Armed Struggle Conference 23 – 25 November
Mafika Gwala Annual Lecture – 6 October 2016
Freedom Day Doodle – Google 27 April 2016
NIHSS Digital Contributions Awards 31 March 2016
Insurrections, a collection of 11 compositions, the product of poetry-music collaboration between Indian and South African artists. - See more at:
Insurrections III: The Storming
SEEDTIME – Omar Badsha retrospective at IZIKO National Gallery, Cape Town, and Museum Africa Johannesburg
June 17, 2014 ”” In a collaboration between SAHO, DLL, the Popular Education Programme and the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (DHET), the Popular Education website was launched. Read more...
- January 2013 ”” South African History Online (SAHO) initiated discussions with one of our interns, Dr. Memory Biwa (a post graduate student from Namibia) to start a similar project to promote history in Namibia and Southern Africa. This project and website is at an advanced stage and is ready to go live pending funding.
- 24 January - 11 February 2013 ”” “The Forgotten People: Banishment under Apartheid” exhibition, based on the book of the same title by Professor Saleem Badat, Vice Chancellor at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, opened at Constitution Hill, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
- 21 - 23 February 2013 ”” SAHO co-hosts with Rhodes University, “Durban Moment Conference” (The rise of the Trade Union Movement) at Rhodes University, Grahamstown.
- May 2013 ”” Book Launch: “In Transit - Autobiography of A South African Freedom Fighter” by Fanele Mbali, in collaboration with the Humanities Department of the University of the Western Cape at the District Six Museum.
- May 2013 ”” “The Forgotten People: Banishment under Apartheid” exhibition by Professor Saleem Badat at the Humanities Faculty at The University of Cape Town.
- August 2013 ”” Booklet for the Department of Basic Education on the 1913 Women’s Anti-pass Campaign.
- 21 August 2013 ”” SAHO curated, designed and produced a photographic exhibition, Celebrating 40 years of the Durban Strikes, for the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU). The exhibition premiered at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.
- July - November 2013 ”” Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&MSeta) Graduate experiential learning programme – Final year Graphic design and Information Technology (IT) students, from Technikons in Cape Town were invited to participate in SAHO’s experiential learning programme. They contributed to the exhibitions and publications programmes where they acquired editing, design, layout and other publication skills. These addressed skills sets such as: Design, Electronic publishing, Administration, Software, Research, Networking.
- September 2013 ”” Voluntary Internships, America and Canada, via Skype. SAHO mentored and tutored 17 students from the Southern Methodist University in Texas and 10 Students from The McGill University in Canada (http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2013-2014/courses/hist-382). The duration of the programme was six months. The students generated in depth content on aspects of South African Liberation History. This initiative was very successful as it encouraged debate and critical discourse. The programme was coordinated in South Africa by senior researcher at SAHO, Mr Jeeva Rajgopaul.
The newly added material, as well as the students’ profiles appears on the SAHO website (http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/south-african-history-online-and-southern-methodist-university-partnership-project). This also provides verification and testimony for the student.
- The online internship programme is expected to continue in 2014 with increased online interaction and group discussions. This will take place mainly via Skype and possibly video conferencing.
- December 2013 ”” As of this date, the NAHO website groundwork was completed. This was largely due to the consistent work and innovation that was demonstrated during the planning and execution phase.
Tertiary Education: Research, Internship Programme
In 2012, SAHO initiated a ground-breaking new collaborative project with tertiary history departments in Canada, the United States of America and the West Indies, as well as local universities in South Africa. With financial support from Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), the hospitality training facility, SAHO conducted a six-month internship programme with 10 Masters and PhD students.. Read more
SAHO published two new books and a CD in 2012.
Edited by Arianna Lissoni, Jon Soske, Natasha Erlank, Noor Nieftagodien and Omar Badsha, SAHO and Wits Press, the book is based on papers presented at a conference organised jointly by SAHO, the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) and University of Johannesburg History Departments in 2011.
"The life of revolutionaries is one of perpetual motion, there is no getting off and letting go because it would amount to a betrayal of self. Underground, flight, life in exile, extreme deprivation, working to go back home, capture, escape, liberation, homecoming and the difficult transit into the new South Africa and the new struggle against the legacy of apartheid, corruption, poverty and inequalities." - Fanele Mbali
Publication/Special Project: Insurrections, CD arising from a joint SA-Indian music/poetry initiative, Lineages of Freedom.
