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  • White, mainly Dutch-speaking, farmers, tradesmen and squatters who in the 1830s migrated inland and into Natal from from the British-ruled Cape colony, and established the white republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Voortrekkers translates to pioneers.
Urban Bantu Councils
  • The Urban Bantu Councils were part of the apartheid system. They were established outside the bantustans in areas where Africans were denied rights beyond election to the councils. They were assigned limited administrative duties but deprived of sustainable income as ‘African’ areas had little taxable economic activity. Boycott of council elections sustained over many years and hostility from communities rendered them ineffective.
Suppression of Communism Act, No. 44, 1950
  • Act passed 26 June 1950, in which the state banned the SACP and any activities it deemed communist, defining ‘communism’ in such broad terms that anyone protesting against apartheid would be in breach of the act.
State of Emergency, 1960 0
Sharpeville Massacre
  • Confrontation in the township of Sharpeville, Gauteng Province. On 21 March 1960, sixty-nine unarmed anti-pass protesters were shot dead by police and over 180 were injured. The PAC organised demonstration attracted between 5,000 and 7,000 protesters. This day is now commemorated annually in South Africa as a public holiday: Human Rights Day.
Rugby World Cup 0
Rivonia Trial
  • Trial between 1963 and 1964 in which ten leading members of the Congress Alliance were charged with sabotage and faced the death penalty. Named after the suburb of Rivonia, Johannesburg, where six members of the MK High Command were arrested at their hideout, Liliesleaf Farm, on 11 July 1963. Incriminating documents, including a proposal for a guerrilla insurgency named Operation Mayibuye, were seized. Mandela, who was already serving a sentence for incitement and leaving South Africa illegally, was implicated, and his notes on guerrilla warfare and his diary from his trip through Africa in 1962 were also seized. Rather than being cross-examined as a witness, Mandela made a statement from the dock on 20 April 1964. This became his famous ‘I am prepared to die’ speech. On 11 June 1964 eight of the accused were convicted by Justice Quartus de Wet at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria, and the next day were sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Formed in 1976 as an anti-Communist rebel group in Mozambique, it fought the ruling Frelimo with the backing of the neighbouring white-minority regimes of colonial Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa which supplied it with arms. Following a 1992 peace accord it took part in elections in 1994, becoming the country’s official opposition party.
Record of Understanding 0
Ready to Govern, 1992
  • At its National Conference in May 1992, as the first democratic election approached, the ANC debated and adopted a document setting out policy perspectives ‘Ready to govern: ANC policy guidelines for a democratic South Africa’
  • After the 1994 election and during the period the country lived under an Interim constitution, Parliament consisted of the National Assembly and a Senate which was replaced in 1997 by the National Council of Provinces when the new constitution was introduced.
Non-aligned movement 1
Ingonyama Trust Act
  • Established by the apartheid parliament on the eve of the 1994 elections, the Trust manages land in the areas of the former KwaZulu bantustan, constituting almost a third of KwaZulu-Natal province. Its mandate is to hold land for ‘the benefit of the members of the tribes and communities’ living on the land. Aspects of its administration have proved controversial, including actions seen as diminishing the rights of people occupying land
Harare Declaration
  • In 1989, as conditions for negotiations ripened, the ANC formulated proposals s for a political settlement and for negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict. Adopted in turn by the Front-Line States; the Organisation of Africa Unity and finally the United Nations.
Government of National Unity
  • The government of South Africa between 27 April 1994 and 3 February 1997 under the leadership of the ANC and according to the terms of clause 88 (2) of the interim constitution of South Africa, which required that any party holding twenty or more seats in the National Assembly could claim one or more cabinet portfolios and enter the government. The National Party and the IFP obtained cabinet positions for their leaders and MPs. F. W. de Klerk took his National Party out of the GNU on 3 June 1996, citing the exclusion of joint decision-making from the final constitution, and the National Party’s lack of influence on government policy.
Freedom Charter
  • A statement of the principles of the Congress Alliance, adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto, on 26 June 1955. The Congress Alliance rallied thousands of volunteers across South Africa to record the demands of the people. The Freedom Charter espoused equal rights for all South Africans regardless of race, land reform, improved working and living conditions, the fair distribution of wealth, compulsory education and fairer laws. The Freedom Charter was a powerful tool used in the fight against apartheid.
Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws, 1951
  • Initiated by the ANC in December 1951, and launched with the SAIC on 26 June 1952, against six apartheid laws. The Campaign involved individuals breaking racist laws such as entering premises reserved for ‘whites only’, breaking curfews and courting arrest. Mandela was appointed national volunteer-in-chief and Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy. Over 8,500 volunteers were imprisoned for their participation in the Defiance Campaign.
  • Negotiated in the Constitutional Assembly from May 1994 to October 1996 during the Government of National Unity (GNU). During the CODESA talks – started in 1991 – the National Party and ANC had agreed to create an interim constitution, which would be the basis for a final constitution. The final constitution was to be drawn up by members of the two houses of Parliament sitting as a Constitutional Assembly. On 8 May 1996 the final constitution was adopted by the National Assembly and one day later, second deputy president, F. W. de Klerk, announced the withdrawal of his National Party from the GNU, with effect from 30 June. After amendments required by the Constitutional Court, the final text was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly in October 1996. The Constitutional Court is the final arbiter of whether laws and regulations comply with the Constitution.
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