21 July 1981
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), translated as "Spear of the Nation", was the active military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). It was formed in co-operation with the South African Communist Party (SACP) to fight against the apartheid government by means of guerilla attacks. MK was founded soon after the banning of the ANC and its leadership included Arthur Goldreich and Walter Sisulu.The first guerilla attack was launched on 16 December 1961. The headquarters of MK, located in Rivonia, Johannesburg, was raided in 1963. This resulted in the arrest of 19 ANC and MK leaders. The Rivonia Trial followed, in which 10 ANC leaders were tried for sabotage. MK was classified as a terrorist organization by the apartheid government, and was subsequently banned. MK continued to carry out its guerilla attacks, targeting mostly military and infrastructure sites. On 21 July 1981, explosions occurred at two electrical power stations in the Eastern Transvaal, causing several millions Rands worth of damage. MK claimed responsibility for this attack; for the 1982 attack on the Koeberg nuclear power plant, and the 1983 Church Street bombing in which 19 people were killed. MK was disbanded in 1990 and was integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF). References: Horrell, M. (ed) (1982). Survey of Race Relations in South Africa 1981, Johannesburg: South African Bureau of Race Relations, p. 78. 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.