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Chronology for Xhosa in South Africa

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Xhosa in South Africa, 2004, available at: [accessed 24 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1602 The Dutch East India Company was established.
Apr 1652 A victualling station for the Dutch East India Company was established on the Cape. This was the first permanent white settlement in South Africa.
1659 The first war between the Dutch and the native Khoi-Khoi occurred. Peace was established by 1660, but the Khoi-Khoi lost their land on the peninsula.
1688 French Huguenot settlers arrived on the Cape.
1691 - 1700 The Trek farmer movement started as a result of inadequate markets for their agricultural goods. This began the expansionist movement in South Africa by white settlers.
1709 Pass Laws were implemented. All slaves were required to carry them. The laws were later extended to the Khoi-Khoi until 1828 when "coloreds" were no longer required to carry them. They remained in force for blacks, however, until the late 20th century.
1795 - 1803 First British occupation of the Cape.
1799 - 1802 The great Khoi-Khoi rebellion took place. The rebellion was unsuccessful.
1803 - 1806 The Cape was governed by the Netherlands under Napoleon.
1806 The second British occupation of the Cape.
1807 The British abolish slavery.
1811 - 1812 Twenty thousand Africans, mainly Xhosa, were expelled from the Zuurveld in the Eastern portion of the Cape. Prior to this date, there had been skirmishes between the Europeans and the Africans, but the Africans were able to maintain their positions.
1814 The Cape was ceded to Britain by the Netherlands. The British established a much stronger and more efficient colony.
1820 5000 British settlers arrived.
1828 Ordinance 50 was established which put free blacks on equal political footing with whites. This became one of the incentives for the Great Trek because the Boers were not content with the British efforts at reforming South African society.
Dec 1834 Slavery was abolished on the Cape. Exploratory parties scouted the interior.
1838 - 1843 Voortrekkers governed their own Republic of Natalia.
1843 Natal was proclaimed a British Colony.
1852 Britain recognized the independence of Boers in Transvaal.
1854 The British recognized the independence of the Orange Free State.
1856 A Zulu civil war broke out over who will rule on the death of Mpandi. Death and famine occurred among Xhosa after the slaughter of their cattle. The Xhosa slaughtered their own cattle on the recommendation of a seer who said if they do so, prosperity will come to them. Twenty thousand starved to death, others fled to towns where their incorporation into the colonial economy was sped up.
1860 The first Indian indentured laborers arrived in Natal.
1867 Discovery of diamonds. By 1870, some 10,000 diggers descended on the Vaal River near Kimberly and a Digger Republic was formed.
1871 The British annexed the diamond fields. By this time, four republics have been established: Cape Colony and Natal were British colonies; Orange Free State and the South African Republic were Boers states which struggled to remain independent of Britain.
1879 An Anglo-Zulu war resulted when the Zulus resisted a demand that their military system be abolished. They were soon defeated and their leader was exiled. Their territory was not annexed until 1887. The Anglo-Pedi War occurred after the Zulus were defeated. The British ended Pedi (a small Sotho group in Southwest Transvaal) independence.
1880 First Anglo-Boer War, or the Transvaal War of Independence. It ended in the British giving Transvaal independence subject to the "suzerainty of Her Majesty."
1885 Legislation barring Indians from citizenship and property rights was passed. The legislation also provided that they live in separate areas set aside for them.
1887 Zululand was proclaimed British territory and the King was deported to St. Helena.
1890 The British South Africa Company was established in the Cape. Cecil Rhodes, the founder, became Prime Minister.
1893 - 1914 Gandhi became a spokesman for the middle class Indians in South Africa. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and led an unsuccessful protest against legislation barring Indians from voting.
1899 - 1902 Second Anglo-Boer War. The Boers were defeated and the Orange Free State was annexed in May 1900 and Transvaal in September 1900.
1903 - 1907 More than 63,000 Chinese laborers were brought in to work the mines.
1910 The Union of South Africa was inaugurated.
1912 The South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was established.
1913 The Native Lands Act was passed. It limited land ownership by blacks, including ownership of traditional tribal territory.
1914 The National Party was formed. SANNC representatives visited London in protest over the Native Lands Act.
1920 The first version of Inkatha, the Zulu cultural movement, was launched.
1921 The Communist Party of South Africa (SACP) was formed.
1923 The Native Act extended segregation to cities and affirmed that blacks are not permanent residents in urban areas. SANNC changed its name to the African National Congress (ANC).
