A car bomb explodes in Durban, killing five and injuring 27 people


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Thursday, 12 July 1984

On 12 July 1984, a car bomb exploded in Durban, killing five and injuring 27 people. This car bombing was known as the "Jacobs" car bomb, according to an application for amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) by Rayman Lalla, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and a senior officer in Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

According to Lalla, in his amnesty request, this bomb was intended to sabotage military targets in the Durban area, where Cyril Rayman a.k.a "Fear" was the Chief of Operations. Lalla is also said to have understood that these bombs could potentially harm or kill unsuspecting civilians.

Lalla was granted amnesty for his role in setting up this operation, as it was considered to be a part of broader political objectives which did not intend to take lives. His role, although not directly related to the car bomb, included the provision of explosives and detonators that were used to construct car bombs.

The five people who were killed in the Jacobs explosion five people were Mjixwa Nkomo, Makhelwane Mgadi, Joshua Pillay, Phaltokwakhe Simamane and Bongwa Simamane. The names of the 27 people who were injured were not given. 


  1. AC/2001/175: Truth and Reconciliation Commission- Amnesty Committee- Rayman Lalla: Applicant [online] Available at: justice.gov.za [Accessed 1 July 2009]
  2. 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.
  3. Wallis, F. (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.

Last updated : 11-Jul-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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