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TIMELINE: SOUTH AFRICA 1976-1994
Riots break out in Soweto on June 16 and spread to the rest of the country.
UN Security Council imposes mandatory arms embargo against SA.
Steve Biko dies in detention following police brutality.
A number of political organizations and newspapers are banned on October 19.
BJ Vorster resigns as Prime Minister as a consequence of the Information Scandal’ and is succeeded by PW Botha.
Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) formed.
Senate abolished, replaced by President’s Council.
White referendum approves PW Botha’s “reform”, extending separate racial franchise to coloured and Indian minorities.
United Democratic Front (UDF) is launched.
Tricameral Parliament is established with separate assemblies for whites, coloureds and Asians.
PW Botha becomes executive state president.
Congress of Trade Unions (Cosatu) formed.
US Congress imposes sanctions against South Africa.
Mixed Marriages Act, influx control and pass laws are scrapped.
Declaration signed, setting Out the ANC’s pre-negotiating position.
PW Botha and Nelson Mandela meet face to face for the first time
PW Botha resigns as State President. The NP, under his successor FW de Klerk, wins the general election. De Klerk becomes State President.
Walter Sisulu and seven other long-term political prisoners are released.
ANC, PAC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) are unbanned.
Nelson Mandela released on February 11 after 27 years in prison.
Namibia gains independence.
The Groote Schuur Minute signed, paving the way for negotiations on majority rule.
Separate Amenities Act repealed.
Pretoria Minute signed. The ANC suspends armed struggle.
Amnesty extended to political prisoners.
Government and ANC agree on all-party congress to discuss negotiations and constitutional principles.
1913 and 1936 Land Acts, Group Areas Act, Population Registration Act and other apartheid laws repealed
National Peace Accord signed
Declaration of Intent signed at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa)
Whites-only referendum endorses the government’s reform process.
39 people killed in a massacre in Boipatong. ANC suspends talks with the government.
Record of Understanding signed, agreeing to a democratically elected interim government of national unity.
Own affairs’ administrations phased out.
Negotiations resume at Codesa, with 26 parties participating.
Chris Hani is assassinated.
Afrikaner Volksfront formed to negotiate self-determination for Afrikaners.
Compulsory white national service scrapped.
Transitional Executive Council Bill passed.
UN lifts sanctions.
Transitional constitution providing for non-racial multiparty democracy, three tiers of government and a justifiable Bill of rights in a unitary South Africa is accepted.
South Africa’s new constitution is enacted by parliament signaling the end of apartheid and the birth of the new South Africa.
More than seven million people in the homelands regain their South African citizenship.
South Africa hands over Walvis Bay to Namihia.
ANC wins the country’s first non-racial election.
Nelson Mandela inaugurated as SA’s first democratically-elected president on May 10. South Africa joins the OAU and the NAM.
UN Security Council lifts arms embargo
South Africa rejoins Commonwealth; reclaims its seat in the UN General Assembly.
Constitutional Assembly meets to begin drawing up South Africa’s final constitution.
SA rejoins UNESCO after 40 years