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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1966

Verwoerd is murdered in parliament and is succeeded by Prime Minister Voster.

From Marianhill, Biko entered the Natal University's non-white medical school, familiarly known as Wentworth. A vastly talented political analyst, he was soon elected to the Students' Representative (SRC) and through the SRC he was drawn into NUSAS activities.

Education Act No 9:

Enacted various schooling mechanisms.

Commenced: 6 January 1967

Phyllis Naidoo banned. Arrested for ten days for breaking banning order. She leaves for Lesotho where she becomes a victim of a parcel bomb

Dorothy Nyembe is released and banned for five years. Restricted to magisterial district of Durban

1 January 1966

In a New Year message, Prime Minister Verwoerd emphasizes that South African policy is one of non-interference in the issues between Rhodesia and the United Kingdom. Regular relations will be maintained with both parties.

28 January 1966

The Prime Minister states that detention under the 180-day clause of the Criminal Procedure Amendment Act has been applied in the case of twenty-three people, all of whom were required as witnesses in criminal cases, including those against Abram Fischer and Fred Carneson.

1 February 1966

All South African refugees are to report to the Basutoland police for documentation or face deportation to South Africa. A closer check is to be kept on political asylum figures.

4 February 1966

Abram Fischer is committed for trial by a Pretoria magistrate. He pleads not guilty to all allegations.

7 February 1966

The Suppression of Communism Amendment Bill provides for the extension by a further year the power of the Minister of Justice to detain prisoners convicted under the Suppression of Communism Act for further periods after the expiry of their sentences. This power had been applied to Robert Sobukwe and his detention will be extended.

25 February 1966

Seven Africans are detained in the Transkei on an allegation of conspiracy to commit murder. Five are opposition members of the Legislative Council and the plot concerns the possible assassination of the Prime Minister, Chief Kaiser Matanzima.

18 March 1966

The Defence and Aid Fund is banned as an unlawful organization under the Suppression of Communism Act. It is an autonomous South African body providing legal aid for persons accused of political offences and support for the families of political prisoners. The fund's office in Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth are searched by police, as well as the homes of its office bearers, including that of the author, Alan Paton.

18 March 1966

Defence and Aid Fund declared an unlawful organisation in South Africa.

23 March 1966

Abram Fischer goes on trial in the Pretoria Supreme Court facing various charges of illegal activity, including membership of the Communist Party, conspiring to commit sabotage and to provide training for guerrilla warfare.

28 March 1966

The trial of Fred Carneson, a listed communist and former editor of New Age' opens before the Supreme Court in Cape Town, the charges being sabotage and contravention of the Suppression of Communism Act on three counts. On 25 May he is sentenced to a total of five years and nine months' imprisonment.

29 March 1966

South africa:Signs treaty with Zambia on postal services.

30 March 1966

Six political parties participate in the General Elections, with 356 candidates contesting 166 seats. The result is a sweeping victory for the National Party, who have a majority of eighty-two seats over the combined opposition. United Party members declined from forty-nine to thirty-nine, and the Progressive Party duly obtained one seat.

1 April 1966

An official list is published of forty-four people who have left South Africa and whose writings will not be allowed under the Suppression of Communism Act.

6 April 1966

The Chairman of the opposition Democratic Party in the Transkei, KM. Gunzana, is elected leader to succeed Paramount Chief Victor Poto who is to retire.

South Africa:Signs agreement with Italy on the postal administration between South Africa and Italy on the exchange of money orders.

9 April 1966

Following the victory of the National Party in the General Election, Dr. Verwoerd forms a new government.

20 April 1966

South Africa:Signs multilateral agreement on the further extension of the International Wheat Agreement, 1962.

29 April 1966

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty on the partial revision of radio regulations.

South Africa:Signs treaty with Denmark, Norway and Sweden on the extension of the period of validity of traffic rights at Zurich in respect of South African territory granted to SAS by the 1958 agreement.

4 May 1966

The court finds Abram Fischer guilty on all fifteen counts of the indictment, including alleged sabotage, Communist Party membership and being a contact between the South African Communist Party and its overseas committee in London.

5 May 1966

South Africa:Signs treaty with the Federal Republic of Germany on postal services.

South Africa:Signs treaty with the Federal Republic of Germany on postal services.

6 May 1966

Presidents Joaquim Chissano and Nelson Mandela sign an agreement to allow South African farmers to settle and farm in Mozambique.

9 May 1966

Abram Fischer is sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge of conspiracy with the ANC and Umkonto we Sizwe to commit sabotage and to twenty-four years' imprisonment on six counts concerning Communist Party membership.

