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31 May 1910
Britain hands over power to white Union of South Africa
08 January 1912
ANC (SANNC) founding conference
07 January 1919
ICU founded
29 July 1921
Formation of CPSA
12 August 1946
Strike by 100 000 African miners
07 May 1950
CPSA disbands in anticipation of being banned
26 June 1952
Defiance Campaign
14 July 1953
SACP succeeds CPSA
17 April 1954
Formation of FEDSAW.
15 February 1955
60 000 Africans removed at gunpoint from Johannesburg's Western Areas under the Group Areas Act
05 March 1955
SACTU formed
26 June 1955
Congress of the People. Declared SA Freedom Day
09 August 1955
20 000 women march on Pretoria. Declared South African Women's Day
21 March 1960
Sharpeville massacre where 69 people were killed in pass law protest
28 March 1960
Oliver Tambo leaves SA to establish ANC mission in exile
30 April 1960
South Africa's first State of Emergency declared; over 2 000 detained
11 December 1961
Chief AJ Luthuli, president of ANC, awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
16 December 1961
First armed actions by MK. Declared Heroes Day.
05 October 1962
Looksmart Ngudle, the first political prisoner tortured to death.
05 October 1963
Looksmart Ngudle, the first political prisoner tortured to death.
12 June 1964
Rivonia trial ends. Life sentences for Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Goldberg, Kathrada, Mlangeni, Mhlaba, Motsoaledi.
06 November 1964
SACTU activists Vuyisile Mini, Wilson Khayinga, Zinakile Mkaba hanged
09 February 1965
'I believe in the supremacy of the white man over his people in his own territory and I am prepared to maintain it by force'. - John Vorster in parliament.
20 February 1973
First large contingents of South African conscripts sent to Namibia.
01 March 1973
Strike wave launched in Natal, opening a new wave of trade union organisation throughout the country.
19 October 1975
SA invades Angola.
16 June 1976
Soweto uprising. Declared SA Youth Day.
12 September 1977
Steve Biko dies in police detention.
19 October 1977
organisations and two newspapers banned.
06 April 1979
Solomon Mahlangu hanged. He said: 'My blood shall nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom'.
18 April 1980
Zimbabwe independence.
30 January 1981
ANC and SACTU exiles massacred at Matola in Mozambique by SA army.
01 June 1981
MK attacks Sasol fuel complex.
20 December 1981
Griffiths Mxenge, UDF lawyer, hacked to death by apartheid agents.
02 February 1982
Death of Neil Aggett in police detention.
17 August 1982
Assassination of Ruth First in Maputo by parcel bomb.
09 December 1982
SA raid into Lesotho kills 42.
09 June 1983
MK cadres Mosololi, Motaung, Moegerane executed.
20 August 1983
Launch of UDF in Cape Town.
16 March 1984
Nkomati Accord, non-aggression treaty, signed by SA and Mozambique.
28 June 1984
Assassination of Jeanette Schoon and daughter Katryn by parcel bomb sent by SA agents.
22 August 1984
Coloured elections for tri-cameral parliament yield 17% poll.
03 September 1984
Vaal uprising.
11 December 1984
Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
02 January 1985
First National ECC Conference at Botha's Hill, Durban
21 March 1985
Langa Massacre: 20 shot dead by police in Uitenhage.
19 May 1985
SADF raids Harare, Gaborone and Lusaka.
14 June 1985
SADF raids Gaborone, killing 12.
20 July 1985
Funeral of Cradock 4.
21 July 1985
Second State of Emergency declared.
01 August 1985
Victoria Mxenge assassinated at her home in Durban.
18 October 1985
Malesela Benjamin Moloise executed in defiance of international calls for clemency.
26 October 1985
State of Emergency extended to entire country.
01 December 1985
Formation of COSATU.
12 June 1986
Third State of Emergency declared.
19 October 1986
President Samora Machel of Mozambique killed in plane crash.
11 December 1986
Dr Fabian and Florence Ribiero assassinated.
07 May 1987
COSATU headquarters bombed.
19 January 1988
ANC headquarters in Lusaka bombed by SA.
21 February 1988
SA army defeated after six months battle against Angolan troops backed by Cuban solidarity forces.
29 March 1988
Dulcie September, ANC chief representative in Paris, assassinated by SA agents.
23 August 1988
Khotso House, headquarters of SA Council of Churches blown up.
01 May 1989
David Webster killed on May Day.
01 September 1989
Defiance campaign against banning and restriction orders and against segregation in hospitals and other facilities.
15 October 1989
Walter Sisulu and other Rivonia trialists released.
10 December 1989
Conference for a Democratic Future.
02 February 1990
ANC legalised after 30 years (SACP, PAC and 70 other organisations also unbanned).
11 February 1990
Nelson Mandela released.
21 March 1990
Namibia Independence Day.
02 May 1990
First meeting between ANC and apartheid government; ends with joint commitment to peaceful negotiations.
29 July 1990
Public relaunch of SACP at Soweto rally
01 August 1990
ANC/MK suspends armed actions after 29 years.
01 August 1990
Aug-Sept. Over 750 people killed in Aug-Sept wave of violence unleashed against the ANC as part of a strategy of destabilisation.
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