This Day in History

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Friday, August 12, 1949

The Geneva Conventions, are comprised of four treaties and three protocols, which establish the standards of international law for the treatment of civilians and combatants during wartime.

This article was produced for South African History Online on 30-Mar-2016

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Saturday, August 12, 2006
    The SABC reports that the celebrated African poet Professor Mazizi Kunene, well known for his epic poem Emperor Shaka the Great, which is inspired by the rise of the Zulu empire, has died in Durban at the age of 76 after a long illness. In 2005 Kunene was awarded the inaugural SA National Poet Laureate Prize, the M-Net Literary Awards Lifetime Achievement Award and recognised as a National Living Treasure by the Indigenous Knowledge Systems of SA.
    References:

  • Thursday, August 12, 2004
    The Star reports that the Scorpions plan to investigate more MPs than the twenty-three named in connection with an estimated R16-million travel scam. Four travel agency bosses and three staff members have been arrested in connection with this case.
    References:
    • The Star, Thursday August 12, 2004, p. 1
    •  BBC, (2004). 'Key Dates', Focus on Africa, October to December, v. 15 no. 4, p. 8

  • Thursday, August 12, 2004
    The Sowetan reports that, according to Henk van Zyl's (state witness) testimony in the Pretoria High Court about events leading to Operation Popeye, the Boeremag intended to throw poisoned oranges in the streets of Soweto in preparation of a military coup planned for 13 September 2002. (Sowetan, Thursday August 12, 2004, p. 2.)

  • Wednesday, August 12, 1998
    In providing reasons for the decision of the Pretoria High Court to set the investigation of the Browde Commission into SARFU Affairs aside, Justice William de Villiers says that the evidence of Pres. Nelson Mandela was unsatisfactory because he refused to answer certain questions, answered back and used the court for political rhetoric.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Friday, August 12, 1994
    SA signs joint communique concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations with the government of Indonesia.
    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

  • Thursday, August 12, 1993
    US marines open fire on 3,000 Somali demonstrators protesting against the US presence in the country.
  • Thursday, August 12, 1993
    SA signs agreement with Paraguay on the partial waiver of visa requirements for holders of ordinary passports.
    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, August 12, 1992
    SA and Russia sign a declaration of intent providing for wide-ranging co-operation of mineral beneficiation technologies.  
    References:
    • The Star, 12 August 2003, Milestones

  • Sunday, August 12, 1990
    About 150 residents are killed (1215 August) during the forced expulsion of non-IFP from hostels and attacks on Phola Park squatter camp in Tokoza, East Rand.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed)(1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee, p. 266.

  • Friday, August 12, 1988
    The eastern portion of Peelton is incorporated into the Transkei, against the wish of many of the inhabitants. South African citizens who become Ciskei residents are allowed dual citizenship.
    References:
    • South African Institute of Race Relations. (1989). Race Relations Survey 1988/89, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 88

  • Tuesday, August 12, 1986
    KwaNdebele 'homeland' rejects independence.
    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, August 12, 1981
    Four rockets explode in Voortrekkerhoogte. The ANC claims responsibility.
    References:
    • Kalley, J. A. et al (1999). Southern African Political History: A Chronology of Key Political Events from Independence to Mid-1997, Greenwood: London

  • Thursday, August 12, 1976
    This day saw R2 million worth of damage in 36 hours of fighting. Langa and Guguletu residents stop employees leaving for work. Young children request donations of petrol from cars to make petrol bombs.

  • Thursday, August 12, 1976
    Twenty-seven people die in overnight rioting in townships in Cape Town and Johannesburg. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  http://www.news24.com

  • Tuesday, August 12, 1975
    A statement issued simultaneously in Lusaka and Salisbury, gives details of proposals agreed to after two days of talks between prime ministers John Vorster and Ian Smith, which could lead to a settlement of the Rhodesian constitutional problem. This was the first mediation effort. The results were dismal.
    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
    •  http://www.trinstitute.org/

  • Monday, August 12, 1974
    The Commission of Inquiry into Certain Organisations submits its final report on NUSAS to Parliament. It finds that its leaders are traitors, guilty of providing terrorist groups and the like.
    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, August 12, 1969
    The United Nations Security Council's resolution calls on South Africa to withdraw its administration from Namibia immediately, and, in any case, before 4 October 1969.
    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, August 12, 1969
    Rosalind Ballingall, drama student of the University of Cape Town, disappears mysteriously from the house she rents with friends since arriving in the Knysna Forest the day before.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, August 12, 1967
    The fourth rugby test match between SA and France ends in a draw with 6 points each. SA wins the series 2-1.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, August 12, 1968
    Over 5,000 soldiers supported by tanks, armoured cars and air force units begin manoeuvres in an exercise code named Operation Subasa designed to test the ability of South African defence forces to deal with terrorist activities.
    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

