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Tuesday, March 12, 1968

Mauritius was first colonised by the French in 1767 until the British took over control in 1810.The British gave up sovereignty in 1968 when the country became independent. Mauritius is a melting pot of different nationalities - descendents of Chinese, Indian, African and European immigrants and slaves all make up its diverse population.

The struggle for independence was marred with violence and tensions. Today the country is a prosperous democracy. It was proclaimed a republic in 1992.

This article was produced by South African History Online on 07-Mar-2014

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Saturday, March 12, 2005
    Bertie van Zyl (72), the owner of the biggest tomato farming industry in the country, ZZ2, is buried at Mooketsi, Limpopo. Among the mourners are Thoko Didiza, the minister of agriculture, Tito Mboweni, the Reserve Bank governor, Mbhazima Shilowa, the premier of Gauteng, MECs and farmers. Thousands of his farm workers also attend the service. Didiza says van Zyl played a crucial role in the development of emerging farmers.
    References:
    • SABC News bulletin.
    •  https://www.sabcnews.co.za/

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1997
    Burundi authorities arrest five people, including two soldiers, after they attempted to kill Burundian leader Maj. Pierre Buyoya.
    References:

  • Thursday, March 12, 1998
    Astronomers debunk a warning that a mile-wide asteroid might collide with Earth on October 26, 2028, saying the calculations were off by 600 000 miles.
    References:

  • Thursday, March 12, 1992
    Seven street children are burnt to death and eleven seriously injured in a fire in Elim church, Sunnyside, Pretoria. The culprit is arrested.
    References:
    • ---, (2005). 'Pretoria 1855-2005: Chronologie 1798-1935', Bylaag tot Rekord.

  • Saturday, March 12, 1994
    Chief Lucas Mangope is deposed as leader of Bophuthatswana. Dr. Tjaart van der Walt is appointed as the territory's new administrator.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1991
    SA government tables a white paper to end racial discrimination in landownership and occupation.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones
    •  https://www.sahistory.org.za

  • Thursday, March 12, 1992
    Citrusdal in the southwestern Cape becomes SA's first officially recognised non-racial local authority.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones

  • Saturday, March 12, 1988
    SA government bans church-led opposition group headed by Desmond Tutu as "threat to public safety".
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones
    •  https://www.news24.com

  • Monday, March 12, 1990
    ANC president Oliver Tambo and vice-president Nelson Mandela meet for the first time in twenty-eight years in Sweden.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones

  • Monday, March 12, 1990
    About 10 000 people march to the president's office in Thohoyandou, carrying a human skull believed to be that of a ritual murder victim, to protest about ritual killings in Venda.
    References:
    • South African Institute of Race Relations. (1990). Race Relations Survey 1989/90, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p.536

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1986
    Esther Masuku, mother of youth activist and SACC member Oupa Masuku, is killed in a hand grenade attack on their house in Atteridgeville/Saulsville. Oupa is injured.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed)(1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee, p. 248.

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1986
    The Eminent Persons Group meets imprisoned ANC leader, Nelson Mandela. 
  • Thursday, March 12, 1987
    Sweden announces a total boycott on trade with South Africa effective from October.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1980
    A court in Pretoria sentences nine Blacks to terms of imprisonment from five to seven years on charges of training as guerrillas outside South Africa or recruiting others to undergo training.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Monday, March 12, 1973
    In the wake of strikes in Natal in February, The Guardian publishes a documented report on the low wages paid to Black workers in South Africa by companies with British connections.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1980
    Lilian Masediba Ngoyi, born in Gamatlala near Pretoria in 1911, dressmaker, political activist and trade unionist who spent seventy-one days in solitary confinement in 1960, dies in Johannesburg. The first of South Africa's four new environmental protection vessels, a 47-metre patrol ship was named after her in 2004.
    References:
    • Verwey, E.J. (ed)(1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1, Pretoria: HSRC.
    •  https://www.southafrica.info/