Exhibitions in 2012
“The Forgotten People: Political Banishment under Apartheid”,based on the book of the same title by Professor Saleem Badat, Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University. The exhibition opened at Freedom Park (Pretoria) in September 2012 and has since travelled to the Constitutional Court Museum in Johannesburg, the ANC December Conference in Mangaung and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown.
Lineages of Freedom: A celebration of Culture and Shared Ties
Held jointly with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), SAHO organised a cultural programme titled Lineages of Freedom: A celebration of Culture and Shared Ties at the District Six Homecoming Centre and Fugard Theatre, Cape Town.
The programme included the launch of Fanele Mbali’s book, In Transit: Autobiography of a South African Freedom Fighter, a photographic exhibition, Walking on Water: Migrants and Travelling Stories, by Omar Badsha, and a concert, Insurrections, a special musical suite composed by South African and Indian musicians and poets. A DVD of the concert has been co-produced by SAHO and the Humanities Centre at UWC. The DVD was launched in India and South Africa in 2013. Read more
Red in the Rainbow
SAHO partnered with Lynn Carneson in an exhibition called Red in the Rainbow held at the Nelson Mandela Gateway Museum in Cape Town.
This multi-media exhibition showcased the life of Fred and Sarah Carneson, their family and their comrades in Cape Town taking the visitor through a vivid experience of what it was like for people of all races to oppose the Apartheid regime.
SAHO co-produced the film “Breathe Again “ with Azanian Rizing productions. The film is based on the story of Derrick Orderson, a record holding Cape Flats swimmer marginalized by Apartheid, directed by his nephew Kurt Orderson and has been shown at film festivals in South Africa and on the international film festival circuits, university and community venues.
Launch of new Drupal Web 2.0 format:
The last two years have seen new website development, transferring SAHO’s HTML content into the then-new Drupal Web 2.0 format, in successive phases. Drupal is a free content digitisation process that suits bigger, content-rich websites (other Drupal users include Media24). Launched in June 2011, the new interface makes it easier for visitors to find and add new information to the website. Its functions allow history to be presented in new and exciting ways. The new format enables it to be viewed on Smartphone and tablet formats, platforms that an increasing number of people are using to access online content.
Liberation Struggle History Project
This project was launched in 2011 to write the history of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation organisations. It was completed in 2012. This alone has made SAHO the most comprehensive online history resource produced so far in the country. A work in progress, the resource will include the history of labour movements, youth, women, housing, pass and security laws in South Africa and other Southern African states. Read more
Lives of Courage (biographies)
The Lives of Courage project has become an integral part of SAHO’s presentation of liberation history. It involves compiling, through interviews and oral testimony, biographies of liberation history figures and others who took a stand for justice in South Africa. This project has produced hundreds of new biographies of liberation history activists, including presidents of the ANC, Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and other liberation organisations. The project has resulted in an extensive collection of articles, audio material, videos, and photographs. Read more
Lives of Courage Project
This is an expansion of a major project and public campaign that aims to evoke the memory of the millions of ordinary people who struggled for liberation. High-quality biographical research is being undertaken to further develop the archive and a series of books under the umbrella of Lives of Courage are being published.
Two of SAHO's latest publications were launched at the ANC’s centenary conference in 2012 and Parliament respectively. These are:
- The Final Prize, My life in the Anti Apartheid Struggle by Norman Levy.
- Alex Hepple South African Socialist by Bob Hepple.
Both are part of SAHO's “Lives of Courage” series.
In Pursuit of Liberty: Legality vs. Justice Exhibition
An exhibition, In Pursuit of Liberty: Legality vs. Justice, depicting Apartheid-era courts as sites of struggle, was launched on 14 June 2011 at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The exhibition was jointly curated by SAHO and Pambili Productions and marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the ANC’s armed wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK).
The exhibition was on display at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton until December 2011. Former SAHO employee Joni Light co-curated the exhibition for which SAHO received some funds that covered its costs related to the exhibition. SAHO’s involvement in this exhibition provided great marketing and networking opportunities for the organisation.
One City, Many Histories
SAHO launched its “One City, Many Histories” on the history of the nine cities where the 2010 Soccer World Cup was held.
Bonani Africa Festival of Photography (2010)
One of the largest ever exhibitions of contemporary South African documentary photography, the Bonani Africa 2010 Festival of Photography showcased 56 photographers from South Africa whose work address the intersecting questions of narrative and social engagement.