1925 Afrikaans was recognized as the official language.
1927 Compulsory segregation was announced in 26 urban areas. The Native Administration Act extended recognition to chiefs and formed the basis for decentralizing authority in African reserves. Sixty-four black residential acts were proclaimed. Several acts restricting black rights were established in the 1920s.
Dec 1931 A pass-burning campaign led to violence in Durban.
1936 The Native Trust and Land Act was passed to increase land for blacks to 13% of the total surface area of the country.
1943 A group of black leaders formulated political demands in "African Claims in South Africa." Coloreds joined ranks with the All-African Convention to form a Non-European Unitary Movement. The Trading and Occupation of Land Act placed severe restrictions on where Indians could work and reside.
1944 The first mass movement of urban squatters occurred. James Mpanza led homeless Africans to vacant ground in Orlando, later part of Soweto. Many Africans became squatters when their land was taken from them by whites and they were forced to pay rent to live there or use the land.
1948 The National Party won elections for the first time on a platform of Afrikaner nationalism. This began the apartheid phase of South African history which was characterized by a separation of races through a program of separate development. Apartheid policies were formulated over the next decades and included the passage of legislation which legally separated whites from other ethnicities (see 1949-1951 below).
1949 Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act passed.
1950 Group Areas Act (allowed the government to move people into new areas based on their race), Population Registration Act (provided for racial classification on a national register), Immorality Amendment Act (prohibited sexual relations between people of different races), and Suppression of Communism Act were passed by the South African Government. The Communist Party went underground.
1951 Bantu Authorities Act (prepared the way for a new system of local and regional government, which modified the old councils, in the reserves) passed. The Separate Representation of Voters Act was passed in an attempt to prevent Coloreds from voting with whites. The latter Act was ruled invalid in 1952.
1952 The ANC launched a countrywide defiance campaign. Widespread riots resulted leading to the passing of the Safety Act and the Law Amendment Act. All blacks over age 16 were then required to produce a pass on request by police or administrators or face jail.
May 1953 Liberal Party was formed. It was a non-racial party which stands for the rule of law and equal rights for all in a democratic state. It was dissolved in 1968.
Feb 1956 Removal of Colored voters from the common roll.
1959 The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was founded under Robert Sobukwe. The Progressive Party was founded under Jan Steytler.
1960 Representation for blacks in parliament was abolished. In March, police opened fire on protestors (protesting pass laws) in Sharpeville killing 69 people. In April the ANC and PAC were officially banned. Their leaders fled to foreign states and they formed militant wings. Twenty-thousand people were detained and there were random assaults on blacks in Cape Town. The Anti-Pass strike was broken and Pass Laws were once again enforced.
May 31, 1961 South Africa left the Commonwealth and became a Republic. Nelson Mandela proposed an armed struggle and 10,000 were detained throughout the year.
1962 Nelson Mandela was arrested on his return from abroad. In November, the U.N. voted for economic and diplomatic sanctions against South Africa because of its apartheid policies.
May 1963 Ninety-day detention without trial was introduced.
Dec 1963 Transkei was granted self-government.
1965 Detention without trial for 180 day periods was introduced.
Oct 1966 The U.K. granted Lesotho independence and it gained international recognition.
1967 Section 6 of the Terrorism Act provided for indefinite detention without trial.
1969 The South African Students' Organization was established to organize students under black leadership. Steven Biko led the movement. It was banned in 1977. Right-wing groups began to form in opposition to the government.
1971 Goodwill Zwelithini was installed as the 8th Zulu Monarch.
1972 The Black People's Convention was formed to coordinate supporters of the Black Consciousness Movement. Africans in "white" areas were brought under Bantu Affairs Administration Boards. The Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) was founded. It is a militant right-wing group which advocates total racial separation.
1974 Gatsha Buthelezi founded the Inkatha Party as a political and cultural movement. It members are overwhelmingly Zulus, though it opened up for general membership in 1977.
1976 The Suppression of Communist Act became the Internal Security Act. In the late 1970s, Buthelezi, the Inkatha leader, split with the ANC. Ikatha was seen by Afrikaners as a less radical movement.
Jun 16, 1976 Student protests in Soweto, led by the South African Student Movement (SASM), began. Students were protesting against inequalities of Bantu Education and the introduction of Afrikans as a teaching medium. Adding to the disquiet in Soweto were the government's reluctance to maintain subsidies on vital consumer goods, rising unemployment rates, and urban crowding. The protests lasted over a year and hundreds were killed by police.
Sep 12, 1977 Steven Biko died in police custody. His death heightened world condemnation of South Africa.
Dec 1977 Bophuthatswana became an "independent" homeland.
Oct 1978 Pieter Botha became Prime Minister.
1979 Buthelezi, the Inkatha leader, split with the ANC. It was seen as a less radical movement. The ANC accused Buthelezi of being a government stooge.
Feb 1 - Dec 31, 1980 Black high school students boycotted classes, especially in the Cape Peninsula. Forty-five were shot by police in the Cape Town area in June violence.
Dec 1981 Ciskei was declared "independent."
1982 Venda was declared "independent." The Conservative Party was created. It became the official opposition in 1987.
1983 A white referendum approved a new constitution. The United Democratic Front (UDF) was founded as an extra-parliamentary opposition group. The Colored Labor Party decided to participate in the tri-cameral parliament. Only 13% of Indians and 18% of Coloreds vote.
1984 - 1986 Period of unrest and instability. A State of Emergency was declared.
1986 The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, the Prohibition of Political Interference Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act were repealed. Pass laws and influx control were abolished.
1989 Botha resigned as Prime Minister and was replaced by F.W. de Klerk. The Separate Amenities Act was repealed. There were mixed-race riots in suburbs around Cape Town. The riots were in protest of elections and in opposition to the puppet vote Coloreds have in parliament.
1990 De Klerk announced the unconditional release of Nelson Mandela and a lifting of the ban on all illegal organizations. Mandela was released February 11. The State of Emergency was lifted. Namibia became independent from South Africa. Violence between traditionalists and non-traditionalists in Natal spread to Johannesburg's townships in July. In the past three years, more than 4000 have died in violence between Xhosa and Zulus in Natal. By December, more than 1000 had died in Johannesburg in the violence. Mixed-race riots took place in Port Elizabeth.
Jan 1991 ANC leader Mandela met with Inkatha leader Buthelezi over continuing violence in the townships. The ANC and Inkatha have a history of disagreement with many seeing Buthelezi as having sold out to the whites in agreeing to the homelands system. Inkatha members were blamed for the killing of at least 35 ANC supporters who were attending a vigil for an ANC murder victim on 12 January. Inkatha has often been accused by the ANC of fomenting violence to prevent its being marginalized as a political force.
Apr 1991 Violence erupted in several townships between ANC and Inkatha supporters. Relations between the leaders of the two groups worsen, while the ANC appeared to be moving towards a new accommodation with PAC.
May 1991 A conference scheduled by the government on ending township violence was attended by only the IFP, some representatives of minority parties, and the neo-fascist Afrikaner Resistance Movement. The ANC, churches, and main opposition Conservative Party stayed away in protest over Inkatha supporters' carrying of traditional weapons. King Goodwill Zwelithini criticized Mandela at a rally of some 40,000 Inkatha followers. He warned the ANC against verbal attacks on the Zulu and said his people would not give up their traditional weapons.
Jun 5, 1991 Racist restrictions in hundreds of laws, including the entire provisions of the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, the Group Areas Act, the Development Trust and Land Act and the Black Communities Act were taken off the statute books.
Jun 9, 1991 Buthelezi denied allegations of a former SADF (South African Defense Forces) intelligence major that the SADF had trained Inkatha loyalists to attack ANC supporters. The major said the army's intent was to ensure that "moderates" won in the inevitable multi-racial elections.
Jun 17, 1991 The Population Registration Act, under which South Africans were classified by race, was repealed.
Jul 6, 1991 U.S. President George Bush repealed the CAAA (Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act), thereby lifting the bulk of trade and investment sanctions against South Africa.
Jul 19, 1991 The Press began to disclose SAP (police) funding of Inkatha rallies held in November 1989 and March 1990. Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok admitted to covert funding of Inkatha, describing it as non-political. Buthelezi continued to deny knowledge of any payments. In light of these revelations, Mandela renewed calls for an interim government.
