List of massacres in South Africa

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The following is a list of massacres that have occurred in South Africa (numbers may be approximate):

Name Date Location Deaths Notes
The Mfecane / Difaqane 1818-1828 Highveld and Natal south of the Tugela Estimated 1 to 1,5 million bantu The mfecane / difaqane was ordered by Shaka, a Zulu chieftain. [1]
The Van Rensburg Trek massacre JUL 1836 Inhambane Entire Trek Party of 49, except 2 children The massacre was ordered by Manukosi, a chieftain. Johannes Jacobus Janse (Lang Hans) van Rensburg, leader of one of the early Voortrekker treks and his entire trek, except two children saved by a Zulu warrior, were massacred by an impi of Manukosi. [2] Included in the party was Nicholaas Balthasar Prinsloo, his wife, Petronella Maria Krugel/Kruger and their family. [3]
Piet Retief Trek Delegation massacre 1838-02-06 Hloma mabuto, uMgungundlovu 100 Boers and servants The massacre was ordered by Dingane, a Zulu chieftain. Voortrekker leader Piet Retief was killed last. The treaty handing over a tract of land to the Voortrekkers signed between Dingane and Piet Retief two days before the massacre was later found on Retief's remains. A copy of the original still exists.
Weenen massacre 1838-02-17 Doringkop, Bloukrans River, Moordspruit, Rensburgspruit and other sites around present day Weenen, Natal 532 Boer men, woman and children[4][5][6] The Piet Retief Massacre and the Weenen Massacre was the motivation for the Voortrekkers to confront the Zulus in battle on 16 December 1838 when 470 Voortrekkers fought against an estimated 15000 to 21000 Zulus; which the Voortrekkers won. The battle is known as The Battle of Bloodriver.
Leliefontein massacre 1902-01-31 Northern Cape, South Africa 35
Rand Rebellion 1922-03-08 to


Johannesburg, Gauteng 153
Durban Riot 1949-01-13 to


Durban 142
Sharpeville massacre 1960-03-21 Sharpeville 69
Soweto uprising 1976-06-16 Soweto 176
Church Street bombing 1983-05-20 Church Street West, Pretoria, Transvaal at 16:28 17 men, 2 women (8 black, 9 white).
Johannesburg Magistrate's Court bombing 1987-05-20 Johannesburg, Transvaal 3 killed, 4 injured Limpet mine attack, then car bomb attack half an hour later.
Bisho massacre 1992-09-07 Bisho, Ciskei 29
Boipatong massacre 1992-06-17 Boipatong 45
Saint James Church massacre 1993-07-25 Kenilworth, Cape Town 11
Shell House massacre 1994-03-28 Johannesburg 19-53
Sizzlers massacre 2003-01-20 Sea Point, Cape Town 9, 1 injured The victims were murdered at a gay massage parlour on Graham Road by Adam Roy Woest and Trevor Basil Theys. Judge Nathan Erasmus described it as the "worst massacre that Cape Town and the country have ever seen".
Marikana massacre 2012-08-16 Lonmin Mine, Marikana 34