10 May 1966

South Africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain for the release from the bound margin of preference on raw coffee.

11 May 1966

The President of the National Union of South Africa (NUSAS), Ian Robertson, receives a banning order under the Suppression of Communism Act.

14 May 1966

The government grants an amnesty in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Republic. Over 30,000 prisoners stand to benefit.

20 May 1966

After the State President assents to the Transkei Flag Bill, the new ochre-red, white and green tri-colour of the Transkei is hoisted in the capital Umtata for the first time.

31 May 1966

The Republic celebrates its fifth anniversary with a massive military demonstration in Pretoria. A crowd of more than 500,000 sees nearly 20,000 troops and 200 aircraft take part in the proceedings.

4 June 1966

Senator Robert Kennedy arrives in South Africa as the guest of NUSAS. He speaks at several universities, meets ex-Chief Albert Luthuli, banned leader of the ANC, but at no time does any member of the government meet him and official hostility is evident.

8 June 1966

South Africa officially refuses an invitation to send representatives to an international seminar on apartheid, to be held in Brazil, in August and September 1966. The seminar is considered to be simply part of the political campaign waged against South Africa at the United Nations.

22 June 1966

A spokesman for the World Council of Churches says in Geneva that the government has refused permission for Bishop Zulu to attend the world conference on 'Church and Society' in July. The Anglican Prelate was to have been one of the eight conference presidents.

30 June 1966

Transkeian Authorities Amendment Act No 7:

Amended the list of authoritative bodies in the homeland.

Commenced: 30 June 1966

July 1966

Steve Biko attended the annual NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) Congress as an observer.

7 July 1966

South africa:Signs treaty with Great Britain on the temporary waiver of the margin of preference on flat white maize.

16 July 1966

The latest list of banned people totals 936 in three categories: 467 listed communists, 515 banned under the Suppression of Communism and Riotous Assembly Acts and three banned only under the Riotous Assemblies Acts. Forty-nine names are both listed as communists and banned.

18 July 1966

The International Court of Justice at The Hague rejects the complaints by Ethiopia and Liberia against South Africa, in which they alleged breaches of duties as the mandatory power to South West Africa, with the President of the Court, Sir Percy Spender of Australia, deciding the issue with his casting vote. The government welcomes this decision: the South West African National Union and SWAPO reject the decision absolutely.

20 July 1966

South Africa:Accepts the accession of Yugoslavia to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

South Africa:Signs a parcel post agreement with the Netherlands.

29 July 1966

Addressing the Senate, President Swart announces that legislation is to be introduced by the government to prohibit interference by one population group in the political affairs or institutions of another population group. It is aimed at thwarting Progressive Party plans to counter the four October elections of the four Coloured People's representatives in the Assembly. On a different topic, he makes it clear that no proposal to leave the United Nations is at present being contemplated by the government.

6 August 1966

The Universities Amendment Act and the Extension of University Education Amendment Act give the Minister of Education Arts and Science, complete control over student life in South African universities.

12 August 1966

Under the Suppression of Communism Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament, any attorney or advocate who has committed an offence under the Act at any time is liable to be struck off the roll. Other clauses give the Minister of Justice powers to cut listed people off from contact with any organization he chooses to specify. The Bill is rejected outright by the Progressive Party member Helen Suzman.

17 August 1966

South Africa:Accepts the accession of Switzerland to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

22 August 1966

South Africa:Signs agreement with the Union Castle Co. on ocean-freight.

23 August 1966

The South African Minister of Posts and Telegraphs complains that Radio Tanzania's broadcasts from Dar-es-Salaam are interfering with broadcasts in South Africa.

23 August - 4 August 1966

International Seminar on Apartheid, Brasilia, organised by the UN Division of Human Rights, the Special Committee against Apartheid and the Government of Brazil - the first of scores of conferences and seminars on apartheid organised or co-sponsored by the United Nations.

23 August - 4 September 1966

International Seminar on Apartheid, Brasilia, organised by the UN Division of Human Rights, the Special Committee against Apartheid and the Government of Brazil - the first of scores of conferences and seminars on apartheid organised or co-sponsored by the United Nations.

6 September 1966

The Prime Minister, Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, is fatally stabbed in the House of Assembly by Demitrio Tsafendas, a messenger who had been serving the Press Gallery. Dr. T.E. DOnges, the Minister of Finance, temporarily takes over the duties of Prime Minister.

South Africa:Signs treaty with Botswana on air transport between Bechuanaland National Airways (BNA) and South African Railways and Harbours.