Aug 1991 The UDF disbanded declaring that it has fulfilled its major objectives in dismantling apartheid. A bloody confrontation between extremist AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) members and SADF took place when the AWB attempted to interrupt a speech by de Klerk. Three AWB members were killed and 58 were injured including 7 police and 15 black civilians.
Sep 1991 The ANC, IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party), and the government signed a peace accord amid continuing violence. De Klerk continued to call for the demolition of the ANC armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Mandela responded by suggesting the integration of the MK into the SADF. De Klerk also urged the ANC to become a political party which it refused to do until a new constitution allowing for equal rights of all citizens of South Africa was in place.
Oct 1991 The Patriotic Front was formed after a meeting between the ANC, PAC and 90 other groups. This marked PACs entry into the negotiations with the government for complete destruction of apartheid in the country. The military authorities in the nominally independent Ciskei declared a state of emergency to combat ANC "terrorism". The ANC denied the charges and condemned the repressive rule of Ciskei military leader Oupa Gqozo.
Nov 1991 The State of Emergency in Ciskei ended as ANC leaders and Gqozo commit to peace in the region. Seventy-six blacks were killed in clashes between Xhosa and Sotho workers at the President Steyn mine. ANC leader Mandela announced the party must pay more attention to the needs of coloreds and Indians.
Dec 1991 Progress on the forming of a new Constitution was made with the meeting of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa). Two parties were noticeably absent: IFP and the Government of Bophuthatswana. During 1991, 2,165 people died in political violence. Exiled ANC leader Oliver Tambo returned to South Africa.
Jan 1992 The European Community announced that it will lift economic sanctions against South Africa which have been in place since 1986. A former central committee member of the IFP provided further proof that the IFP and SADF have cooperated in attacks on ANC supporters. The South African Institute of Race Relations reported that the total number of deaths occurring from political violence since 1984 is 11,910.
Mar 17, 1992 A white-only referendum was held to establish that the white community is agreeable to the continuation of the process of dismantling apartheid. Sixty-eight percent of whites said they want the process to continue.
Jun 7, 1992 Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini married a Xhosa woman in an inter-tribal ceremony.
Jun 17, 1992 Two hundred men went on a rampage in a Boipatong squatter camp. At least 45 people were killed by Inkatha members supported by the police. Boipatong is an ANC stronghold and the ANC withdraws from Codesa in protest and launches a three-month mass action campaign.
Aug 1992 The Communist Party (SACP) split, and some members form the right-wing Afrikaner Volksunie Party (AVU).
Sep 1992 At least 29 people were killed when troops from the Ciskei "homeland" fired on ANC supporters marching towards the Ciskei capital. The ANC and government resumed talks and sign a Record of Understanding. In response, Buthelezi of the IFP, President Mangope of Bophuthatswana, Oupa Gquozo, military leader of Ciskei, the AVU and the CP formed the Concerned South Africans Group (Cosag). Violence continues throughout the year. The first mixed-race mayor is elected in Franschhoek.
Nov 1992 The Goldstone Commission, a judicial inquiry into political violence established in September 1991 released evidence of a "dirty tricks" campaign sanctioned by senior SADF figures against the ANC since its legalization in 1990.
Dec 1992 De Klerk strongly criticized Buthelezi's draft constitution for a new "state of Kwa-Zulu". De Klerk warned that such proposals were incompatible with previous agreements that constitutional reform should be the result of multi-party talks. Separate attacks on whites November 29, December 4 and 9 were claimed by PAC's militant wing, the APLA.
Feb 1993 De Klerk announced major reforms for the Own Affairs system under which the affairs of Whites, Coloreds, and Indians were handled by different departments.
Mar 5, 1993 The multiparty planning conference convened ending an eight-month hiatus in negotiations.
Apr 1993 Talks were disrupted when Chris Hani, Secretary-General of the SACP, is assassinated. A Polish immigrant and CP Member of Parliament were arrested and convicted for his murder. Retired SADF (South African Defense Forces) and SAP (South African Party) generals formed the Afrikaner Volksfront in an attempt to unite the right-wing.
