1979 in South Africa

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1976 1977 1978 « 1979 » 1980 1981 1982

Years in South Africa


  • Explosives are discovered and defused on railway line near Soweto.
  • 5 – Terrorists open fire in the Moroka Police Station's charge office killing one policeman and wounding three others, as well as three civilians.
  • 29 – Bishop Abel Muzorewa becomes the transitional Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
  • 22 – A Vela satellite detects a double flash signal in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This is widely believed to be a South African and Israeli nuclear test, denied by South Africa.
  • Terrorists open fire and hurl grenades into the charge office of Orlando Police Station, Soweto. Two policemen are killed and two wounded.
  • Grenades are thrown into the home of Special Branch policeman, Lt Magezi Ngobeni, and five children are wounded.
  • A bomb explodes and damages the railway line near Alice.
  • A bomb explodes at the Sasol Oil Refineries and cause massive structural damage.
Unknown date



  • February – Sergeant Benjamin Letlako, a Police Special Branch member, is shot dead in Katlehong.
  • 12 June – David Sibeko, director of Foreign Affairs of the Pan Africanist Congress and representative to the United Nations, is shot dead in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
  • 30 April – Andries Albertus Pienaar, pen name Sangiro, dies on his farm Panfontein near Bloemhof. (b. 1894)
  • 10 November – Harry Hart (74), South African athlete. (b. 1905)



The South African Railways places the first of 105 Class 6E1, Series 8 electric locomotives in mainline service.[1][2]




  1. ^ South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
  2. ^ Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0869772112.