1983 in South Africa

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1983 in South African sport

List of years in South Africa



  • 26 – One person is killed and five injured by a bomb that explodes at the New Brighton Community Council offices.
  • 30 – A bomb explodes at the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court.
  • Dieter Gerhardt is arrested by the FBI in New York.
  • 7 – Cedric Mayson, a former Methodist minister, is charged with treason and being a member or an active supporter of the African National Congress. The case was to resume on 18 April but he fled to Britain while on bail.
  • 10 – Umkhonto we Sizwe saboteurs burn 5 square kilometres of land in the Richards Bay area in an arson attack.
  • 11 – The Drakensberg Administration Board offices are damaged by a bomb.
  • 12 – A bomb injures 76 people at the Free State Administration Board offices.
  • 20 – Umkhonto we Sizwe saboteurs try to set the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Station on fire in an arson attack.
  • 12 – A bomb explodes on a railway coach on a Johannesburg-bound passenger train.
  • 21 – A second bomb explodes at the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg.
  • 13 – An improvised explosive device, 37 kg of explosives in a gas cylinder, is found under a bridge on the Southern Freeway in Durban and defused by police.
  • 20 – An Umkhonto we Sizwe car bomb, planted by Abubakar Ismael, explodes outside the South African Air Force Headquarters during the afternoon rush hour period, opposite a building housing military intelligence personnel in Pretoria. 19 people are killed and 220 injured.[1]:45
  • 23 – The South African Air Force retaliates by attacking African National Congress facilities in the suburb of Matola in Maputo, Mozambique during Operation Skerwe.
  • Two explosions cause R250,000 worth of damage to the Offices of the Department of Internal Affairs in Roodepoort.
  • A skirmish on the Botswana border leaves four insurgents and a South African Army soldier dead.
  • 17 – Police defuse a bomb found on a power pylon at New Canada railway station in Soweto.
  • 28 – A bomb explodes at the Department of Internal Affairs in Roodepoort.
  • 7 – Two bombs are found and defused at the Durban Supreme Court while two bombs detonate in Roodepoort at 00:40, causing structural damage to the Department of Internal Affairs offices and the Police Station.
  • 6 – A bomb explodes at Temple Israel in Hillbrow just before Marais Steyn is due to speak there. There are no injuries.
  • 20 – A bomb causes R100,000 in damage to a sub-station near Mamelodi.
  • 20 – The United Democratic Front is launched.[1]:56–62
  • 26 – A Limpet mine explodes at the Ciskei Consul General's offices in the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg at 18:50. One person is injured.
  • 8 – Two bombs damage sub-stations in Johannesburg, in Randburg and Sandton.
  • 11 – More sub-stations are damaged by Limpet mines in Johannesburg, in Bryanston North and Fairlands.
  • 12 – Ciskei offices in Pretoria are damaged by a Limpet mine.
  • 13 – A bomb explodes at 19h45 in the Rowntree's factory in Umbilo, Durban.
  • 29 – The Police defuses a bomb on an electrical pylon in Vereeniging.
  • 11 – Limpet mines explode at 02:20 and damage a large fuel storage tank, three rail tankers and one road tanker at Warmbad. Two more devices, set to explode 1 hour later, are found on the door of the Civil Defence office. PW Botha was due to speak in Warmbad.
  • 14 – Two electricity pylons near Pietermaritzburg are destroyed by Limpet mines at 02:00 and 03:00.
  • 1 – Buses at a municipal bus depot in Durban are damaged by a bomb that explodes at midnight.
  • 1 – The railway line at Germiston is damaged by a bomb.
  • 1 – Police defuse a bomb on the railway line near Springs.
  • 1 – The South African Defence Force launches Operation Askari.
  • 2 – A white referendum on a new Constitution to provide for a White, Coloured and Indian Tricameral Parliament yields a 66% yes vote.[1]:56
  • 2 – A bomb explodes at 02:55 at the Police workshop in Wentworth, Durban and damages vehicles and the adjacent Alan Taylor student residence.
  • 3 – The Bosmont railway station is damaged by a bomb.
  • 3 – The Bosmont-Newclare railway line is damaged in an explosion.
  • 3 – The railway line near Germiston is damaged by an explosion.
  • 3 – Police defuse explosives on the railway line near Springs.
  • 22 – Electrical pylons are damaged by two explosions near Durban.
  • 3 or 7 – A bomb explodes at the office of the Department of Community Development in Bree Street, Johannesburg.
  • 8 – The railway line 1 km from Bloemfontein is maliciously damaged and a locomotive and two trucks are derailed.
  • 12 – Seven people are injured when a Limpet mine explodes at the offices of the Department of Community Development and Commissioners Court in Johannesburg.
  • 15 – Three bombs explode on the beach front outside the Natal Command HQ in Durban.
  • 19 – A bomb causes R60,000 worth of damage to the KwaMashu township offices in Durban.
  • 29 – Dieter Gerhardt is sentenced to life imprisonment for treason.





Four new Cape gauge locomotive types enter service on the South African Railways (SAR):



  • 30 April – Kevin Flanegan wins his first national title in the men's marathon, clocking 2:16:21 in Durban.


  1. ^ a b c Jeffery, Anthea (2009). People's War - New Light on the Struggle for South Africa (1st ed.). Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86842-357-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d 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
  3. ^ a b Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. ISBN 0869772112. 
  4. ^ a b Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. 
  5. ^ Die Vaderland, Donderdag 12 Januarie 1984, p. 3