Nelson Mandela Timeline 1980-1989

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1800-2013

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1980-1989

9 March, Following the Rhodesian elections, the Sunday Post of Johannesburg launches a nationwide Release Mandela Campaign, and about 15 million sign the petition. Organisations supporting the campaign include the Soweto Committee of 10', the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo), the Labour Party (LP), the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

1980
Police charge Winnie Mandela for receiving a visitor. Dalindyebo Sabata, paramount chief of the Transkei, is deposed and flees to Swaziland. Tembu chiefs visit Mandela to discuss the issue. Granada invites Winnie Mandela to its first freedom anniversary celebrations. Thousands of high school and university students go on a prolonged boycott of schools.
June, The African National Congress (ANC) publicly breaks with Zulu Chief and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Countrywide protests erupt over wages, rent, bus fares and education. Zimbabwe becomes independent. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) declare 1980 as the year of the worker.
10 March, At the Black Sash congress at the SA Institute of Race relations, Bishop Desmond Tutu lends his support to the Release Mandela campaign.
13 March, The South African Council of Churches (SACC) comes out in support of the Release Mandela Campaign. Sam Buti, President of the SACC says, "We recognise the unique leadership role still accorded to Nelson Mandela by very many South Africans ... We believe that the church in its role as peacemaker must help the people of South Africa to avoid needless suffering and bloodshed ..." and he urged "...local churches to promote the signing of a petition for the release of Nelson Mandela."
2 August, Petitions calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and convicted guerrilla, James Mange, are circulated at a UN Women's Conference in Copenhagen. 500 signatures are obtained to pressure for the release of these two freedom fighters from Robben Island.
14 November, India honours Nelson Mandela with its highest international civilian award, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. Both Mr and Mrs Mandela were invited to the ceremony, but he was imprisoned on Robben Island and Winnie Mandela was refused a passport by the South African government. Oliver Tambo, President of the African National Congress (ANC), accepted the award on his behalf.
16 December, Nelson Mandela has a life membership of the University of London Union conferred on him for "...the historic role he has played in the worldwide fight against racism."
22 December, Nelson Mandela is nominated for the Chancellorship of London University.
1981
Winnie Mandela 's banning and banishment orders are renewed for another 5 years. The United States Congressional delegation headed by Harold Wolpe request to meet Mandela. Envoys from 6 organisations including the ruling Socialist Party of France deliver a petition with 17 000 signatures calling for the release of Mandela, to the South African Embassy in Paris
1982
In April, together with Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni, Mandela is moved to Pollsmoor Prison. A few months later they are joined by Ahmed Kathrada. Police raid Zindzi Mandela's house and books are confiscated. Students of the University of the Witwatersrand nominate Mandela for Chancellorship. Haverford College confers an honorary doctorate on Winnie Mandela. President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia urges P W Botha to release Mandela. Winnie Mandela is invited to attend a conference in Rome. The National Party (NP) proposes its Tricameral Parliament, which includes separate chambers for Whites, Coloureds and Indians, but excludes Africans. Rightwing 'verkramptes' break away from the National Party (NP) as a result of the proposed constitutional changes, to form the Conservative Party (CP).
December, The African National Congress (ANC) claims responsibility for the explosion at the Koeberg Nuclear Power station, which it says is in retaliation for its members killed by South African commandos in Lesotho.
1983
20 May, An African National Congress (ANC) car bomb explodes outside the military headquarters in Pretoria, killing 19 and injuring more than 200. The government responds by attacking ANC houses in Mozambique and killing ANC members. Local authorities in Britain name streets and parks after Mandela. The British Engineering Union names an executive committee room after him. The City College of New York confers honorary citizenship on Mandela and Glasgow awards Mandela freedom of the City. The University of London makes Mandela a life Member. The British Labour Party invites Mandela to its party conference. The Bruno Kreisky Foundation awards Nelson Mandela the Australian Human Rights Award.
3 June, The Johannesburg Star newspaper reports a student campaign at the University of the Witwatersrand to have Nelson Mandela be appointed Chancellor.
July, Many more British local authorities rename streets and facilities after Nelson Mandela, and 16 adopt an anti-apartheid declaration. While it is generally contrary to UK practice to name streets after foreign or even British heroic figures, Camden, home of the Anti Apartheid Movement, renames Selous Street after Mandela. Selous was a 19th century colonial explorer and hunter in southern Zimbabwe.
19 July, The Star newspaper in Johannesburg reports that the British Labour Party has invited the imprisoned Nelson Mandela to their annual party conference in Brighton.
24 July, Nelson Mandela is the recipient, in absentia, of the prestigious Simon Bolivar Award for "...his outstanding contribution to freedom and democracy". He is joint-awardee with King Juan Carlos of Spain.
20 -21 August, The United Democratic Front (UDF) is launched in Mitchell's Plein near Cape Town. The UDF is a coalition of anti-apartheid organisations sympathetic to the Freedom Charter.
1984
The Nationalist government announces a new constitution . Release Mandela Committees are established and the world joins in, appealing for his release.
1985
8 January, Oliver Tambo calls on South Africans to '"ender South Africa Ungovernable". He also unveils a larger-than-life bust of Mandela at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
31 January, President P W Botha announces in parliament that he is offering Mandela his freedom provided he unconditionally rejects violence as a political instrument.
10 February, Zindziwe Mandela reads out her father's reply to P W Botha 's offer of freedom at the Jabulani Stadium in Soweto in which Mandela rejects Botha's offer and calling on him to dismantle apartheid and unban the African National Congress (ANC). This is the first time in two decades that the public hears Mandela's own words. Protest action spreads throughout the country.
