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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 19

Volume 3

Chapter 1

Subsection 12

1980 In what becomes known as the Silvertown Bank Siege, three MK operatives take bank employees hostage on 25 January. The operatives and two hostages are killed.
School boycotts originate in April in the Western Cape and spread nationally. Initial grievances concern mainly the standard and quality of education, but these grow.
Expelled ANC official Tennyson Makiwane is shot dead by the ANC in the Transkei in June. South Africa takes over support to RENAMO from the former Rhodesian government. The independence of Zimbabwe is proclaimed. The Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) is founded.
1981 In the Matola raid, the first major cross-border raid into Mozambique, twenty people, including three SADF members, are killed in January. At the Simonstown Beraad [consultation] in January, the state rationalises the intelligence community, leading to the establishment of the Co-ordinating Intelligence Committee (CIC or KIK).
COSAS activist, Sizwe Kondile of Port Elizabeth, is abducted from Lesotho by the security police and killed in June.
Joe Gqabi, ANC chief representative in Zimbabwe, is assassinated in July. The MK Special Operations Unit attacks the Voortrekkerhoogte military base in Pretoria in August.
Durban lawyer, Griffiths Mxenge, is assassinated by security police in Durban on 19 November. The independence of the Ciskei, under Chief Lennox Sebe, is proclaimed on 4 December.
Self-governing status is conferred on KwaNdebele. South Africa withdraws its recognition of UN resolution 435. In Operation Protea, the SADF occupies one third of Angola.
1982 Trade unionist, Neil Aggett, dies at John Vorster Square in February, after seventy days in detention.
The Conservative Party (CP) is launched in March. The ANC London offices are bombed by a South African security police team headed by Craig Williamson.
Nelson Mandela is transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town in March. A worldwide ‘Free Mandela’ campaign begins. COSAS activists, Siphiwe Mthimkulu and Topsy Madaka, are abducted from Port Elizabeth on 14 April and killed by security police. Mthimkulu was in the process of suing the police for poisoning him with thallium while he was in detention.
ANC acting chief representative in Swaziland, Petrus ‘Nzima’ Nyawosa and his wife, Jabu, are assassinated in June in a car bomb explosion by South African security police. ANC/SACP member, Ruth First, is assassinated in Maputo on 17 August by a parcel bomb despatched by South African security police.
Warrant Officer Selepe is killed by the ANC in Mamelodi in November. South African commandos attack flats in Maseru, Lesotho, in December; forty-two people are killed, twelve of whom are Lesotho nationals. They miss their target, Chris Hani, but the ANC representative in Lesotho, Zola Nguni, is killed. The Koeberg nuclear power plant is bombed by MK in December, causing extensive damage.
Three COSAS activists are taken (allegedly for military training) to a mine bunker near Krugersdorp by askaris masquerading as MK operatives. They are blown up. (This method of ‘entrapment’ is later used by the security forces in similar incidents in the mid- and late-1980s).
The Internal Security Act follows the recommendations of the Rabie Commission of Inquiry, providing for the banning of publications and people, prohibition from attending any kind of meeting, house arrest, indefinite preventive detention and solitary confinement for detainees.
Compulsory military service is extended.
1983 A car bomb explodes outside the South African Air Force headquarters on Church Street, Pretoria on 20 May. Nineteen people are killed and 200 injured. Two MK operatives die in the attack.
Security forces attack Matola, Mozambique in May, killing 6 people. A two-year boycott of Ciskei-owned buses starts in Mdantsane, Ciskei in July.
Ciskei security forces and vigilantes work together to force boycotters back onto buses. By the end of the year at least fifteen people have been killed. The national launch of the United Democratic Front (UDF) takes place in Mitchell’s Plain on 20 August. The immediate goal is to oppose the introduction of the Tricameral Parliament and black municipal councils. In terms of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, the new constitution is adopted by Parliament in September. The Act provides for the establishment of the Tricameral Parliament consisting of three legislative houses for whites, coloureds and Indians.
In the Ongoye killings on 29 October, Inkatha-aligned ‘warriors’ at the University of Zululand kill five and injure many in clashes between students and approximately 500 Inkatha supporters.
In a national referendum in November, white voters support the tricameral constitution proposal referendum, which accommodates coloureds and Indians but excludes Africans. In a 76% turnout, 66% vote ‘yes’.
Operation Askari is launched in Angola in December by the former SADF. It is a pre-emptive action, designed to forestall the invasion of SWA/Namibia by 800-1000 SWAPO guerrillas.
Namibian Multi-Party Conference is launched. The End Conscription Campaign (ECC) is launched by whites opposed to conscription.
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