This Day in History

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Thursday, May 24, 1973
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South African Prime Minister, Balthazar Johannes Vorster disclosed in July 1970 in the House of Assembly that the government has decided to make funds available for a uranium enrichment programme. The funds were made available for preparatory work for establishing a full-scale prototype plant for the economic enrichment of uranium.

This article was produced by South African History Online on 17-May-2013

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2006
    The official opening of Baramall, Soweto's first mega shopping mall.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2006
    According to the SA department of foreign affairs nineteen of the twenty-six people arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 19 May for an alleged coup, are South African passport-holders.
    References:

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2006
    More than R10m in foreign currency is stolen from the safes of the SAPS serious and violent crimes (SVC) unit in Benoni, on the East Rand. The stolen money is apparently part of loot that was recovered after about $11.39m (about R69m) was stolen on March 25 from an SAA plane at Johannesburg International Airport.
    References:

  • Saturday, May 24, 1997
    Troops loyal to Congo's new president, Laurent Kabila, break up protests in Kinshasa just a week after his forces enter the capital.
    References:

  • Saturday, May 24, 1997
    The Bafana Bafana, SA soccer team, loses 1-2 against England in an away game.
    References:
    • (2004). Footballer of the decade: Bafana Bafana record. Kick Off. Special ed. 1994-2004, p. 10.

  • Friday, May 24, 1996
    Seven French Trappist monks have been killed in Algeria two months after their kidnap by Islamic extremists of the Armed Islamic Group. This brings the total number of foreigners killed in Algeria since 1993 to over 100. It is part of a terror campaign against the Algerian government and its perceived backer France.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 1995
    The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire rises to 108.
    References:

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1994
    Cyril Ramaphosa, Secretary-General of the ANC, is elected chairman of the Constituent Assembly, which is to write a new constitution for the country within two years.
    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.

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1994
    President Nelson Mandela, in his State of the Nation Address to Parliament, announces that South Africa will subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and accede to human rights conventions of the United Nations.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 1994
    President Nelson Mandela opens his State of the Nation Address to Parliament in Cape Town by quoting from Ingrid Jonker's poem The Child (Die Kind).
    References:

  • Monday, May 24, 1993
    World Bank Vice President, Edward Jaycox, announces that the Bank has $1 billion worth of development projects in the pipeline for South Africa.
  • Monday, May 24, 1993
    Eritrea declares independence from Ethiopia following a referendum in April, ending a thirty-year civil war.
  • Sunday, May 24, 1992
    A three-day Seminar on the Future Role of the United Nations in Helping Address South Africa's Socio-economic Problems is held in Windhoek (Namibia) by the Special Committee against Apartheid and the Centre against Apartheid.
  • Friday, May 24, 1991
    A two day conference on violence and intimidations starts in Pretoria. The ANC, AZAPO, PAC, COSATU and South African Council of Churches decline to attend, pointing out that the government already knows what to do.
    References:
    • Meer, F. (ed)(1993). The Codesa file. Durban: Madiba Publishers, p. 151

  • Sunday, May 24, 1987
    Theophilus Dlodlo, Tutu Nkwanyane and Mildred Msomi, ANC members, are shot dead in a car outside Mbabane, Swaziland. Names of passengers in Dlodlo's car and date differ in another source.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed)(1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee, p. 249.

  • Saturday, May 24, 1986
    The SA rugby team beats the Cavaliers of New Zealand in Pretoria 33-18.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, May 24, 1982
    Asian Regional Conference for Action against Apartheid, Manila, organised by the Special Committee against Apartheid in cooperation with the Government of the Philippines, starts.
  • Monday, May 24, 1976
    Legislation for three major components of the government's plans to defuse Black grievances is introduced. Bills provide for ninety-nine year leases to be granted to qualified urban Blacks; for Black identity documents to be replaced by travel documents issued by 'homeland' governments; and for the word 'Bantu' to be replaced by the word 'Black' in all government legislation.
  • Monday, May 24, 1976
    Pupils reject a call by the Orlando Diepkloof School Board to return to school. The strike spreads to Pimville Higher Primary School. The SA Students Movement makes an attempt to consolidate the situation and holds a conference in Roodepoort to discuss the campaign against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 1977
    The leadership of the Herstigte Nasionale Party is relinquished by its veteran founder, Dr. Albert Hertzog. The deputy leader, Jaap Marais, succeeds him.
    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.

  • Wednesday, May 24, 1972
    The first hijacking of a South African Airways plane takes place when two men hijack a SAA Boeing 727 tri-jet the Letaba en route from Durban to Johannesburg and Salisbury. All but five of the fifty-four passengers are set free at Salisbury Airport. The aircraft then lands at Chileka Airport in Malawi, where the remaining five passengers escape during a diversion the following day. The two men responsible are subsequently apprehended and tried.
    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.
    •  https://www.news24.com

  • Saturday, May 24, 1975
    The new campus of the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (RAU) is opened by the SA state president and chancellor of the university, Dr. N. Diederichs.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, May 24, 1972
    The Security Intelligence and State Security Council Bill is adopted, defining the functions and duties of the Bureau of State Security (BOSS), and setting up a State Security Council, with the Prime Minister as Chairman, to advise government on national policy and strategy on security. It has the support of both opposition parties.
    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.

