Global Perspectives on Human Language:
The South African Context

      Timeline of Apartheid  

Language and Education

History and Culture

Sites and Scenery

Additional Links



Ajani Husbands
Updated 9-19-2004

Timeline of Apartheid
Nelson Mandela
Steve Biko
South Africa Today

1900- 90% of Africa was divided into colonies


1948- The South African government officially launches the system of apartheid, severely restricting the freedom of Black Africans.


1952- Nelson Mandela and Tambo opens the first Black legal firm in South Africa


1956- Nelson Mandela was charge with high treason and found not guilty


1959- The parliament passed new laws extending racial segregation by creating separate bantustans or homelands, for South AFrica's major Black groups. 


1960- Black protests against apartheid reached a peak when police killed 69 people in the Sharpeville Massacre


1962- Nelson Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment


1965- Rhodesia (South Africa) gained its independence.  Only whites were represented in the new government


1974- South Africa is expelled from the U.N. because of apartheid


1976- More than 600 students were killed in Soweto and Sharpeville, known as the Soweto Massacre


1977- Steve Biko killed in police custody


1981- The Dumbutshena Report is commissioned by the government to investigate events surrounding the Entumbane uprising


1983- The government allows farmers to re-arm, to protect themselves from dissidents


1984- It is declared that since 1983, dissidents have murdered 120, mutilated 25, raped 47, and committed 284 robberies


1988- An amnesty is announced for all dissidents


1990- The state of emergency is not renewed


1990- The ban against the African National Congress is lifted


1990- Nelson Mandela is freed from prison


1991- Nelson Mandela becomes president of the ANC


1994- Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as President of South Africa