16 December 1961
On this date, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) announced its existence by launching its first acts of sabotage. During the evening of 16 December 1961 five bombs were detonated in Port Elizabeth. The MK High Command selected targets for saboteurs to hit when the phase for military confrontation and insurgency began with the primary targets being power stations and government buildings. For instance, an electrical substation in New Brighton, the building of the New Brighton Labour Bureau and offices of the Bantu Administration Board were all bombed. Between December 1961 and June 1963 more than 200 installations were attacked with a majority of these being in the Eastern Cape. This may be because Port Elizabeth was the centre for sabotage training for MK cadres. In Johannesburg, Joe Slovo became instrumental in bombing the Johannesburg Drill Hall. Jack Hodgson and Lionel 'Rusty' Bernstein planted successful explosions in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Looksmart Ngudle, who died in police detention in 1963 and Fred Carneson were senior MK men in the Western Province. The government responded by arresting and hanging some of MK's prominent leaders such as Washington Bongco, the Border regional commander who was sentenced to death in August 1963 and Vuyisile Mini in October 1964. In the 1980s MK became increasingly active in the country launching attacks on the Koeberg Nuclear Plant in Cape Town, the South African Air Force Headquarters and the South African Air Force secret radar installation at Klippan in Western Transvaal. On 1 August 1990, MK suspended the armed struggle after 29 years. In 1996 the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) was established to look after the needs of former MK soldiers. In 2012, the MKVA has come under fire after allegations of looting of funds worth up to 5.4 Million for personal use. The association was also vocal about its support of the expulsion of Julius Malema from the ANC following negative comments that he made regarding President Jacob Zuma.

Barber, J (1999). The New Republic, Sharpeville and the Granite Responsein History of the Contemporary World: South African in the Twentieth Century [online]. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers

|Magubane, B., Borner, P., Sithole, J., Delius, P., Cherry, J., Gibbs, P. and April, T., (2004). 'The Turn to Armed Struggle' in The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 1 (1960-1970)[online]. Cape Town: Zebra Press

|Slovo, J. (2003). ‘The Sabotage Campaign’ from the O'Malley interviews [online]. Available at www.nelsonmandela.org [Accessed 23 November 2010]|

Faull L.Leading MK vets 'looted millions' from Mail & Guardian [online] Available at: https://mg.co.za [Accessed on 10 December 2012]