As part of the festival, coinciding with the opening of this exhibition, SAHO organised a three-day conference at the Iziko National Gallery in Cape Town entitled Beyond the Racial Lens: The Politics of South African Documentary Photography, Past and Present. This conference brought South Africa’s pre-eminent photographers, art historians, and curators into conversation with a younger generation of photographers, artists and activists.
After a two-month run at the Castle in Cape Town, the Bonani exhibition travelled to Museum Africa in Johannesburg (September 2010 - March 2011).
A 200 page catalogue based on the exhibition was also published.
SAHO’s Education Programme and the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition (2010-2011) SAHO’s Education Programme and the Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition (2010-2013). A major breakthrough was the renewal of SAHO’s partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Minister Angie Motshekga endorsed the organisation’s three-year education programme and she has agreed to help SAHO with its fundraising drive.
We regret to report that for the first time since its inception the competition did not take place in 2010 due to a lack of resources. However, the DBE had raised the funds to host the 2011 Annual Chief Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition, which was held on the 7-8 October in Pretoria. This, the fifth annual competition, was a great success.
After two days of intensive presentations by 40 students and 13 teachers from eight provinces, a team of nine adjudicators (historians and heritage practitioners) assessed the portfolios and chose three student and three educator winners. The adjudicators were impressed by the efforts of the young historians, and inspired by the originality and rigour of their investigations.
In addition to the competition, the DBE granted SAHO the funds to produce two booklets for schools. The first was printed in August 2011 to celebrate women in South African history, and the second in January 2012, examining key holidays and anniversaries and why we celebrate them.
Cocktails of liberty - Contours of the 1976 Western Cape student uprising By Cornelius Thomas Published and launched in January in partnership with Vivalia Press. Read more
Towards a Women’s History: On August 6th, SAHO hosted a symposium entitled Towards a Women’s History: Building a Women’s Archive at Freedom Park in Pretoria. At this event we also opened an exhibition, For Freedom and Equality, Women in 20th Century South African History. The exhibition was displayed at Freedom Park in Pretoria and later at the University of Pretoria. Our aim was to begin a national dialogue amongst historians and museum and archive workers in order to help SAHO compile a comprehensive women’s history.
Yusuf Dadoo Centenary Celebrations
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr Yusuf Dadoo, and as part of its rewriting of the history of the liberation movement, SAHO updated its material on Yusuf Dadoo, leader of the South African Communist Party. In addition, SAHO and the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg held a public lecture and conference in September in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In partnership with Mogale City and the South African Communist Party, SAHO also organised a gala dinner to celebrate the life and times of Dr Yusuf Dadoo. We used this event as a platform to launch the Liberation Struggle project. Read more
Fifth Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition
(in partnership with the Department of Education)
Prize giving and adjudication took place in Bloemfontein, September 2009. Read more
Fourth Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition
(in partnership with the Department of Education)
Prize giving and adjudication took place in Durban
SAHO Online History Classroom
Due to changes in the history curriculum, SAHO began the process of updating all of the history classroom content, a project currently in progress. Visit the classroom
Cape Flats Details - Life and Popular Art in Cape Town’s Townships By Chris Ledochowski (publication, exhibition & web gallery)
First published by SAHO & Unisa Press in 2003, the book sold out. Due to popular demand, a re-print and update of the book was undertaken for the International Book Fair in Cape Town (June 2008). Read more
Celebrating 90 years Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu SAHO web launch
The creation of comprehensive archives on the life and times of these two monumental liberation figures, including biographies, letters, speeches, articles, galleries and life timelines.
The Amersfoort Legacy, A History of SA Education, Commemorating 350 years - South African History Online (SAHO), in partnership with the UCT School of Education and Iziko Museums produced an online history project and exhibition launched at the Slave Lodge, Cape Town. On 17 April 2008, SAHO marked the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the first formal school in South Africa. The event was used as a platform to launch various other SAHO projects related to education. Keynote speaker, Enver Surty (Deputy Minister of Education), formally launched the project and exhibition. Read more
SAHO’s re-designed website was officially launched by the Minister of Education, Naledi Pandor, at an event held at the Department of Education on May 21st. In her address, Minister Pandor welcomed our new-look site by saying, “This re-designed website makes a significant contribution to bringing history alive for teachers and children alike.” She observed that the writing of South African history remained a massive and demanding project, adding that South Africans were fortunate to have SAHO’s project as it creates a platform allowing people to contribute to the reconstruction of the history of the country.
Third Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition (In partnership with the Department of Education) Prize giving and adjudication took place in Cape Town.