8 September 1966

South Africa:Signs guarantee agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

10 September 1966

Dr. Verwoerd is buried in Hero's Acre, Pretoria. A mile-long cortege is watched on its three-mile journey by a crowd of some 250,000 people.

12 September 1966

Minister of Defence Botha announces in Cape Town that the posts of Secretary for Defence and Commandant-General of the Defence Force are to be combined under one head.

13 September 1966

The Parliamentary caucus of the National Party unanimously elects B.J. Vorster, Minister of Justice, as its new leader. He automatically becomes Prime Minister, promises to uphold Dr. Verwoerd's policies and will retain the Cabinet Portfolio of Police, temporarily.

14 September 1966

Justice van Wyk of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court is appointed as a one-man Commission to inquire into all aspects of the assassination.

27 September 1966

The United Nations General Assembly votes by 114 votes to two (South Africa and Portugal), with three abstentions (Britain, France and Malawi) to terminate the mandate and to declare the administration of South West Africa to be the responsibility of the United Nations. The government views the Resolution as illegal and unconstitutional, and proposes to ignore it.

October - 17 October 1966

Tsafendas is brought to trial before the Judge-President of the Cape Provincial

5 October 1966

A new Afrikaans-medium university is established in Johannesburg, the Rand Afrikaans University.

13 October 1966

The General Laws Amendment Bill of 1966 is published. The bill entitles police officers to detain up to fourteen days anyone suspected of offences against security.

21 October 1966

D. Tsafendas, accused of assassinating Dr. Verwoerd in the House of Assembly, is committed to detention in prison at the State Presidents pleasure.

26 October 1966

The General Assembly decided - in resolution 2142A (XXI) to proclaim 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Many delegations had proposed that date as it was the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.

26 October 1966

The General Assembly decided - in resolution 2142A (XXI) to proclaim 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Many delegations had proposed that date as it was the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.

26 October 1966

Group Areas Act No 36:

While in theory this was not discriminatory legislation, it was implemented in a way that was advantageous to whites (Dugard 1978: 82).

Commenced: 26 October 1966

Repealed by s 48 of the Abolition of Racially Based Land Measures Act No 108 of 1991.

1 November 1966

The United Nations General Assembly adopts a fifty-four nation resolution by 114 to 2 against (South Africa and Portugal) with three abstentions (Malawi, France and Great Britain) calling for the establishment of a fourteen-member ad hoc Committee to recommend practical means for the administration of South West Africa. The Assembly also decides that South Africa's Mandate over SWA is terminated.

3 November 1966

The government announces that President Swart will retire on 31 May 1967.

4 November 1966

Industrial Conciliation Further Amendment Act No 61:

Prohibited strikes and lock-outs for any purpose unconnected with the employee/employer relationship (Horrell 1978: 279).

Commenced: 4 November 1966

Repealed by Labour Relations Act No 66 of 1995.

4 November 1966

General Law Amendment Act No 62:

Designed in response to guerrilla activities on the northern borders of the then South West Africa (Dugard 1978: 116). Section 22(1) was amended to provide for the detention of suspected 'terrorists' for up to fourteen days for purposes of interrogation. The Commissioner of Police could apply to a judge to have the detention order renewed. This was essentially a forerunner of the 1967 Terrorism Act.

Commenced: 4 November 1966

Sections 3-6 & 22 repealed by the Internal Security Act No 74 of 1982

7 November 1966

The government announces that President Swart will retire on 31 May 1967.

11 November 1966

Signs multilateral agreement on telecommunications and treaties of 21 October 1965.

14 November 1966

Signs treaty with Portugal (for Angola) on air transport.

17 November 1966

Accepts Procès-verbal extending the declaration on the provisional accession of the United Arab Republic to the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade.

25 November 1966

The new British Ambassador to South Africa, Sir John Nicholls, presents his credentials to the State President

28 November 1966

The Bantu Administration Minister MC. Botha, announces measures leading to the creation of South Africa's second 'homeland' in the Northern Transvaal.

29 November 1966

South Africa:Signs treaty with Malawi on postal services.

30 November 1966

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty on the safety of life at sea.

14 December 1966

South Africa:Signs multilateral treaty on load lines.

14 December 1966

The Minister of Agricultural Technical Services, J.J. Fouche, claims that South Africa is strong enough to withstand sanctions for at least three years.

20 December 1966

The United Nations General Assembly passes a draft Resolution, by eighty-seven votes to one (Portugal) and twelve abstentions, indicating that the situation in South Africa constitutes a threat to international peace and that universally applied mandatory economic sanctions are the only means of achieving a peaceful solution.

28 December 1966

The Lesotho government announces it will deport eight South Africans, whom it describes as a danger to peace.

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.