This Day in History

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Sunday, July 17, 1955
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Ephraim Matsilele “Jomo” Sono was born in Orlando East in Soweto. Sono was brought up by his grandparents after his father died and his mother abandoned him. He was forced to work from a young age in order to help support the family. He began selling apples and peanuts at soccer games and train stations.

This article was produced for South African History Online on 13-Jul-2012

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2007
    The National Prosecuting Authority's spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi says human remains believed to be those of the "Pebco Three" have been found on a farm near Cradock. Sipho Hashe, Qaqawuli Godolozi and Champion Galela were kidnapped by the security police at the Port Elizabeth airport in 1985 and subsequently murdered on the farm.  
  • Saturday, July 17, 2004
    In Stinkwater, Hammanskraal, 2 200 families are given title deeds to land they had lived on for more than 50 years.
    References:
    • This Day, Monday July 19, 2004

  • Saturday, July 17, 2004
    Almost 200 Black families, who were removed from their land in Eersterus, east of Pretoria in the 1950's, receive R17 million for land compensation during this weekend.
    References:
    • This Day, Monday July 19, 2004

  • Saturday, July 17, 2004
    The president of Burundian transitional government, Domitien Ndayizeye, and representatives of the three main political parties, arrive in South Africa for talks facilitated by Deputy President Jacob Zuma.
    References:
    • Saturday Star, July 17, 2004, p. 2

  • Saturday, July 17, 2004
    Elder statesman Nelson Mandela says he could not receive a better birthday gift the next day than a commitment by the world to take action against Aids.
    References:
    • The Citizen, Saturday 17 July 2004, p. 4

  • Saturday, July 17, 1999
    The Australian rugby team gains its biggest ever victory over SA by beating the Springboks 32-6 in Brisbane.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, July 17, 1993
    An agreement to restore peace in Liberia is reached by the warring factions, whose accord includes a cease-fire, an interim government and free elections.
  • Sunday, July 17, 1988
    British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock is held at gunpoint by security forces in Zimbabwe when his plane lands at the 'wrong' airport.
  • Friday, July 17, 1981
    The Government Gazette announces an extension to the provisions of the 1964 Tear Gas Act to widen the range of those empowered to use tear gas.
    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, July 17, 1980
    The United States expresses deep concern to the South African Ambassador, Donald Sole, over government and police response to strikes and demonstrations. Mentioned particularly are the pervasive ban on peaceful assembly, widespread detentions without charge or trial, and banning of moderate leaders of all racial groups.
    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, July 17, 1971
    The SA rugby team beats Australia 19-11 in Sydney.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, July 17, 1971
    SA signs a multilateral treaty on the partial revision of the 1959 radio regulations.
    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, July 17, 1968
    The Minister of Health, Dr. A. Hertzog, says there can be no exception to the government's policy of differential salaries for the various race groups.
    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, July 17, 1967
    SA extends treaty with the United States on the civil uses of atomic energy of 8 July 1957.
    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, July 17, 1959
    Palaeontologist Mary Leakey discovers one of the oldest hominid skulls in the Olduvai Gorge, northern Tanzania. At first she found several parts of the skull, and in the following few weeks, with her husband Louis Leakey, they uncovered more than 400 skull pieces. Originally named 'Zinjanthropus' (East African Man), the skull was later renamed 'Australopithecus boisei'. They estimated that the skull's age was 1.75 million years old.
    References:

  • Sunday, July 17, 1955
    Matsilela Ephraim (Jomo) Sono, SA soccer player and director, is born in Orlando East, Soweto. After his father died, he lived with his lame grandmother and blind grandfather in a tiny Soweto home.
  • Tuesday, July 17, 1951
    Black (Bantu) Authorities Act No 68, providing for the establishment of tribal, regional and territorial authorities in the reserves, commences.
    References:

  • Monday, July 17, 1950
    The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) introduces its own national news service
    References:
    • Burger, D. (ed)(2002). South Africa Yearbook 2001/02, Pretoria: GCIS, p. 122

  • Monday, July 17, 1950
    Suppression of Communism Act (Internal Security Act) No. 44 of 1950, approved in parliament on 26 June 1950, comes into force.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 3, p. 369
    •  http://www.sahistory.org.za/

  • Wednesday, July 17, 1946
    Government of India, in a gazette extraordinary, announces termination of trade relations with South Africa.
    References:

  • Saturday, July 17, 1943
    Sir Patrick Duncan (72), first governor-general of the Union of SA, dies in Pretoria. 
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 4, p. 102

  • Saturday, July 17, 1937
    SA wins the rugby series 2-0 in Australia by winning the second test 26-17 in Sydney.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, July 17, 1917
    WWI: King George V orders the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames. Saxe-Coburg becomes Windsor and Battenburg becomes Mountbatten.
  • Saturday, July 17, 1915
    Habib Mohamed (A.M.) Rajab, trader and collector of oriental art, and remembered for his role in preventing the Grey Street complex from being handed over to White traders, is born in Durban.
    References:
    • Sonderling, N.E. (ed.) (1999). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.2, Pretoria: Vista.

  • Wednesday, July 17, 1901
    King Leopold retains control of his Congo Free State despite attempts by the Belgian government to annex the region. International protest at the treatment of the indigenous peoples prompted the move by Belgium. Unfortunately, the new arrangement has left Leopold with even greater autonomy.
  • Wednesday, July 17, 1901
    Anglo-Boer War 2 Lieutenant C.D. Kimber, son of the Lord Mayor of London, is killed while attempting to rescue a wounded soldier at Wildfontein, near Ventersdorp.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Tuesday, July 17, 1900
    Anglo-Boer War 2 Lieutenant-Colonel M.O. Little, commanding the 3rd Cavalry Brigade of 738 mounted men, is ordered in the direction of Lindley to join the hunt for De Wet.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Tuesday, July 17, 1894
    Italian forces take Kassala, Sudan, from the Dervishes.
  • Tuesday, July 17, 1894
    Sir Abe Bailey, Rand magnate and politician, marries Caroline Mary Paddon, of Kimberley, CP.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Thursday, July 17, 1890
    Cecil John Rhodes becomes prime minister of the Cape Colony.
    References:
    • Pakenham, T. (1991). The Scramble for Africa, Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball
    •  http://www.cnn.com/

  • Wednesday, July 17, 1878
    Nqwiliso, tribal chief of Western Pondoland and eldest son of Ndamase, signs a treaty with H.G. Elliott in which he cedes sovereign rights and shipping in the Umzimvubu River mouth (Port St Johns) to the Cape government a step his father refused to do during his lifetime. In return he and his people were promised protection. On 30 September 1878 he also sold 10 000 acres of land at Port St Johns.
    References:
    • Kruger, D.W. (ed)(1972). Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council, v. 3, p. 661

  • Sunday, July 17, 1836
    The Doncaster is wrecked west of Cape Agulhas. All on board are lost.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v 9, p. 618

  • Thursday, July 17, 1828
    Sir Richard Bourke, acting governor of the Cape, issues Ordinance 50, abolishing the Hottentot (Khoi-Khoi) legislation. According to the new ordinance, no free inhabitant of the Colony could be forced to work and the Hottentots (Khoi-Khoi) could acquire land.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau