Modern History of South Africa

South African Events

Apartheid Established


The Nationalist Part takes control of the government. Makes apartheid, racial segregation, a law.

Sharpeville Massacre

March 21, 1960

South African Police open fires on a group of anti-apartheid protesters, killing 69. Leads to the banning of the ANC, the main anti-apartheid group

South Africa Becomes Isolated


South Africa is kicked out of the British Commonwealth, is banned from the Olympics, and the UN eventually places an embargo.

Mandela Imprisoned

June 1964

Nelson Mandela, leader of the ANC, is sentenced to line in prison.

Township Revolts


A revolt in the Soweto began an intense time in which protests were becoming more and more violent. The government declared a state of emergency.

de Klerk Takes Office


F. W. de Klerk becomes president, releases Mandela from jail, and begins peace talks.

Freedom Day

April 27, 1994

In the first election open to all races, Nelson Mandela is elected president. Apartheid officially ended.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Desmond Tutu begins to hear trials for crimes against humanity committed during the Apartheid era.

World Cup


South Africa becomes the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup, showing how far they have come since apartheid.

World Events

World War II Ends


With the USSR and US emerging as superpowers, the Cold War begins.

End of the Vietnam War


The North Vietnamese, Communists, are victorious when Saigon, the south's capital, falls.

Collapse of Communism


Communism falls in many Eastern Bloc Countries, then in Russia, leading to the end of the Cold War.

Regional Events

Ghanaian Independence


Ghana becomes the first country to win independence and establish an African rule.

Minority Rule in Rhodesia Overthrown


After 14 years, the Bush War between the Africans and white minority rule ends and free elections are established. The country is renamed Zimbabwe.

Rwandan Genocide


800,000 members of the minority Tutsi tribe are slaughtered by the minority Hutu.