About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1962

The Programme of action: the South African Communist Party adopts "The Road to South African Freedom".

Fietas, Johannesburg: Until this year there were 177 shops in the area with two mosques, four churches, two cinemas, 4 Islamic schools, 1 Hindu school, 1 Tamil school/temple/hall, 1 Indian girls' school, 1 'coloured' junior school, 1 'coloured' college, 1 Indian junior school, a communal hall and a number of social clubs. The Queenspark Sports Grounds next to the cemetery on Krause Street was considered part of Fietas. The residential stands in the area had an average of 4 cottages on it.

The Minister of Justice continues issuing a series of house arrest orders confining people to their homes foe a period of five years.

The Minister of Justice continues issuing a series of house arrest orders confining people to their homes foe a period of five years.

Sonia Bunting is placed under house arrest.

Florence Matomela is banned and restricted to Port Elizabeth, where she is subsequently sent to prison for five years for furthering aims of ANC.

Winnie Mandela banned under Suppression of Communism Act, and restricted to Orlando Township.

After ANC is outlawed, Dorothy Nyembe becomes President of Natal Rural Areas Committee and organizes anti-government demonstrations with rural women during the Natal Women's Revolt.

Lillian Ngoyi is banned and confined to Orlando Township

Cissie Gool receives LLB degree from UCT and is admitted as an advocate to the Supreme Court.

Ruth Mompati goes into exile and becomes secretary and head of Women's section of the ANC in Tanzania.

January 1962

Nelson Mandela secretly leaves South Africa to attend a Pan African Freedom Movement conference in Addis Ababa. He travels to other countries to receive military training and then comes back into the country to continue operating underground.

13 January 1962

Fietas, Johannesburg: A census is held determining that there were 177 shops in the area.

Population:

Indian 4125

'Coloured' 501

Malay 860

Chinese 59

'African' unknown

17 January 1962

The Department of Justice announces that the charges against A.K. Ganyile have been dropped, the government regrets the incident, Ganyile is released, returns to Basutoland and later claims damages against the Minister of Justice and the policemen concerned.

Leaders of the South African National Convention Movement, a coloured opposition organisation, completely reject Dr. Verwoerd's plan as offering them 'sovereignty in no area but subservient in all'.

21 January 1962

The President of the Newspaper Press Union of South Africa, M.V. Jooste, issues the draft of a voluntary Press Code, including proposals for the setting up of a three-man Board of Reference.

23 January 1962

Dr. Verwoerd, announces his plan for the granting of 'self-rule' to the Transkei. It is to have its own Parliament and Cabinet, separate citizenship and control over agriculture, education, health, social services and roads with defence, foreign affairs and justice remaining in the hands of the central government in the meantime.

31 January 1962

The government's proposals for self-government for the Transkei are submitted to the committee of twenty-seven chiefs and headmen appointed by the Transkeian Territory Authority to press its claims.

South Africa:Signs treaty with Luxemborg relating to air services.

7 February 1962

Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe go from house to house in Orlando, Johannesburg and rally support amongst the residents against the government's policy in respect of Bantu urban councils.

19 February 1962

The first part of the South African Press Commission's first report is tabled in parliament by the Minister of the Interior, de Klerk. The report, which has taken eleven years to draw up consists of two volumes totaling 700 pages, with nineteen annexures running to 1,566 pages. It strongly recommends that the South African Press association (SAPA) gives more say in its affairs to the Afrikaans-language press.

20 February 1962

South Africa:Signs treaty amending the statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

22 February 1962

South Africa:Signs a parcel post agreement with Canada.

12 March 1962

The defence Minister, J.J. Fouche, outlines the basic principles of South Africa's defence policy and gives a detailed of measures being taken to build up the Defence Forces and to make South Africa self-supporting in military equipment.

21 March 1962

The minister of finance, Dr. Eben Dönges, introduces a budget of national security with increased expenditure on defence.

23 March 1962

The Minister of Water affairs announces an ambitious scheme to harness the Orange River for power and irrigation at a cost of R450 million, spread over about thirty years.