13 April, Winnie Mandela makes her infamous "...with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country" speech at Munsieville near Johannesburg. Her statement comes at the height of ungovernability in South Africa and the year is marked by mass stayaways, strikes and police brutality.
21 July, Many townships throughout the country have become ungovernable and begin to attract international attention. The government declares a State of Emergency.
31 July, Chase Manhattan Bank of New York recalls its loan to the South African government which amounts to $500 million. Other banks begin to follow suit and the Rand starts to fall
15 August, At the National Party (NP) Congress in Durban, P W Botha fails to make any announcements promised by Foreign Affairs Minister Pik Botha, which would reassure foreign investors. A small group of business leaders, led by Gavin Relly, fly to Zambia to meet Oliver Tambo in the wake of the financial crisis. Minister of Justice, Kobie Coetsee, pays an unannounced visit to Mandela in hospital where he is undergoing an operation for an enlarged prostate gland. After his operation Mandela does not return to join his colleagues in Pollsmoor Prison, but is instead taken to a separate section with three big cells. For the first time in 24 years in jail Mandela is alone.
1986
February, The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group visits South Africa to find ways to begin a political dialogue.
16 March, All seven Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group members are accompanied by Minister Coetsee to visit Mandela at Pollsmoor prison.
16 May, Another visit is made by the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group to the guest house at Pollsmoor Prison, where Mandela assures them that he could control the violence in the townships provided that the government withdrew their troops and allowed him to travel unhindered.
19 May, The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group take a proposal discussed with Mandela on May 16 and present it as a proposal to the Cabinet in Cape Town. The ministerial "hawks" however insist that Mandela should first renounce violence.
12 June, A nationwide state of emergency is declared, giving the police more drastic powers. 4 000 people are arrested and detained in 3 weeks. Mandela requests a meeting with President P W Botha . Kobie Coetsee agrees to see him and Mandela is driven to "Savernake" the Minister's official residence in Cape Town.
25 July, The Johannesburg Rand Daily Mail reports that a 13 person United States congressional delegation has been refused permission to meet with jailed Nelson Mandela. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee refused the delegation, headed by Chair of the House of Representatives Africa sub-committee, Harold Wolpe, without the provision of reasons.
August, The United States Senate votes 84 to 14 for a comprehensive sanctions bill against South Africa imposing bans on new investment, loans, airport landing rights and exports of oil. Deputy Commander of Pollsmoor Prison, Lieutenant-Colonel Gawie Marx takes Mandela on his first car outing in 24 years. Later, his warder James Gregory, takes him on several excursions in and around Cape Town. He is allowed more visits as well as contact visits and is able to kiss Winnie Mandela and hug his children.
1987
UK Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe meets Oliver Tambo at his official country residence, Chevening.
July, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appoints a more proactive Ambassador to Pretoria, Robin Renwick who had helped to negotiate Zimbabwe's indepedence in 1979
August, Frederick van Zyl Slabbert, the former leader of the liberal oppositon who had left parliament, organises a meeting in Dakar, Senegal where fifty Afrikaner intellectuals meet with ANC leaders. Mandela is found to have early signs of tuberculosis and undergoes an operation to remove fluid in his lungs at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. He remains in hospital for 6 weeks for treatment and recuperation
October, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is still opposed to the African National Congress (ANC) and calls them a terrorist organisation at the Commonwealth Summit in Vancouver.
November, A group of Afrikaner intellectuals meet ANC leaders at the Compleat Angler hotel at Henley, Oxfordshire. Govan Mbeki is released unconditionally from Robben Island
1988
February, The United Democratic Front (UDF) and 17 other organisations are banned. The world commemorates Mandela's 70th birthday.
The BBC televises a huge rock concert held at Wembley Stadium on with star performers including Harry Belafonte, Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack and Stevie Wonder. A smuggled message from Mandela is read out and watched by 72 000 spectators and 200 million viewers in 60 countries. Youths burn down the Mandela house in Orlando West. The community appeals for calm in response to Mandela's request that no criminal action be taken against the youths. The community rallies to help rebuild the Mandelas' house. The Mozambican government grants its highest award to Nelson Mandela. Mandela is admitted to the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town and he is visited by Winnie Mandela. He is diagnosed with tuberculosis and moved to a private clinic. The "Mandela Crisis Committee" organised by Reverend Frank Chikane and including Cyril Ramaphosa, Aubrey Mokoena, Sister Bernard Ncube, Sidney Mufamadi and Reverend Beyers Naudé tries to get Winnie Mandela to disband the Mandela United Football Club.
9 December, Mandela is moved from the Constantiaberg Clinic to Victor Verster Prison where he is given a large warder's house to live in with a swimming pool and a big garden, as well as a personal cook.
1989
February, The United Democratic Front (UDF) regroups and, together with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) form the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM).
4 July, Mandela meets PW Botha at Tuynhuys
21 August, The Organisation of African Unity signs the "Harare Declaration" which calls for the release of political prisoners, the unbanning of the ANC and the removal of troops from the townships
9 October, The government announces that it will release 8 prisoners, including Ahmed Kathrada. 18 internal activists meet Mandela at Victor Verster Prison.
December, Cabinet bosberaad is held at a game lodge to discuss the Harare Declaration and the release of Mandela
29 December, Stompie Seipei, a 14-year-old Congress of South African Students (COSAS) activist, is abducted with 3 others from a Methodist manse where they are taking refuge. Their abductors, members of the Mandela United Football Club, take them to the home of Winnie Mandela where they are accused of being police informers and beaten for 3 days. His battered, stabbed, decomposing body is later found in a nearby riverbed.