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1980
    The Nederduitse Gereformerde Kerk (NGK) together with its sister church for Blacks (the NGK in Afrika), Coloureds (the NG Sendingkerk) and Indians (the Reformed Church in Africa) issue a statement stating that the Churches bring no objection in principle if the authorities judge that circumstances justify reconsideration of the Immorality Act and the Mixed Marriages Act.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1968
    Mauritius officially achieves independence from Britain.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 7, p. 252
    •  https://www.news24.com

  • Sunday, March 12, 1972
    Arno Carstens, lead singer of the rock group Springbok Nude Girls, is born in Worcester, Western Cape.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1968
    P.W. Botha, the Minister of Defence, reports to the Senate on the progress of the Arms Industry and defines the main aims of South Africa's defence policy.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Sunday, March 12, 1961
    The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions submits a memorandum to the UN General Assembly calling for economic sanctions against South Africa.
  • Monday, March 12, 1962
    Defence Minister J.J. Fouche outlines the basic principles of South Africa's defence policy and gives details of measures being taken to build up the Defence Forces and to make South Africa self-supporting in military equipment.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1946
    The South African Indian Congress (SAIC) delegation is received by the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, in Delhi, submitting a petition drafted in consultation with Mohandas Gandhi. Government of India announces that it has decided to terminate the trade agreement with South Africa.
  • Saturday, March 12, 1960
    A Diaz bust is unveiled in the garden of the art gallery in Cape Town.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1912
    Juliette Gordon founds the Girl Guides (later Scouts), a world-wide organisation active also in SA.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1913
    Christoffel Cornelis Froneman, commandant of the Free State and founder of Marquard, dies.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, March 12, 1938
    Gen. H. C. Muller unveils a memorial for nine Boers who were killed in Anglo-Boer War 2. The memorial includes the name of Salmon van As, executed by the British at Heidelberg, Transvaal, charged with shooting a soldier under a flag of truce.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Cloete, P.G. ( 2000). The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology, Pretoria: Lapa.

  • Saturday, March 12, 1898
    Gen. Piet Joubert, commander-in-chief of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, lays the cornerstone of the Dutch Reformed Mother Church in Klerksdorp.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Thursday, March 12, 1903
    Andries Dreyer, archivist of the Dutch Reformed Church, is ordained as missionary of the congregation in Cape Town for the Hanover Street area.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, March 12, 1894
    Willem Lambertus van Warmelo, compiler of Afrikaanse Liedjies, is born in the Netherlands.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, March 12, 1881
    Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Thursday, March 12, 1868
    Basutoland, within SA, is proclaimed a British territory.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones

  • Sunday, March 12, 1871
    Sen. François S. Malan, editor of Die Patriot and founder of the FAK, is born at Bovlei near Wellington.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, March 12, 1878
    Commander R.C. Dyer of the vessel MHS Industry reads the document annexing Walvis Bay and the surrounding area for Britain, after having anchored in the bay on 6 March 1878. The date of this event is given as 6 March 1878 and 12 March 1877 in other sources, but this appears to be the correct date of annexation.
    References:
    • Wilken, J.J.J. & Fox, G.J. (1978). The History of the Port and Settlement of Walvis Bay, 1878-1978, Johannesburg: Perskor, p. 4
    •  The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones

  • Wednesday, March 12, 1879
    A convoy of the British 80th Regt. is over-run at Ntombe River, northern Zululand by a force of 2 000 Zulus.   Of the sixty men in the camp, only fifteen escape.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones
    •  https://www.kwazulu.co.uk/

  • Sunday, March 12, 1815
    Cornelis Moll, founder of the first Natal newspaper De Natalier, is bornas 24th child in Cape Town.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, March 12, 1488
    Portuguese navigator Bartholomew Diaz erects his first padrao (stone cross) at Kwaaihoek near the mouth of the Bushman's River on the eastern Cape coast.   It is SA's oldest monument.
    References:
    • The Star. 12th March 2003. Milestones