29 March 1962

The Minister of Defence J.J. Fouché discloses that South Africa is buying supersonic Mirage III jet fighters from France, and that South African forces are being equipped with French alouette helicopters.

6 April 1962

South Africa:Signs a multilateral agreement for the accession of Israel to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

30 April 1962

South Africa:Signs treaty with Germany extending the economic agreement of 28 August 1951.

May 1962

Under a government sponsored Bill, which received its third reading in the House of Assembly on 8 February 1962, a Coloured Development Corporation with a share capital of R500, 000 (250,000 Pounds Sterling) is established to aid coloured businessmen in developing and enlarging their own industries in the townships reserved for them.

May 1962

End of may, Victoerio Carpio repudiates Pretoria statement.

3 May 1962

South Africa:Signs a multilateral procés-verbal extending the declaration on the provisional accession of the Swiss Confederation to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and trade.

4 May 1962

The Transkeian Territory Authority approves the draft Constitution as a whole, after considerable controversy mainly concerning the composition of the Legislative Assembly.

6 May 1962

United Nations representatives of the committee to investigate the conditions in South West Africa, Victorio Carpio (Philippines) and Dr. Martinez de Alva (Mexico), begin informal talks with Dr. Verwoerd and South African officials in Pretoria. They subsequently visit South Africa and return to Pretoria.

8 May 1962

R.H. Strachan is found guilty of conspiring to cause bomb explosions and is sentenced to three years' imprisonment.

17 May 1962

Dr. Jan Steytler, leader of the Progressive Party, launches a nationwide protest campaign against the General Laws Amendment Bill, published by the government on 12 May 1962 defining the crime of sabotage in the widest terms.

23 May 1962

South Africa:Signs an amendment agreement with Great Britain on sugar for Swaziland.

24 May 1962

A Bill replacing the Republic of South Africa (Temporary Provisions) Act, due to expire on 31 May 1962, is enacted and receives the Royal Assent. It designed to regulate finally the operation of British law in relation to South Africa.

26 May 1962

A joint statement is issued, agreed to by Dr. Verwoerd, Victorio Carpio, Dr. de Alva and the Foreign minister, Eric Low, indicating that no evidence has been found in SWA of genocide by South Africa, or of any excessive military occupation. The conditions there do not constitute a threat to world peace.

28 May 1962

South Africa:Signs convention with Greta Britain on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

June 1962

The General Laws Amendment Act (Sabotage Act) passed.

4 June 1962

South Africa:Signs agreement with Great Britain for the temporary suspension of the margin of preference on tin plate.

11 June 1962

South Africa:Signs cultural agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany.

12 June 1962

South Africa:Signs amendment to the co-operation agreement with the United States.

20 June 1962

South Africa:Signs agreement with Japan on the safe-guards of materials transferred to Japan of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, issues a 2,000-word statement asserting that the 'the Sabotage Bill' reduces the liberty of the subject to a degree 'not surpassed by the most extreme dictatorship of the Left or Right'.

23 June 1962

African and some other delegates walked out of the International Labour Conference in Geneva when delegates of the Government and employers of South Africa went to the rostrum to participate in the general debate on the Director-General's report.

In 1961, the conference had asked the Governing Body to forward a request to the South African government to withdraw from the ILO in view of its apartheid policy. The Government ignored the request and sent its three delegations to the present conference. The ILO Constitution had no provision for excluding a member.

23 June 1962

African and some other delegates walked out of the International Labour Conference in Geneva when delegates of the Government and employers of South Africa went to the rostrum to participate in the general debate on the Director-General's report. In 1961, the conference asked the Governing Body to forward a request to the South African government to withdraw from the ILO in view of its apartheid policy. The Government ignored the request and sent its three delegations to the present conference. The ILO Constitution has no provision for excluding a member.

27 June 1962

Parliament passes the General Law Amendment Act the 'Sabotage Bill' sponsored by the Minister of Justice, B.J. Vorster, defining sabotage in the widest terms and prescribing a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of death. Its purpose is to combat communism.