Jun 1993 A tentative date for elections was scheduled (27 April 1994). The CP, IFP and KwaZulu Government formally withdrew from the multi-party negotiations. A group of 500 heavily armed AVF supporters stormed the Johannesburg World Trade Center, attacking black delegates and journalists. After negotiations with the government, they agreed to leave if no arrests are made. The government withheld the right to make later arrests. Yet, by the end of the month, only 25 participants in the attack were arrested.
Jul 1993 Heightened political violence culminated in an attack on a Cape Town church in which gunmen open fire on the congregation leaving 12 dead and 50 injured. Most of the victims were whites. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. A draft constitution was published.
Sep 1993 The Transitional Executive Commission Bill (TEC) and other bills making up the first part of the transitional package, were agreed to by the negotiators. They also finally agreed to draft an interim constitution and an Electoral Bill. Mandela asked countries to lift economic and trade sanctions against South Africa, but asked the arms embargo to remain until a government of national unity was in place after the April 1994 elections.
Oct 1993 The Freedom Alliance, formerly known as Cosag, was formed. It announced the suspension of all bilateral negotiations with the government and the ANC. Its main objective was to negotiate a constitution entrenching the right of self-determination. Eugene Terre-Blanche, leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) was convicted of charges of public violence arising from his part in an attack on a rally addressed by President de Klerk in August 1991.
Nov 1993 Deaths in political violence reached 3,981 for the year. Delegates to the multi-party negotiations endorsed an Interim Constitution under which South Africa was to be governed for five years after elections in April. The constitution was revised from the one published in July with added concessions to the right-wing Freedom Alliance including allowing regions to draft their own constitutions. The draft was rejected by the Freedom Alliance, though leaders' reactions were not uniform. The multi-party negotiators agreed to repeal Section 29 of the Internal Security Act which allowed for detention without trial. The trial of Oupa Gqozo, military leader of Ciskei, began 9 November. He was charged with murder and incitement of murder in the killing of Lt-Gen. Charles Sebe during a 1991 coup attempt.
Dec 1993 The TEC was installed giving Africans a legal role in the government of South Africa for the first time. Parliament ratified the interim Constitution.
Jan 1994 The ANC and government held talks with the Freedom Alliance (FA) in an effort to persuade the FA to accept the interim constitution and participate in TEC. Ciskei, a member of the FA, announced it will join TEC. PAC announced a suspension of activities by its armed wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). TEC announces that the training of a National Peacekeeping Force will begin on 24 January.
Mar 1994 The FA effectively collapsed after a crisis in Bophuthatswana. Bophuthatswana President Lucas Mangope announced his region would not take part in elections in April. Widespread generalized violence erupted against the Mangope regime. Up to 5000 armed white right-wing extremists rallied around the president vowing to keep the region independent. SADF troops were sent in to restore order and at least 60 people were killed. The TEC removed Mangope from power. The FA, already weakened from the withdrawal of Ciskei, collapsed. The collapse of the FA left Buthelezi increasingly isolated in his opposition to elections.
Mar 31, 1994 De Klerk imposed a State of Emergency in KwaZulu-Natal in anticipation of elections. The Freedom Front, led by Constand Viljoen, claimed that 70-80% of Afrikaners want a separate white homeland.
Apr 25, 1994 A controversial transfer of land to the Zulu king took place just before elections.
Apr 26 - 28, 1994 Multi-racial elections took place for the first time in South Africa. The ANC received almost 63% of the National Assembly vote, followed by the NP (National Party) which received 20.5%, and the IFP which received 8%. In the four years leading up to political reform, up to 20,000 people have died in political violence.
May 10, 1994 Nelson Mandela was chosen president and sworn in. Thabo Mbeki, ANC chairman, was named first deputy president and F.W. de Klerk, leader of the largest opposition party, was named second deputy president.
Jun 1994 Neo-nazi leader Eugene Terre Blanche announced that bombings will continue until whites get a separate homeland. Twenty-one people have been killed in the bombings and his organization, AWB, has a few thousand members.
Sep 1994 King Zwelithini cancelled the Shaka Day festivities in KwaZulu-Natal honoring the warrior king Shaka after Inkatha supporters stormed the royal residence while a meeting between Zwelithini, Mandela and Buthelezi was taking place. Zwelithini has distanced himself in recent months from Buthelezi and rejected his claim to be the hereditary advisor to the king. He appeared to be moving closer to the ANC and the Zulu people are divided in their support. Riots against Mandela's government took place in colored communities. The major issue behind these riots was rent and utility increases in colored communities while in black communities, concessions were granted.
May 1995 A secret document preparing an autonomy bid by KwaZulu-Natal was discovered. The plan called for a regional security force, media control and the provincial take-over of licensing, education and civil service.
Jun 16, 1995 Mandela visited KwaZulu-Natal to make a bid for peace. His relationship with Buthelezi has completely deteriorated. Increases in violence in the region were seen as a result of Buthelezi's decision to boycott the constitution-writing process and demand international mediation. Buthelezi wanted stronger regional powers guaranteed in the constitution. Violence in the region has killed 1100 since elections in April 1994.
Jul 1995 Local tribal chiefs in KwaZulu-Natal were at the center of the power struggle between Mandela and Buthelezi. Most sided with Buthelezi and intimidate ANC supporters in their villages. They also think the Zulu King is selling out to the ANC. Xhosa and Sotho were fighting at a hostel in Vaal Triangle. Recent clashes have also taken place between the Xhosa and Pondo.
Jan 6, 1996 Eighteen Zulu ANC supporters were killed in a Christmas day massacre when 600 warriors attacked them in Shobashobane village of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). Two men were later sentenced to life imprisonment for the killings.
Jun 1996 Thirty thousand police and soldiers stood guard in Kwa-Zulu Natal to protect more than 3.5 million voters went to the polls in local council elections. At lease 13 candidates from the two main parties were killed since November 1995 and voting has been postponed three times because of political violence. (Reuters World Service (RWS), 6/24/1996)
Sep 1996 In recent months, 48 mine workers have been killed in fighting between Xhosa and Sotho. (ANS, 9/27/1996)
Dec 10, 1996 President Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution into law in Sharpeville. Thirty-five people were killed in factional fighting between Xhosa and Sotho in a squatter camp adjoining a mine near Rustenburg in the northwest. The violence was sparked by the murder of a Xhosa shop-owner. (BBC)
Jan 1997 Violence over the Christmas holiday left 31 dead in KZN. Gangs of killers in rural areas killed whole families, some for political reasons. According to the Human Rights Committee, 454 were killed in 1996 and 837 in 1995 in the province.
Jun 1997 Eight people were killed in Kwa Mashu township in ANC factional fighting. (Africa News Service (ANS), 6/13/1997) In talks between the ANC and IFP, Buthelezi agreed to the merger of the two parties in theory and said their differences were over strategy not ideology. The IFP is still demanding more autonomy for KZN and entrenched rights for tribal chiefs. Relations between the two parties began to improve in June 1996. (RWS, 6/1/1997)
Jul 1997 Police were investigating the execution-style murder of five ANC members in the township of Isimozomeni near Richmond, KZN. Most claims by witnesses center on alleged involvement by police and security forces and Sifiso Mkabinde who was expelled from the ANC in March amid accusations of spying. The killings came days after a by-election in which the ANC won 4 of 5 vacant local seats. (ANS, 7/25/1997)
Aug 29, 1997 At least 61 ANC members were arrested and charged with public violence after an illegal march to demand the arrest of Mkabinde. (British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC))
Jul 1998 At the IFP's national conference, the party moved away from its anti-ANC rhetoric. It wants to shed its image as a provincial Zulu-based party and has been careful to avoid choosing people associated with violence to lead its election campaign. United Democratic Movement's (UDM) president Bantu Holomisa called for an independent judicial commission to investigate violence in Richmond. At least 25 people were killed in the first half of the month. Violence began in May 1997, and 62 people have been killed since then. A new Independent Complaints Committee was established to investigate complaints against police in the area. (ANS, 7/17/1998). A group of highly trained operatives linked to violence in KZN in the 1990s has been linked to the recent upsurge in violence in Richmond. Senior politicians, right-wing farmers, police and military chiefs have regrouped and are exploiting tensions between the ANC and UDM with the aim of destabilizing the region before next year's elections. (ANS, 1/17/1998).
