr. Hertzog, confirms that the government's policy regarding television is unchanged. There is no question of television being introduced.

7 March 1964

The Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Dr. Hertzog, confirms that the government's policy regarding television is unchanged. There is no question of television being introduced.

9 March 1964

The United Nations Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid resumes its meetings and decides to draft an appeal to the Security Council and the General Assembly to ensure implementation of resolutions on South Africa adopted by them. They recommend that South Africa halt current trials of anti-apartheid leaders and refrain from executing persons already sentenced to death.

11 March 1964

About two hundred delegates from all parts of the world attend the Accra Conference for Solidarity with the Workers and People of South Africa.

14 March 1964

The South African Government announced withdrawal from the International Labour Organisation.

20 March 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the elimination of the margin of preference of ten percent ad valorem on boxwood.

21 March 1964

The 1964-65 Budget provides for R210m. on defence, an increase of R52m. over the previous year. The Minister of Defence, Dr. Donges, admits it is a large increase but is confident the House will furnish 'the wherewithal to discourage foreign aggression'.

23 March 1964

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty embodying results of the 1960-61 Tariff Conference pertaining to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

31 March 1964

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

The United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid publishes a report recommending that the Security Council call on South Africa to refrain from executing people sentenced to death for political offences. to end political trials in process and grant amnesty to all political prisoners.

17 April 1964

The Conference on Sanctions against South Africa ends in London by issuing the declaration that total economic sanctions are feasible and practicable, and calls for world action to end apartheid.

18 April 1964

Dr. N.E. Alexander and four others are found guilty of sabotage and are sentenced to ten years imprisonment. The judge finds that the accused participated in the activities of the National Liberation Front (NLF), a continuation of the Yu Chi Chan Club, whose aims was to further violence and revolution.

South Africa:Signs agreement with France and a third party.

20 April 1964

At the Rivonia Trial, Nelson Mandela, former leader of the banned ANC, blames the actions of the government for adoption of policies of violence by African leaders. He surveys the history and aims of the ANC and gives reasons why Umkonto we Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation) was formed.

The United Nations Group of Experts on Apartheid submits its report to the Secretary-General. It proposes a National Convention to set a new course for South Africa's future and envisages the removal of a mass of restrictive and discriminatory legislation.

20 April 1964

The Group of Experts on South Africa presented its report to the Secretary-General, recommending that "all the people of South Africa should be brought into consultation and should thus be enabled to decide the future of their country at the national level." The Group was set up in pursuance of the Security Council resolution of 4 December 1963, with Mrs. Alva Myrdal (Sweden) as Chairman. Sir Hugh Foot (United Kingdom) was Rapporteur.

20 April 1964

The Group of Experts on South Africa presented its report to the Secretary-General. Indication of recommendations. (CHECK)

Nelson Mandela addresses court at Rivonia trial.

24 April 1964

The Prime Minister maintains that the country is economically so strong that it can withstand economic sanctions. The only vulnerable spot is oil supply.

1 May 1964

Signs treaty with Great Britain on the elimination of the margin of preference often percent ad valorem on prepared or preserved groundnuts.

President Kayibanda of Rwanda says the people and government condemn apartheid but think a realistic view should be taken of the probable effects of economic sanctions.

6 May 1964

South africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the temporary suspension of the margin of preference guaranteed to the UK on tin plate.

The Bantu Laws Amendment Bill passes its third reading, giving the Minister of Bantu Administration the powers to declare prescribed areas in which the number of Africans to be employed could be determined, to override local authorities in African affairs and to redirect redundant labour to African Reserves. This comprehensive piece of apartheid legislation is an essential component of the overall plan for separate development.

9 May 1964

Opening the first Legislative session of the Transkei-Legislative Assembly, President Swart says that the Transkei now has an all-Westernized system of government. The Republic of South Africa will continue to assist the Transkei and will train its successors in office.

16 May 1964

The Commission of Inquiry into the South African Press tables the second part of its report, severely criticizing the reporting on South African affairs by foreign correspondents, or local correspondents working for foreign news agencies, an antagonism towards Afrikaners and the government. The Commission recommends the setting up of a press council to control newspapers and correspondents.

23 May 1964

Albert Luthuli's first five year ban expires but he is immediately served with a new and stricter order.

30 May 1964

The leader of the Basutoland National Party, Chief Leabua Jonathan, indicates that Basutoland is so economically dependent on South Africa that the imposition of economic sanctions is not feasible.

3 June 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Southern Rhodesia on the continuation of the workman's compensation agreement of 11 October 1958.

5 June 1964

Dr. Verwoerd says that the government has no intention of trying to incorporate Bechuanaland, Basutoland or Swaziland into South Africa.

A resolution to expel South Africa from the Universal Postal Union is approved by the Union's congress in Vienna, by fifty-eight votes to thirty, with twenty-six abstentions.

9 June 1964

The Prime Minister announces the appointment of a one-man commission of enquiry, consisting of a Judge of Appeal, to investigate all secret organizations likely to influence unlawfully the State, the people, or the administration of justice. The inquiry is to be held in secret.