27 June 1962

General Law Amendment Act (Sabotage Act) No 76:

Increased the State President's power to declare organisations unlawful. Further restrictions could be imposed in banning orders, restricting movement. Persons could now even be banned from social gatherings, including having more than one visitor at a time. The Minister could list banned persons in the Government Gazette (GG).

This Act created the offence of sabotage by providing that any person who committed any wrongful and wilful act whereby he/she injured, obstructed, tampered with or destroyed the health or safety of the public, the maintenance of law and order, the supply of water, light, power, fuel or foodstuffs, sanitary, medical, or fire extinguishing services could be tried for sabotage (Horrell 1978: 443).

Commenced: 27 June 1962.

Section 16 repealed by the State of Emergency Act No 86 of 1995.

July - September 1962

Seventy-five serious fires attributed to widespread arson are reported in Natal.

10 July 1962

South Africa:Signs the International Wheat Agreement.

23 July 1962

Ben Turok is sentenced to three years imprisonment for attempting to cause an explosion in the centre of Johannesburg in February.

26 July 1962

South Africa:Signs multilateral recommendations under article IX of the Antarctic Treaty.

30 July 1962

Under the provisions of the General Law Amendment Act of 1962 a list of 102 persons prohibited from attending gatherings is published in the Government Gazette. Ti includes Patrick Duncan, Albert Luthuli, Duma Nokwe, Ronald Segal, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Benjamin Turok.

1 August 1962

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement for the accession of Portugal to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

3 August 1962

The United Nations Special Committee on South West Africa disowns the Pretoria statement.

5 August 1962

Nelson Mandela, who had gone underground in 1961, was arrested near Durban. He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on November 7, 1962; then tried again, while in prison in the "Rivonia Trial" and sentenced to life imprisonment.

8 August 1962

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain, extending to South West Africa the Convention of 28 May 1962 on the avoidance of double taxation and the avoidance of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

15 August 1962

The Liquor Laws Amendment Bill, under which Africans are for the first time allowed to buy liquor freely, comes into effect. Introduced on 9 June 1961, given a second reading on 19 June 1961, its third on 24 June 1961 and subsequently approved by the senate, its long delay in implementation is attributed to the large number of applications for liquor licences received.

16 August 1962

South Africa:Signs amendment with Great Britain on the Ottawa Trade Agreement of 20 August 1932.

17 August 1962

The Defence Minister, J.J. Fouché, announces that the striking power of the Defence Force has been increased twenty-fold as compared with two years earlier, while that of Navy is to be increased ten-fold in the next few years.

24 August 1962

African delegations requested Secretary-General U Thant to help obtain the release of Nelson Mandela. In a statement, they condemned the arrest on 5 August and noted that he was held under the Sabotage Act, which carries a possible death penalty.

24 August 1962

African delegations requested Secretary-General U Thant to help obtain the release of Nelson Mandela. In a statement, they condemned the arrest and noted that he was held under the Sabotage Act, which carries a possible death penalty.

31 August 1962

South Africa:Signs a visa agreement with Austria.

September 1962

Congress of Democrats banned.

Congress of Democrats banned under the Suppression of Communism Act.

7 September 1962

The South African Congress of Democrats is banned by the Minister of Justice under the Suppression of Communism Act.

14 September 1962

South Africa:Signs a visa agreement with Belgium.

28 September 1962

South Africa:Signs International Coffee Agreement.

October 1962

End-October:The Minister of Justice continues issuing a series of house arrest orders confining people to their homes foe a period of five years.

ANC Conference held in Botswana. Delegates came from all over South Africa and from abroad.

Vorster said that the biggest danger confronting South Africa was not communism, but liberalism. He warned the English press which continued to be the mouthpiece for the Congress Alliance.

The Minister of Justice issued the first house arrest order under the new Sabotage Act against Mrs. Helen Joseph, national vice-president of the banned Congress of Democrats. The order was valid for five years.