Aug 4, 1998 Buthelezi called for more cooperation between the IFP and the ANC. After revelations that the IFP used anti-ANC hit squads backed by the former apartheid regime last year, his popularity is not what it used to be. Violence has been increasing in KZN and is thought to be aimed at destabilizing and scarring the population prior to elections. In July, there were 40 murders in Richmond where whites are believed to be fomenting black-on-black violence. Both the ANC and IFP used murder as a political strategy prior to the 1994 elections, but had experienced better relations over the pact two years. (Christian Science Monitor)
Aug 24, 1998 A peace march was organized by the IFP, UDM and local farmers to protest against the closure of the Richmond police station. The community had been calling for the closing for some time because they believed that the police played a role in the violence in the area. (ANS)
Nov 1998 The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee was released in late October despite attempts by the ANC and others to stifle it. It reported that more than 10,000 people had been killed in KZN between 1985-1994. It was widely assumed that a general amnesty would be issued for those reported to have committed gross violations of human rights. (Sunday Times)
Dec 7, 1998 President Mandela has rejected calls for a general amnesty for those committing atrocities during the apartheid era. He said those who want amnesty must apply individually. Under the Committee, those who committed or were responsible for atrocities may be given amnesty if they make a full disclosure of their actions and prove their actions were politically motivated. (Daily Telegraph)
Dec 22, 1998 South Africa is experiencing a rise in xenophobia against refugees and illegal immigrants. Insults and fighting occur daily. During the past two years, 30 asylum seekers have been killed. (Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA))
Jan 7, 1999 The IFP proposed sweeping constitutional changes that would strengthen the powers of the provinces, abolish the deputy president and install a prime minister, entrench the role of chiefs in local government and reconsider the 1913 cut-off date for land claims. (Business Day)
Jan 25, 1999 Sifiso Nkabinde, an ANC warlord in KZN in the1980s and 1990s who was expelled in 1997 was assassinated. (International Herald Tribune)
Feb 25, 1999 King Goodwill Zwelithini said that no-go areas should cease in KZN and urged political leaders to refrain from using provocative language in election campaigns. He also expressed his appreciation for the rapprochement between the ANC and IFP. However, KZN premier Lionel Mtshali said that he did not think the two parties had registered significant progress in their relations and that the process of reconciliation was hampered by violence and plots to assassinate IFP leaders. (BBC)
Mar 1999 The ANC and IFP were planning an urgent meeting to salvage the peace process in KZN which has faltered since Lionel Mtshali became Premier. The IFP is worried about losing the province to the ANC in upcoming elections. (ANS, 3/5/1999). Five local United Democratic Movement officials have been killed in the past four days raising fears of more election-related violence. The UDM was founded in 1998 by Bantu Holomisa, who was expelled from the ANC for accusing leaders of accepting bribes, and Roelf Meyer formerly of the National Party. (International Herald Tribune, 3/10/1999). The situation in Western Cape is very tense as gun battles in black squatter camps have taken place and government troops flood the area. The fighting is taking place between the ANC and UDM. Xhosa from the Eastern Cape are thought to make up the majority of the UDM's support. (The Times, 3/14/1999)
Apr 1999 An editorial in the Ilanga newspaper accusing Indians of fomenting black-on-black violence has worsened the relations between the two communities. The editorial also accused whites of seeking to maintain dominance over blacks. The editor was fired and condemned by the IFP which owns the newspaper. (ANS, 4/13/1999). Politicians were courting tribal chiefs in the run-up to elections. The East Coast is still under control of Xhosa chiefs, and the UDM is making huge inroads there. (New York Times, 4/27/1999)
May 12, 1999 Police uncovered a vast cache of arms and ammunition in KZN. A high level investigation was targeting senior IFP officials in the region (New York Times; ANS, 7/30/1999)
Jun 2, 1999 South Africans cast their ballots in national and provincial elections. The ANC won 266 of 400 parliamentary seats, one short of a two-thirds majority. The Democratic Party won 38 seats, the IFP, 34, the National Party, 28 and the UDM, 14. Colored voters deserted the National Party accounting for its significant loss of seats. (The Independent, 6/4/1999; the New York Times, 6/8/1999)
Jun 17, 1999 Mbeki was sworn in as President.
Aug 27, 1999 There were reports that police are discriminating against foreigners. Two recent assaults on foreigners, one leading to death, were not properly investigated by the police who refused to take evidence from witnesses to the crime. (ANS)

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