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South Africa: The Fall of Apartheid - 1994

After Apartheid Books

Post-Apartheid Timeline

1994 April - ANC wins first non-racial elections. Mandela becomes president, Government of National Unity formed, Commonwealth membership restored, remaining sanctions lifted. South Africa takes seat in UN General Assembly after 20-year absence.

Seeking truth

1996 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu begins hearings on human rights crimes committed by former government and liberation movements during apartheid era.

1996 - Parliament adopts new constitution. National Party withdraws from coalition, saying it is being ignored.

1998 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission report brands apartheid a crime against humanity and finds the ANC accountable for human rights abuses.

1999 - ANC wins general elections, Thabo Mbeki takes over as president.

2000 December - ANC prevails in local elections. Recently-formed Democratic Alliance captures nearly a quarter of the votes. The Inkatha Freedom Party wins 9%.

2001 April - 39 multi-national pharmaceutical companies halt a legal battle to stop South Africa importing generic Aids drugs. The decision is hailed as a victory for the world's poorest countries in their efforts to import cheaper drugs to combat the virus.

2001 May - An official panel considers allegations of corruption surrounding a 1999 arms deal involving British, French, German, Italian, Swedish and South African firms. In November the panel clears the government of unlawful conduct.

2001 September - Durban hosts UN race conference.

2001 December - High Court rules that pregnant women must be given Aids drugs to help prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.

2002 April - Court acquits Dr Wouter Basson - dubbed "Dr Death" - who ran apartheid-era germ warfare programme. Basson had faced charges of murder and conspiracy. ANC condemns verdict.

2002 July - Constitutional court orders government to provide key anti-Aids drug at all public hospitals. Government had argued drug was too costly.

2002 October - Bomb explosions in Soweto and a blast near Pretoria are thought to be the work of right-wing extremists. Separately, police charge 17 right-wingers with plotting against the state.

2003 May - Walter Sisulu, a key figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, dies aged 91. Thousands gather to pay their last respects.

2003 November - Government approves major programme to treat and tackle HIV/Aids. It envisages network of drug-distributon centres and preventative programmes. Cabinet had previously refused to provide anti-Aids medicine via public health system.

2004 April - Ruling ANC wins landslide election victory, gaining nearly 70% of votes. Thabo Mbeki begins a second term as president. Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is dropped from the cabinet.

2005 March - Investigators exhume the first bodies in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigation into the fates of hundreds of people who disappeared in the apartheid era.

2005 May - Geographical names committee recommends that the culture minister should approve a name change for the capital from Pretoria to Tshwane.

Zuma sacked

2005 June - President Mbeki sacks his deputy, Jacob Zuma, in the aftermath of a corruption case.

2005 August - Around 100,000 gold miners strike over pay, bringing the industry to a standstill.

2006 May - Former deputy president Jacob Zuma is acquitted of rape charges by the High Court in Johannesburg. He is reinstated as deputy leader of the governing African National Congress.

2006 June - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits and promises to limit clothing exports to help South Africa's ailing textile industry.

2006 September - Corruption charges against former deputy president Zuma are dismissed, boosting his bid for the presidency.

2006 December - South Africa becomes the first African country, and the fifth in the world, to allow same-sex unions.

2007 April - President Mbeki, often accused of turning a blind eye to crime, urges South Africans to join forces to bring rapists, drug dealers and corrupt officials to justice.

2007 May - Cape Town mayor Helen Zille is elected as new leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

Mass strike

2007 June - Hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers take part in the biggest strike since the end of apartheid. The strike lasts for four weeks and causes widespread disruption to schools, hospitals and public transport.

Continue reading the main story

Early rights activist

Political leader Mahatma Gandhi is revered in South Africa where he spent two decades fighting for basic rights of Indians

·         BBC History: Gandhi

2007 December - Zuma is elected chairman of the ANC, placing him in a strong position to become the next president. Prosecutors bring new corruption charges against him.

2008 May - Wave of violence directed at foreigners hits townships across the country. Dozens of people die and thousands of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans return home.

2008 September - A judge throws out a corruption case against ruling ANC party chief Jacob Zuma, opening the way for him to stand as the country's president in 2009.

President Mbeki resigns over allegations that he interfered in the corruption case against Mr Zuma. ANC deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe is chosen by parliament as president.

New party launched

2008 December - A new political party is launched in Bloemfontein, in the first real challenge to the governing ANC. The Congress of the People - or Cope - is made up largely of defectors from the ANC and is headed by former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota.

2009 January - Appeals court rules that state prosecutors can resurrect their corruption case against ANC leader Jacob Zuma, opening the way for Mr Zuma's trial to be resumed, just months before general election.

2009 April - Public prosecutors drop corruption case against Jacob Zuma.

ANC wins general election.

2009 May - Parliament elects Jacob Zuma as president.

Economy goes into recession for first time in 17 years.

2009 July - Township residents complaining about poor living conditions mount violent protests.

2010 June - South Africa hosts the World Cup football tournament.

2010 August - Civil servants stage nation-wide strike.

2011 May - Local elections, with opposition Democratic Alliance nearly doubling its share of the vote since the last poll.

President Zuma mediates in Libyan conflict.

2011 October - President Zuma sacks two ministers accused of corruption.

Opposition Democratic Alliance picks a black woman - Lindiwe Mazibuko - as its leader in parliament.

Trouble within ANC

2011 November - The ANC suspends its controversial and influential youth leader, Julius Malema, for five years for bringing the party into disrepute.

Marikana massacre

·         Wake-up call for ANC

·         Leaders ignore lessons at their peril

National Assembly overwhelmingly approves information bill accused by critics of posing a threat to freedom of speech. The ANC says it is needed to safeguard national security.

2012 July - Member of white extremist group found guilty of plotting to kill Mandela and trying to overthrow government.

2012 August-October - Police open fire on workers at a platinum mine in Marikana, killing at least 34 people, and leaving at least 78 injured and arresting more than 200 others. Prosecutors drop murder charges in September against 270 miners after a public outcry, and the government sets up a judicial commission of inquiry in October.

2012 September - Former ANC youth leader Julius Malema is charged with money laundering over a government tender awarded to a company partly owned by his family trust. Mr Malema says the case is a politically motivated attempt to silence his campaign against President Zuma, in particular over the Marikana shootings.

2012 October - Platinum mine owner Amplats fires 12,000 striking miners as wave of wildcat strikes shows little sign of abating.

2012 December - President Zuma re-elected as leader of the ANC.

2013 June - Former president Nelson Mandela, aged 94, admitted to hospital for the fourth time in the past year.

2013 September - Nelson Mandela discharged after spending three months in hospital with a lung infection. Doctors say he remains in a stable but critical condition and will be treated at home.

2013 October - Members of a white supremacist group accused of bombings in Johannesburg's Soweto township in 2002, and of plotting to murder Nelson Mandela, are found guilty and given long sentences.

2013 December - Nelson Mandela dies, aged 95. Tributes to "the father of the nation" flood in from throughout the world.

2013 March - The anti-corruption ombudsman heavily criticises President Zuma for a twenty million dollar upgrade to his private home.

2014 May - Ruling ANC party wins a majority in general elections.




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