9 June 1964

The Security Council - in resolution 190 - urged the South African Government to end the Rivonia Trial and grant an amnesty to all persons imprisoned or restricted for having opposed the policy of apartheid.

12 June 1964

At the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial eight of the accused are sentenced to life imprisonment. The central figure in the trial is Nelson Mandela who argues that he was driven to acts of sabotage by the frustration of all legitimate means of political protest. His argument is rejected by the Judge. The State has not charged the accused with High Treason, and Mr. Justice de Wet accordingly decides not to impose the supreme penalty.

12 June 1964

Nelson Mandela and others sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia trial.

12 June 1964

Nelson Mandela and others sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia trial.

13 June 1964

In terms of a new General Laws Amendment Bill, the death penalty is extended to people who have undergone sabotage training within South Africa; the Minister of Justice is again empowered to detain people for indefinite periods after they have served prison sentences; and the twelve-day 'jail without bail' law of 1962 is renewed.

At the Rand Criminal Sessions three Africans are imprisoned for twelve years and one for eight years on a charge of sabotage.

15 June 1964

The United Nations Security Council, taking into account the recommendations and conclusions of its Group of Experts, condemns the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa and the legislation supporting those policies.

16 June 1964

The Rt. Rev. Joost de Blank presented a petition to the Secretary-General, on behalf of the World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners (sponsored by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, London). The petition was signed by 91,691 persons in 28 countries. The World Campaign informed the Secretary-General that the demand for the release of South African political prisoners had been supported by organisations with a membership of over 258 million.

16 June 1964

The Rt. Rev. Joost de Blank presented a petition to the Secretary-General, on behalf of the World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners (sponsored by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, London). The petition was signed by 91,691 persons in 28 countries. The World Campaign also informed the Secretary-General that the demand for the release of South African political prisoners had been supported by organisations with a membership of over 258 million.

19 June 1964

Sabotage groups blast three pylons, one in the Transvaal and two on the Cape Flats.

Parliament ends its session after 103 days and the passing of 100 bills.

22 June 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the introduction of a system of levies for certain cereals and related products.

24 June 1964

General Law Amendment Act No 80:

Amended the 1963 General Law Amendment Act so that the Minister of Justice could extend the operation of the Sobukwe clause in individual cases. Sobukwe was thus imprisoned until 1969. This clause was re-enacted in amended form in 1976.

Commenced: 24 June 1964

Repealed by the Corruption Act No 94 of 1992.

July 1964

The police make many arrests throughout the country under the provisions of the General Laws Amendment Act.

6 July 1964

Fietas, Johannesburg: Mr. Mahomed Suliman Bhana, who had been active in the TIYC and is outspoken against apartheid policies, is served a banning order restricting him from attending any political or social gatherings, from entering any location and from leaving the Magisterial District of Johannesburg.

21 July 1964

The United Nations Committee on the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of South Africa expresses very serious concern at the reported arrest of Abraham Fischer, defence attorney in the Rivonia Trial.

24 July 1964

A time bomb placed in the main concourse of the Johannesburg railway station explodes during the evening rush hour, causing extensive injuries. Frederick John Harris is later tried and sentenced to death for this offence.

24 July 1964

Bomb exploded in Johannesburg railroad station, killing a white woman. (John Harris later convicted and hanged.)

29 July 1964

The Prime Minister issues a statement making it clear that the government will not yield to outside pressure to reduce the sentences in the Rivonia Trial.

31 July 1964

The Minister of Justice, B.J. Vorster, states at a Nationalist Party meeting that he is not prepared to lift the ninety-day detention clause, because of activity in five places in Africa where saboteurs are being trained for sabotage in South Africa and because of the regrouping of Communists since the Rivonia Trial.

4 August 1964

Cabinet changes follow the retirement of Paul Sauer, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Public Works. Jan F.W. Haak becomes Minister of Planning and of Mines: the three portfolios previously held by Paul Sauer are allocated to the following Ministers in addition to their existing portfolios:-

Lands, D.C.M. Uys, Forestry, WA. Maree and Public Works, P.W. Botha.

13 August 1964

South Africa:Signs Sugar Agreement with Great Britain (South Africa, Great Britain, Swaziland).

15 August 1964

Minister of Defence Foucht, announces that private enterprise will be responsible for the manufacture of aircraft for the South African Air Force. Jet trainers, to replace the SAAF's Harvards will be the first aircraft to be made locally.

18 August 1964

South Africa:Signs second declaration on the extension of the standstill provisions Article XVI:4 of the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

22 August 1964

A spokesman at the Police Headquarters in Pretoria states that the strength of the South African Police Reserve has reached 17,554 and that reservists are attached to almost every police station in South Africa.

24 August 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Malawi on double taxation.

28 August 1964

Transkei Authorities Act No 6:

Set in place mechanisms for the recognition of the Transkei government.

