This Day in History

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Friday, August 31, 2012

On 31 August 2012, anti-Apartheid activist Sister Bernard Ncube died at the age of 80. She was a practicing Roman Catholic nun and was recruited into the anti-Apartheid struggle by Albertina Sisulu.

This article was produced by South African History Online on 10-Apr-2017

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Tuesday, August 31, 2004
    It is announced that Prof. Bakabigny Keita spent eleven days on the road walking 500 km from Bakouroufata, in the western Kayes district of Mali, to the capital Bamako, to ask education officials to build classrooms for the primary school students in his hometown.
    References:

  • Friday, August 31, 2001
    Delegates from more than 160 countries attend the weeklong third United Nations-sponsored World Conference Against Racism (31 August 7 September) in Durban, South Africa. The summit is marred by disputes about slavery reparations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a U.S. walkout.
    References:
    • Burger, D. (ed)(2002). South Africa Yearbook 2001/02, Pretoria: GCIS, p. 284

  • Monday, August 31, 1998
    Prof. Gerhard Johannes Beukes, Afrikaans expert in literature and dramatist, dies in Bloemfontein.

  • Monday, August 31, 1998
    The United States closes its embassies in Ghana and Togo indefinitely because of security threats.
  • Monday, August 31, 1998
    An explosion in a market in Algiers, Algeria kills at least seventeen people and wounds approximately 60.
  • Sunday, August 31, 1997
    Lady Diana Spencer, the former wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, is killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris.  Her funeral was broadcasted in SA by the SABC.
  • Thursday, August 31, 1995
    A car bomb explodes in a crowded square outside Algeria's national police headquarters, killing 10 and injuring 15.
    References:

  • Tuesday, August 31, 1993
    SA signs bilateral air transport agreement with Hungary.
    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, August 31, 1992
    Multilateral agreement between the governments of Ciskei, South Africa, Transkei and Venda on the cross-border transportation of passengers by road.
    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, August 31, 1992
    Multilateral agreement between the governments of Ciskei, South Africa, Transkei and Venda on the cross-border transportation of goods by road.
    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, August 31, 1992
    SA signs agreement with Mozambique concerning fishing matters.
    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 31, 1990
    Soweto agrees to pay rent. (Wessels, E and Weinberg, S. (1990). "Soweto agrees to pay its rent – but power cuts loom weekly. ( Mail and Guardian: v. 6, no 33, 31-2 September).

  • Thursday, August 31, 1989
    Police seize documents and videos from the home of the general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Jay Naidoo. They search the offices of COSATU later in the day.
    References:
    • South African Institute of Race Relations. (1990). Race Relations Survey 1989/90, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 336

  • Friday, August 31, 1990
    The Natal Congress of the National Party unanimously approved a call by the party leadership to "make membership of the National Party accessible to all South Africans".
  • Thursday, August 31, 1989
    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) passed a resolution barring any athlete from the Olympics who competes in South Africa from 31 August.
  • Wednesday, August 31, 1988
    Nelson Mandela is transferred from Tygerberg Hospital, where he received treatment for tuberculosis.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, August 31, 2002. Today in History

  • Thursday, August 31, 1989
    Five days before the Whites only general election South Africans all over the country organise a defiance campaign against the election. Various organisations successfully organise protest action for this day. The police react by detaining at least 100 people, banning protest marches and all meetings organised by anti apartheid organisations. (Weekly Mail Reporter. (1989). "Day of Rage", Weekly Mail and Guardian: Vol 5. No 34, 1 September 7 September.)

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1988
    The South African Council of Churches (SACC) headquarters, Khotso House, is damaged by a bomb blast and nineteen people are injured. A right-wing group claims responsibility for the blast. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, August 31, 1987
    International Student Conference in Solidarity with the Struggle of the Students of Southern Africa, London, starts. 

  • Monday, August 31, 1981
    The US vetoes a UN Security Council resolution criticising South Africa for raids in Angola.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, August 31, 2002. Today in History

  • Monday, August 31, 1981
    Jacobus Pieter Verster, chief of the South African Air Force (1967-1975), dies in Pretoria.
    References:
    • Sonderling, N.E. (ed.) (1999). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.2, Pretoria: Vista.

  • Friday, August 31, 1979
    P.W. Botha becomes the first South African Prime Minister to visit Soweto. His visit includes talks with the Soweto Community Council during which he promises that Soweto debts, totalling some R9m. will be written off. 
    References:
    • Kalley, J. A. et al (1999). Southern African Political History: A Chronology of Key Political Events from Independence to Mid-1997, Greenwood: London, p. 450.

  • Thursday, August 31, 1978
    Jomo Kenyatta, first president of Kenya, is buried in Nairobi.
  • Wednesday, August 31, 1977
    The administration of Walvis Bay is again handed to the Cape Province.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1977
    Ian Smith, espousing racial segregation, wins the Rhodesian general election with 80 percent of the overwhelmingly White electorate's vote.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, August 31, 2002. Today in History
    •  https://www.andibradley.com/

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1960
    The state of emergency is lifted. 10,500 opponents of the Government are still being detained.
  • Sunday, August 31, 1975
    Thomas Patrick Murray, trade unionist, dies in Johannesburg.
    References:
    • Sonderling, N.E. (ed.) (1999). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.2, Pretoria: Vista.

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1955
    A UN brokered cease-fire for the Gaza border dispute with Israel is accepted by Egypt.
  • Monday, August 31, 1942
    World War 2: The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam al-Halfa in Egypt, thereby stopping the German offensive in North Africa.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  https://www.andibradley.com/

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1938
    Andries Dreyer, archivist of the Dutch Reformed Church and collector of Africana, dies.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, August 31, 1937
    Essias Renier Grobler (76), administrator of the Orange Free State, dies in Bloemfontein. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, August 31, 1936
    Development Trust and Land Act No 18 commences.

  • Tuesday, August 31, 1926
    Prof. S.F. N. Gie becomes secretary of education of the Union of SA.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Friday, August 31, 1923
    Ruanda-Urundi is made a Belgian protectorate.
  • Sunday, August 31, 1919
    General Jan Christiaan Smuts becomes Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa after the death of General Louis Botha on 27 August. News 24 gives this date as 3 September.
    References:
    • Keesing's Events of World Records

  • Saturday, August 31, 1918
    During a public meeting in Malmesbury, CP, Dr D.F. Malan pleads for the independence of the Union of South Africa. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, August 31, 1902
    In one of the worst winter storms ever, eighteen ships are wrecked in Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth, and fifty-eight lives are lost.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 9, p. 619

  • Saturday, August 31, 1901
    Anglo-Boer War 2:  Officially recorded camp population for White camps is 105 347 and the camp fatalities for August stand at 1 878.  The camp population in Black camps is 53 154 and 575 deaths are recorded for August.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Saturday, August 31, 1901
    Anglo-Boer War 2:  Commandant Botha demotes Assistant Commandant-General Tobias Smuts because of his actions at Bremersdorp.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Friday, August 31, 1900
    Anglo-Boer War 2: Commandant Danie Theron captures a train and 30 soldiers at Klip Station, near the present-day Soweto.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Wednesday, August 31, 1825
    William Ayliff, farmer and Cape politician, is born in Grahamstown.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau