Apartheid Government declares 19 organisations unlawful

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Donald Woods bannedDonald Woods banned. Source:: https://www.legitgov.org/US-Rep-Wants-Assange-Decla

Wednesday, 19 October 1977

Following a Cabinet decision, taken on 18 October 1977, the government, by proclamation under the Internal Security Act, declared 19 organisations unlawful and apprehended around 70 leading Africans. A number of people were placed under restriction, including Donald Woods who was editor-in-chief at the Daily Dispatch.  It also closed down the daily newspaper 'The World' and its associated 'Weekend World'. The actions provoked worldwide shock and protest.

The Minister of Justice issued a statement justifying these draconian measures, and declared the organisations concerned a threat to law and order. The organisations affected included the Black People's Convention (BPC), the South African Student's Organisation (SASO), the Black Parent's Association (BPA),the Black Women's Federation and the Union of Black Journalists. Person's arrested included 8 members of the Soweto 'Committee of 10'.

References:
• Mangcu, X. (19 October, 2008). ‘Black Wednesday Remembered’from Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory [online]. Available at www.nelsonmandela.org [Accessed: 16 September 2011]
• Kalley, J.A., Schoeman, E. and Andor, L.E. (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997. Westport: Greenwood.

Last updated : 10-Oct-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011