This Day in History

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Thursday, April 21, 1994

Two days after the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) agreed to participate in South Africa's first non-racial elections, security officials and independent monitoring groups reported that political violence had dropped significantly in South Africa. The most remarkable incident of political violence took place in February 1990 after South African President F.W.

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Thursday, April 21, 2005
    South Africa's High Commissioner to Uganda, Bavumile Vilakazi, dies of a heart attack in Kampala. He was involved in the United Democratic Front (UDF) Delmas treason trial in 1985 along with former North West premier Popo Molefe and Mosiuoa Lekota, now Minister of Defence. Vilakazi was the ANC's deputy provincial secretary in Gauteng, an ANC member of Parliament, and the first mayor of the Ekurhuleni Metro on the East Rand before being posted to Uganda as High Commissioner.
    References:

  • Sunday, April 21, 1996
    Rebels in a military complex in Monrovia, Liberia, release more foreigners while African peacekeeping troops fan out in the capital to police a truce.
    References:

  • Thursday, April 21, 1994
    First reports of Rwandan genocide are starting to appear.
  • Friday, April 21, 1995
    Iran lines up with Egypt and Syria to try to link the future of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to a dismantling of Israel's nuclear arsenal.
    References:

  • Saturday, April 21, 1990
    A taxi war breaks out in Katlehong, East Rand.
    References:
    • Meer, F. (ed)(1993). The Codesa file. Durban: Madiba Publishers, p. 27

  • Tuesday, April 21, 1992
    Five white Democratic Party MP's defect to the ANC.
    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, April 21, 1989
    Dinana Mbetheni (21) is found hanging from an electric wire tied to a bar in his cell in Alice.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed)(1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee, p. 246.

  • Thursday, April 21, 1988
    Riaan Eksteen, head of SABC is relieved from his post following a political row with Pres. Botha.
    References:

  • Tuesday, April 21, 1987
    Ten railway coaches are set on fire in Soweto and another twenty-six are damaged. (2004). Today in History, Pretoria News, 21 April.

  • Monday, April 21, 1980
    The Coloured schools' boycott is joined by pupils at a number of Indian schools in Pretoria and Natal. Black Consciousness groups also pledge support. It is widely observed by approximately 100,000 students from seventy schools for three weeks.
    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, April 21, 1982
    A Group Areas Amendment Bill introduced on 7 March 1982 and enacted on 21 April, maintains the existing commitment to the principle of separate residential areas, schools and amenities for different races, but excludes sports from its provisions.
    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, April 21, 1946
    At a mass meeting in Johannesburg, the Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC) decide to set up the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council with fifteen members, under the chairmanship of Dr Y.M. Dadoo.
  • Saturday, April 21, 1956
    A military pact between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen is finalised. 
  • Wednesday, April 21, 1937
    Benjamin Mzimkulu (Ben) Macala, SA artist, is born in Bloemfontein.   As a young boy he tended cattle on a farm in the Orange Free State and drew on the rocks with stones. He is largely self-taught although in 1964 he studied for a few months under Cecil Skotnes at Jubilee Art Centre, was guided by Ephraim Ngatane in 1965 and 1966 and was a pupil of Bill Ainslie for a short time. In 1980 he travelled to Greece.  He held thirteen exhibitions from 1967-1985 in SA, Europe and the USA.
    References:
    • Sack, S. (1988). The Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery.

  • Wednesday, April 21, 1897
    Sir Alfred Milner becomes High Commissioner and Governor of the Cape Colony.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 3, p. 66

  • Thursday, April 21, 1892
    Nicolaas Jacobus van Warmelo, pioneer minister of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk and staunch Afrikaner patriot, dies.
    References:
    • Swart: Kultuuralmanak

  • Sunday, April 21, 1895
    Mahomed Dawood Barmania, businessman, politician and community worker, is born in Pietermaritzburg.
    References:
    • Verwey, E.J. (ed)(1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1, Pretoria: HSRC.

  • Thursday, April 21, 1881
    Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff (73), 2nd president of the Orange Free State, is born in the district of Pietermaritzburg.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, April 21, 1891
    Prof. Adriaan Francken, professor in Dutch and French and later librarian at Grey College, arrives in Bloemfontein.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, April 21, 1858
    David Livingstone arrives at the Cape to start his expedition to the interior.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, April 21, 1858
    Dr Bernabé Jan Gerard de la Bat, first head of the deaf-and-dumb institute in Worcester, is born.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, April 21, 1844
    Jahleel Brenton, SA artist and marine officer after whom the islands Brenton and Jahleel were called, is born in Warwick, England.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, April 21, 1619
    Birth of Jan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck in Culemborg, the Netherlands. Van Riebeeck landed at the southern tip of Africa on 6 April 1652 to create a settlement for the Dutch East-India Company.