An Age of Hope: Landmarks in a Century of Struggle 1906 - 2006
Compiled by the SAHO staff (publication for schools) SAHO compiled this publication for the Department of Education. It was distributed to schools across the country in 2006. Read more
Age of Hope: The Women's struggle, 1900 till today
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s Anti-pass March - edited by Joni Light & Omar Badsha (exhibition). An exhibition and web gallery was produced in 2006 for the Department of Education. The exhibition consisted of over 100 images of women and the struggle over the last century and was displayed at a Department of Education conference in Boksburg, Johannesburg. Read more
Second Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition (In partnership with the Department of Education)
Agreement of partnership signed with UNISA in June. SAHO entered into a partnership with the UNISA History Department to begin sharing information and work on research projects together.
The Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Schools Project launched
The first Nkosi Albert Luthuli Young Historians Competition took place in partnership with the Department of Education. The first prize-giving and workshop for the Luthuli Young Historians Competition was held in September in Gauteng. The national schools competition focuses on oral history and on telling the story of one’s community. SAHO has published oral history “help files” for schools as well as the schools’ history curriculum for Grades 4-12. Each year, hundreds of students around the country undertake an oral history project about people or historical events that have made a difference in their community.
Ten of the best students from each province compete for prizes at a nationally adjudicated oral history competition. Open to learners from Grades 8 through 11, this national competition, run jointly with the Department of Basic Education and the South African History Archive (SAHA), aims to increase interest in history and to encourage scholars throughout South Africa to engage with their shared history in addition to exploring their personal and community histories. Read more
Celebrating 50 years of the Freedom Charter: June 26 1955 - June 26 2005
Compiled by the SAHO staff (publication for schools) SAHO compiled this publication for the Department of Education. It was distributed to schools across the country in 2005. Read more
Visions & Voices Travelling exhibition and web gallery. Read more
Robert McBride: A Coloured Life by Gomolemo Mokae (publication)
Published by SAHO with Vista University (2004). Read more
Defiant Daughters - Portraits of South African Women by Gisele Wulfsohn (web gallery)
Portraits by one of the leading documentary photographers of women activists and leaders who made a difference in the struggle and in shaping the new democracy (2004). View the photographs here
Dumile Feni Official Website (web gallery and online project)
The Dumile Feni project was put together by SAHO and the Dumile Feni Foundation. The website was launched and is maintained by SAHO. It publishes Feni’s work and provides a platform for like-minded artists to express their views (2004). Visit the website
Jurgen Shadeburg images (web gallery) A web gallery of Jurgen Shadeburg's images (2004). Read more
Images of Mandela by Louise Gubb (web gallery) A web gallery of images of Mandela (2004). Read more
Revisions - expanding the narrative of South African Art.
Edited by Hayden Proud (exhibition & publication) - a private collection assembled by Bruce Campbell Smith and exhibited at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town in 2004. The collection is unique and perhaps the most impressive of its kind outside of any public institution. It constitutes a rich, albeit selective, chronicle of this particular collector's personal collation of objects representing South African endeavour in the visual arts over a period of some eighty-odd years. The book was launched in early 2007 and was published by SAHO and Unisa Press. The principal focus is on "work by black South African artists" between the 1920s and 2004. The collection presents a range of images - including some undoubtedly, if not iconic, importance - ranging from the colonial and apartheid eras right through to the first ten years of the new democratic order. . Read more
FREEDOMza (exhibition & web gallery)
Photographic essays by six South African photographers documenting the lives of 15 secondary school learners from urban and rural communities and representing the broad spectrum of South African society. This project was a joint venture between SAHO and the Department of Education. The exhibition was shown at the April 27 celebrations at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town (2003). Read more
Cape Flats Details - Life and Popular Art in Cape Town’s Townships By Chris Ledochowski (publication, exhibition & web gallery)
This book is the culmination of ten years of documenting life in the Cape Flat’s African and Coloured townships of Cape Town by one of South Africa’s most talented, but least recognised, documentary photographers. Ledochowski’s painstaking and brilliant photographs document the wall decorations and murals drawn by artists in these townships. The essay of 250 images speaks about hopes, dreams, rituals and social comment by Cape Town’s poor (2003). The exhibition opened at the Michael Stevenson Contemporary Gallery, Cape Town on 18 June and the book was launched at the PhotoZA Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg in August. Read more