  • Friday, August 12, 1966
    Under the Suppression of Communism Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament, any attorney or advocate who has committed an offence under the Act at any time is liable to be struck off the roll. Other clauses give the Minister of Justice power to cut listed people off from contact with any organisation he chooses to specify. The Progressive Party member Helen Suzman rejects the Bill outright.
    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

  • Saturday, August 12, 1961
    The SA rugby team beats Australia 23-11 in the first test in Port Elizabeth.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, August 12, 1962
    The Federasie van Rapportryerskorpse (Federation of Dispatch-riders) is founded, to promote the culture, interests and identity of Afrikaners.  In collaboration with the Potchefstroom University, it was responsible for instituting a chair of International Politics.
    References:
    • Swart: Afrikaanse Kultuurdagboek

  • Saturday, August 12, 1961
    The radical leader of Tunisia's left-wing opposition party, Salah ben Youssef, is assassinated in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Friday, August 12, 1960
    UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and UN troops enter rebel province of Katanga in Zaire.
    References:

  • Tuesday, August 12, 1952
    Walter Sisulu and others are arrested under the Suppression of Communism Act.

  • Saturday, August 12, 1950
    Salukazi Dakile-Hlongwane, businessman and current Executive Chair and Director of Nozola Investments, is born in Johannesburg.
    References:
    • Hayes, S. (ed)(2000).  Who's Who of Southern Africa 2001 ..., Graighall: Jonathan Ball.

  • Monday, August 12, 1946
    African mineworkers' strike, led by J.B. Marks, leader of the African Mineworkers' Union, starts. About 60 000 miners went on strike. Government suppressed the strike by force. According to official figures, nine were killed and 1 248 injured. Fifty-one persons, mainly Communists, were later charged in connection with the strike.

  • Monday, August 12, 1940
    Edgar John (Eddie) Barlow, Springbok cricket player in thirty tests (1961-1970), is born in Pretoria.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, August 12, 1939
    Luanda, capital of Angola, becomes a port of call for South African Airways with the airline's operation of a 10-seater Junkers JU-86.
    References:

  • Saturday, August 12, 1933
    The SA rugby team beats Australia 12-3 in Johannesburg.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, August 12, 1906
    Victor Sidney Norton, outstanding and courageous journalist, is born in Johannesburg.
    References:
    • Sonderling, N.E. (ed.) (1999). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.2, Pretoria: Vista.

  • Sunday, August 12, 1900
    Anglo-Boer War 2:  The rearguard of the Boer forces under De Wet fights a running battle with Lord Methuen's British force.  Methuen seizes wagons and prisoners abandoned by the Republicans, as well as one of the Armstrong guns captured at Stormberg.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Saturday, August 12, 1899
    During negotiations with State Attorney J.C. Smuts, Sir W. Conyngham Greene, the British agent in Johannesburg, expresses the opinion that full compliance with the franchise proposals put forward by Milner at the Bloemfontein Conference, will no longer satisfy the British government.  Smuts offers a simplified Franchise Draft Bill, allowing full voting rights after five years with a retrospective clause and increased representation for the mining districts on the Witwatersrand.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Tuesday, August 12, 1873
    Cornelis Jacob Langenhoven, SA author, i.a. "Die Stem", advocate and editor of Het Zuid-Westen, is born in Ladismith, C.P.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, August 12, 1871
    Tiyo Soga, missionary and first ordained Black minister who published a Xhosa translation of the first part of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and was a member of the board for the revising of the Xhosa Bible, dies at the Tutura mission, Butterworth.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 10, p. 43; Sonderling, N.E. (ed.) New Dictionary of South African Biography, v. 2

  • Sunday, August 12, 1821
    Fearon Fallows, first Astronomer Royal at the Cape, arrives in Cape Town.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 4, p. 424

  • Thursday, August 12, 1819
    Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, is founded.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  http://www.news24.com

  • Thursday, August 12, 1779
    Johannes Jacobus Janse (Lang Hans) van Rensburg, leader of one of the early Voortrekker treks,  is born at the Sundays River, Cape Colony. His entire trek, except two children saved by a Zulu warrior, was massacred at Inhambane toward the end of July 1836 by an impi of Manukosi.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 11, p. 162

  • Thursday, August 12, 1762
    Sir John Francis Cradock, governor of the Cape in 1811 and following years, is born in Dublin, Ireland.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, August 12, 1722
    Hendrik Becker (61), commissioner at the Cape, dies in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, August 12, 2012
    International Youth Day.
    References: