General Law Amendment Act (Sabotage Act) No 76 commences

Wednesday, 27 June 1962

This Act increased the state president's power to declare organisations unlawful and to add further restrictions to banning orders. It defined sabotage and made provision for a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of death. Sabotage was defined by this Act as a wrongful and willful act to inflict injuries, obstruct or tamper with the supply of light, water, power or fuel and the postal and telephone services. It also included interference with the free movement of traffic or jeopardising the safety of the state in any way.

Hundreds of South African Congress of Trade Union (SACTU) members fell victims of this Act. Their detention period ranged from 90 to 180 days. Those found guilty were imprisoned, some in solitary confinement, and sometimes tortured. Lots of people lost their lives and a campaign was launched to free those languishing in jail due to the act.

Sources:

  1. http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/congress/sactu/wff1.htm
  2. http://www.marcelmbaumann.de/Seiten/taetsueda2.html

Last updated : 27-Jun-2013

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