SAHO Online History Classroom launch In partnership with the Department of Education
The online classroom was launched by Kader Asmal (then Minister of Education) at the Sol Plaatje House, Pretoria. Visit the classroom
Sita - memoirs of Sita Gandhi Edited by Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie
A book published by SAHO and the Durban local history Museum. Sita, a granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, recounts with charming details her childhood years at Phoenix Settlement, a farm from which the longest surviving Indian newspaper, Indian Opinion, was published. Her account provides a striking glimpse of the challenges faced by Gandhi's South African family in continuing his legacy (2003). The book was launched on 18 July 2003 at the Local History Museum, Durban. Read more
Natal Organisation of Women photographic exhibition by Omar Badsha (exhibition &web gallery)
A photographic commentary on the Natal Organisation of Women (2003). The exhibition opened on August 9th 2003 at the Bat Centre, Durban. Read more
Bonani Africa Photographic Festival, 23 August - 30 September 2002 (exhibition & web gallery)
SAHO organised a photographic festival of the work of African photographers. In 2002 fifty exhibitions were displayed in Johannesburg and Pretoria. A successful photographic conference was also attended by students from Natal University, University of the Western Cape and three Gauteng Technikons . The official launch of the festival took place at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. Read more
Amulets & Dreams - War, Youth and Change in Africa Edited by Omar Badsha, Photographs by Guy Tillim and Omar Badsha, Text by Julia Maxted (publication & web gallery)
Published by SAHO, ISS and Unisa Press. This book covers civil strife and its effects on the society in six African countries namely Angola, Mozambique, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The book and exhibition opened in Durban at the launch of the African Union by the OAU Secretary General Amara Essay (2002). Read more
Our Dream Deferred - The Poor in South Africa By Abebe Zegeye and Julia Maxted (publication & web gallery)
Published by SAHO and Unisa Press (2002) and launched in October at the Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria. Read more
Imperial Ghetto Exhibition By Omar Badsha Was launched in Addis Ababa on March 18th 2001.Read more
Lives of Courage Campaign official launch, Kelly Campbell Collections, Durban. The campaign was launched by the Deputy Minister of Defence, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, on behalf of the Deputy President on 30 August. Read more
Narratives - Rituals and Graven Images By Omar Badsha (publication, exhibition & web gallery)
A highly acclaimed photographic commentary on South Africa compiled from essays taken over 25 years by one of the country’s leading documentary photographers The exhibition was opened on 20 September 2001 at the SA National Gallery - Cape Town. Read More
SISA SERIES: Published by SAHO and SISA
Part of the South African Social Identities (SISA) Series. The SISA series book and photographic exhibition launches took place on 30 August 2001 at the Durban Art Gallery in Durban and on 13 November at the Africa to Africa Cultural Exchange Programme, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
- Imperial Ghetto - Ways of Seeing in a South African City By Omar Badsha (publication, exhibition & web gallery)
- After Apartheid: Social Identities in the New South Africa Vol. 1 Edited by Abebe Zegeye (publication)
- After Apartheid: Social Identities in the new South Africa Vol. 2 Edited by Abebe Zegeye and Robert Kriger (publication)
- Kala Pani: Caste and Colour in South Africa By Rahana Ebrahim-Vally (publication)
- Coloured by History - Identity and Place Amongst Coloured South Africans Edited by Zimitri Erasmus (publication)
- The I of the Beholder - Identity Formation in the Art and Writing of Breyten Breytenbach By Marilet Sienaert (publication)
With Our Own Hands - Fighting Poverty in South Africa. Edited by Omar Badsha (publication, exhibition & web gallery)
A book about poverty and development in South Africa commissioned by the Department of Public Works with focus on the impact of poverty alleviation programmes in three of South Africa’s poorest provinces (2001). All of the information and photographs can be found on the website. Read more
Exhibition stand and book launch at the World Conference against Racism – Durban
We also promoted the Lives of Courage Campaign at this conference on 31 August 2001.
Launch of SAHO website by Minister of Education, Professor Kadar Asmal, at the “Values in Education” conference held in Cape Town on 23 February 2001.
Registration of SAHO as a NGO June 2000
The Lives of Courage campaign begins
The Lives of Courage Campaign was launched by SAHO in 2000 with the aim of compiling a comprehensive list (with biographical profiles) of the thousands of South Africans and international anti-apartheid activists who have played a role in our Freedom Struggle. This has been an ongoing project that has grown dramatically in the last 13 years. This archive has begun filling a gap, which at the time this project was launched, South Africa's new democratic government had not yet begun compiling a comprehensive list of Freedom Struggle activists and casualties.