South Africa: Key events in history

Thursday 18 November 1993 00:02 GMT

1652: Dutch East India Company representative arrives in present-day Cape Town.

1771: Settlers expanding into eastern Cape begin series of wars with Xhosa tribe.

1795: British capture Cape Colony from Dutch.

1838: Dutch trekkers arrive in Natal province, defeating Zulu army. Proclaim a Boer republic in northern Natal.

1899-1902: Britain annexes Orange Free State and South African Republic, establishing hegemony over South Africa.

1913: Native Land Act, cornerstone of racial segregation, divides South Africa into black and white areas.

1948: National Party wins power and introduces apartheid laws.

1960: Police kill 69 people during anti-apartheid protests at Sharpeville. ANC and Pan Africanist Congress banned.

1961: Nelson Mandela proposes armed struggle. Following year he is jailed for life.

1976: Riots in Soweto bring calls for sanctions.

1977: Black leader Steve Biko dies in police custody. State clamps down on activists. UN imposes arms embargo.

1990: President F W de Klerk acknowledges apartheid has failed, frees political prisoners including Mr Mandela and legalises ANC and other banned groups.

1991: Multi-party talks begin on transition to majority rule.

Oct 1993: UN lifts all but arms sanctions. President De Klerk and Mr Mandela awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in