Commenced: 28 August 1964

Repealed by the Transkei Authorities Act No 4 of 1965

15 September 1964

South Africa:Signs agreement with Portugal on postal services (for Mozambique).

South Africa:Signs treaty with Northern Rhodesia on postal services.

South Africa:Signs treaty with Malawi on postal services.

19 September 1964

The Minister of Bantu Administration and Development de Wet Nd says that 'Tswanaland', a number of African reserves Skirting the border with Bechuanaland, will be the next Bantustan to be granted self-government.

24 September 1964

South African ordinance workshops have produced the first Belgian F.N. rifle, which is now ready to go into production.

7 October 1964

It is announced in Rawalpindi that the government of Pakistan has decided to ban all exports from Pakistan to South Africa and has issued instructions to Pakistani shipping companies not to enter South African ports. Landing and passage facilities have already been refused to South African aircraft.

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement accepting the constitution of the Universal Postal Union.

9 October 1964

The demand to the United Nations by four Caprivi chiefs and officials of the newly-formed Caprivi African National Union, for the withdrawal of South Africa and the right to self-determination is reported.

The United Nations Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid. at the special meeting, urgently demands that South Africa refrain from executing three leaders of the ANC, sentenced to death in March 1964. The appeals of the three - V. Mini, W. Khayinga and Z. Mraba - against their sentences had been rejected by the Supreme Court.

10 October 1964

The United Party leader, Sir de Villiers Graaff, tells its Free State Congress that the Party rejects the idea of one man, one vote and will retain white leadership over all South Africa.

13 October 1964

South Africa:Signs agreement with Portugal (for Angola) with regard to rivers of mutual interest and the Kunene River Scheme.

South Africa:Signs agreement with Portugal (for Mozambique) providing for the extension of cooling facilities for citrus fruit.

South Africa:Signs treaty with Portugal (for Mozambique) on railway matters.

South Africa:Signs an economic agreement with Portugal.

16 October 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Southern Rhodesia on air transport.

23 October 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain for the continuation of the trade agreement of 16 May 1960.

26 October 1964

The United Nations Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid decides to issue an appeal to member states and organizations to assist families of persons persecuted by the government for their opposition to the policies of apartheid.

30 October 1964

Accepts multilateral procès-verbal extending the declaration of 13 November 1962 on the provisional accession of the United Arab Republic to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

6 November 1964

Shock and profound indignation is expressed by the Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid, at its emergency meeting over the execution of the three ANC leaders in Port Elizabeth.

6 November 1964

Vuyisile Mini, Zinakile Mkaba and Wilson Khayinga, three prominent trade union leaders from the Eastern Cape, executed.

6 November 1964

Mini, Mkaba and Khayinga, 3 prominent trade union leaders from the Eastern Cape, executed.

11 November 1964

South Africa:Signs agreement with Greece on the reciprocal exemption from taxes on income derived from the operation of ships or aircraft.

17 November 1964

Harold Wilson, the British Prime Minister, announced in the House of Commons that the British government has decided to impose an embargo on the export of arms to South Africa. Outstanding commitments by the Ministry of Defence will be fulfilled, but no new contracts will be accepted. The contract to supply sixteen Buccaneer aircraft is under review.

20 November 1964

The trial of Abram Fischer, Q.C., and thirteen others, charged with being members of the banned Communist Party, begins.

25 November 1964

In a by-election at Edenvale, near Johannesburg in which the Broederbond is the main issue, the National Party's candidate Dr. Piet Koornhof, general secretary of the Broederbond since 1962, retains the seat for the Nationalists with an increased majority of nearly 1,000.

26 November 1964

The Prime Minister, Dr. Verwoerd, welcomes the British Labour government's announcement that the supply of the sixteen Buccaneer aircraft is being sanctioned. Immediate action concerning the Simonstown Agreement has been avoided.

28 November 1964

Dr. Verwoerd enters into a dispute with the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson over a contract to supply Buccaneer aircraft, and threatens to abrogate the Simonstown Agreement if the planes are not supplied.

30 November 1964

South Africa:Signs trade agreement with Southern Rhodesia.

1 December 1964

South Africa:Signs multilateral customs agreement on the welfare material for seafarers.

5 December 1964

The Minister of Justice, B.J. Vorster, announces the suspension, from 11 January 1965, of the clause in the General Law Amendment Act providing for detention for ninety days. All detainees will have to be released or charged in Court by that date.

10 December 1964

It is announced that the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council has accepted a five-year plan designed to give South Africa an annual economic growth rate of five and a half per cent.

12 December 1964

Conclusion of Rivonia trial. Sisulu, Mandela, Mbeki, Kathrada, Mhlaba, Mlangeni & Motsoaledi sentenced to life imprisonment in the Pretoria Supreme Court for:

Ø     Sabotage

Ø     Conspiracy to sabotage and

Ø     Furtherance of the aims of a prohibited organisation (The Communist Party of South Africa and the ANC).

21 December 1964

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the supply of military equipment to South Africa.

30 December 1964

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty [1955(xix) establishing the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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