  • Sunday, May 24, 1964
    Soviet premier Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev announces a loan of 227 million dollars to the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria).
  • Thursday, May 24, 1962
    Dr Victorio Carpio of the Philippines falls ill after his visit, together with Dr Salvadore Martinez de Alva, to the Transkei.  Previously the two UN representatives also visited South West Africa.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, May 24, 1959
    Empire Day becomes Commonwealth Day.
  • Saturday, May 24, 1958
    United Press International is formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
    References:

  • Thursday, May 24, 1956
    Egypt and Israel agree to UN observation posts along the Gaza Strip.
  • Saturday, May 24, 1952
    Emil Solomon (Solly) Sachs addresses 15 000 people on the steps of the Johannesburg City Hall during a protest meeting organised by the Garment Workers' Union (GWU) of SA.
    References:
    • Verwey, E.J. (ed)(1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1, Pretoria: HSRC.

  • Friday, May 24, 1946
    British premier Winston Churchill says the Suez Canal will be in danger if Britain withdraws from Egypt.
  • Thursday, May 24, 1951
    The first volume of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal is published.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Saturday, May 24, 1941
    Dr Aron (Ali) Bacher, SA cricket captain and player in twelve tests, is born.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Friday, May 24, 1940
    South African Airways suspends regular commercial services because of World War II.
    References:

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1921
    The first Comrades marathon (87 km) is run by Vic Clapham and his friends who initiated it as a reunion.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1921
    The Bulhoek massacre, during which police fire on charging 'Israelites', a religious sect who refuse to leave a squatters' settlement near Queenstown, takes place.  163 are killed, 129 wounded and 113 taken prisoner.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 585
    •  Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, May 24, 1915
    On a meeting, twelve days after the first one on which was decided to establish a Dutch newspaper, the name De Burger is decided on.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1910
    Sir Leander Starr Jameson, leader of the Progressive Party in South Africa announces his formal opposition to the South African Unionist Party.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 1904
    Paul Kruger settles in a villa in Clarens on lake Geneva.
  • Saturday, May 24, 1902
    Anglo-Boer War 2: British General Sir Ian Hamilton attends General Jan Christiaan Smuts' birthday party: "I sat between Botha and De la Ray. On Botha's right was De Wet, on De la Ray's left sat Smuts. I had the most enchanting evening, and never wish to eat my dinner in better company."
  • Saturday, May 24, 1902
    Empire Day is first celebrated. It was later renamed Commonwealth Day (24 May 1959).
  • Thursday, May 24, 1900
    Anglo-Boer War 2:  Col. Baden-Powell occupies Zeerust.
    References:
    • Cloete: The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology

  • Saturday, May 24, 1890
    Italy reorganises her Red Sea territories as the Colony of Eritrea.
    References:

  • Thursday, May 24, 1900
    Anglo-Boer War 2: Britain annexes the Orange Free State. Lord Roberts changes the name to Orange River Colony.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 8, p. 366
    •  https://www.news24.com

  • Saturday, May 24, 1890
    Stephen Harry Eyssen, composer, singer and editor of the first FAK-volksangbundel, is born.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1870
    Jan Christian Smuts, who was to become the Union of South Africa's second prime minister, is born on the farm Bovenplaats near Riebeeck West in the Cape. 
    References:
    • ---, (2005). 'Pretoria 1855-2005: Chronologie 1798-1935', Bylaag tot Rekord.
    •  https://www.news24.com
    •  https://africanhistory.about.com/

  • Tuesday, May 24, 1864
    Horse racing: The Free State Turf Club is founded in Bloemfontein.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Thursday, May 24, 1860
    Major-General Sir Henry Lukin, who fought in the Zulu War, campaigned in German South West Africa and commanded the South African force at Delville Wood in World War I, is born in Fulham, London.
    References:

  • Sunday, May 24, 1857
    Lady Florence Caroline Dixie, war correspondent in the Anglo-Boer War 2 for the Morning Post, is born in London.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Monday, May 24, 1819
    Queen Victoria is born in London at Kensington Palace. As queen of the British Empire, she reigned over the colonies in Africa.
  • Thursday, May 24, 1500
    Bartolomeu Dias, Portuguese discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope, drowns at sea. The date is given as 29 May in another source and 29 May is the one we have used in the archive.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 4, p. 33

  • Friday, May 24, 1697
    The Dutch ships Oosterland and Waddingsveen are wrecked during a winter gale in Table Bay.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 8, p. 337

  • Thursday, May 24, 2012
    Women's International Day for Peace. (GIED: Celebrating 10 years of Freedom, 2004).