Minister of Justice Vorster issued an order banning until 30 April 1963 all meetings to protest against arrest, trial or conviction of any person. The order was understood to have been issued to counter demonstrations in connection with the trial of Nelson Mandela and the house arrest orders.

13 October 1962

The first restrictions to house arrest under the Sabotage Act is imposed in Johannesburg on Helen Joseph.

19 October 1962

The office of the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing is worked by an explosion in Pretoria.

27 October - 28 October 1962

45 African (and one Indian) leaders from South Africa had met at Lobatsi, Bechuanaland, to make plans to step up political activity. They were said to have been warned that unless their efforts against the government were intensified, funds from African states would be cut off.

6 November 1962

At its 17th session, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution on South Africa's racial policies, deploring the failure of the South African government to abandon its racial policies, and establishing a Special Committee to keep these under review. The resolution favours diplomatic and economic sanctions against South Africa and asks that the UN Security Council consider expelling South Africa from the Council.

6 November 1962

The General Assembly requested Member States to take specific measures to bring about the abandonment of apartheid, including breaking of diplomatic, trade and transport relations. It also established a Special Committee to follow developments and report to the General Assembly and the Security Council. [Resolution 1761(XII)]

[From its session in 1962, the General Assembly combined the items on the treatment of Indians in South Africa and on apartheid into one item: "Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa.]

6 November 1962

The General Assembly requested Member States to take specific measures to bring about the abandonment of apartheid, including breaking of diplomatic, trade and transport relations. It also established a Special Committee against apartheid to follow developments and report to the General Assembly and the Security Council. [Resolution 1761(XII)]

7 November 1962

Mandela sentenced to five years.

9 November 1962

The Minister of Justice states that there have been twenty-three attempts of sabotage from late September to date. Nearly sixty African suspects are reported to have been arrested.

15 November 1962

Thirty-eight African and Asian delegations table a draft resolution in the Trusteeship Committee asking for an effective United Nations 'presence' in the South West Africa, and asking the General Assembly to reaffirm 'the inalienable right of the people of South Africa to independence and national sovereignty.'

Uganda Prime Minister Milton Obote announces a boycott of South African goods.

16 November 1962

A list of 437 persons said to have been office-bearers, officers, members or active supporters of the banned Communist Party of South Africa is published. Listed persons are banned from belonging to thirty-six specified organizations and ordered to cease membership of such organisation by 1 February 1963.

21 November 1962

In an outbreak of violence at Paarl, Cape Province, two whites are beaten to death and seven blacks are shot during a march on a police station by about 100 blacks.

27 November 1962

Seven people were killed in Paarl. Africans marched on the police station to free prisoners arrested in recent killings. When the police opened fire, there were disturbances in town. The Minister of Justice appointed Mr. Justice J. H. Snyman to inquire into the causes of violence.

29 November 1962

President Swart appoints a one-man commission to inquire into the riots at Paarl.

December - June 1962 - 1964

In this period over 300 sentences are passed for such crimes as political murder, arson, acts of sabotage and bomb throwing, as well as for membership of banned organisation such as Poqo and the African National Congress. Forty death sentences are imposed in addition to numerous sentences of life imprisonment and lesser terms, at trials throughout the country.

1 December 1962

South Africa:Signs a loan agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development concerning the seventh Transport Project.

7 December - 13 March 1962 - 1963

The Paarl Riots Commissioner, Justice J.H. Snyman hears evidence at Paarl and elsewhere. Detailed information on the nature and activities of the Poqo organization is obtained. Ti is equated with the Pan Africanist Congress.

21 December 1962

The International Court of Justice at Hague rules, by the narrow majority of eight votes to seven, that it has jurisdiction in the case brought by Ethiopia and Liberia alleging that South Africa has violated its mandate over South West Africa.

Dr. Verwoerd intimates that the government proposes to introduces legislation providing for the extension of the territorial sea limit for South Africa and South West Africa from three to six nautical miles and establishment of a contiguous fishing zone extending to twelve miles from the base line.

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.