January 24 has witnessed numerous significant events in South African history.
These historical events happened on 24 January
These events span across various spheres, including political, social, and sports, each contributing uniquely to the nation’s rich and complex past.
Today, we revisit five such events that occurred on this day.
1. The Cato Manor Riots, 1960
The Cato Manor riots in Durban on 24 January 1960, stand as a grim reminder of the tensions during the apartheid era. Triggered by a police raid in search of illicit liquor, the incident led to the death of nine policemen after violent clashes erupted.
This event, occurring just weeks before the Sharpeville Massacre, highlighted the high societal tensions and harsh enforcement of apartheid laws, including the pass and liquor laws which caused immense distress to the black population.
2. The Resignation of Connie Mulder, 1979
January 24, 1979, saw the resignation of Connie Mulder, the Minister of Information, due to his involvement in a scandal to sell apartheid propaganda using state resources.
This scandal, known as “Muldergate,” involved significant misuse of government funds and attempts to manipulate both local and international public opinion about the apartheid regime, marking a notable moment in South Africa’s political history.
3. Emily Hobhouse’s Report, 1901
On this day in 1901, Emily Hobhouse, an English philanthropist, reported her findings on the dire conditions in the British concentration camps during the Second Anglo-Boer War.
Her reports revealed the appalling circumstances in which women and children were kept, leading to the deaths of thousands.
4. David Frost Wins the South African Open, 1999
January 24, 1999, was a memorable day in South African sports, particularly in golf, as David Frost triumphed at the South African Open Championship in Stellenbosch.
5. SA Government Spoils Chief Albert Luthuli’s Rectorship Chance, 1964
On 24 January 1964, the South African government intervened to prevent Chief Albert Luthuli, the first African Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from taking up the position of Rector at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
This action by the government was seen as part of the broader apartheid policy to limit the influence and movement of anti-apartheid activists.