1990 in South Africa

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1987 1988 1989 « 1990 » 1991 1992 1993

List of years in South Africa

1990 in South Africa saw the official start of the process of ending Apartheid. President of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk announced plans to end apartheid. President De Klerk unbanned organisations that were banned by the government including the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the Pan Africanist Congress. The African National Congress' armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, suspends its armed activity within South Africa. Political prisoners including Nelson Mandela were released. Nelson Mandela met ANC leader Oliver Tambo for the first time in 28 years at a meeting in Sweden. Mandela also traveled to England to thank the people for their support in the campaign to free him. South Africa withdrew its troops from Namibia, which was granted independence. 1990 also saw marches in support and against the formation of a new post-Apartheid South Africa.



  • 4 – Brigadier Oupa Gqozo of the Ciskei Defence Force leads a coup in Ciskei.
  • 12 – African National Congress president Oliver Tambo and vice-president Nelson Mandela meet for the first time in 28 years in Sweden.
  • 21 – Namibia gains independence with the United Nations supervising the withdrawal of South African forces and the first elections.
  • 26 – The Minister of Education, Piet Claase, announces that as of January 1991, the segregation of Whites and Blacks in state-run schools will end.
  • 26 – Eleven people are killed and more than 300 injured when police open fire on protesters in Sebokeng.
  • 4 – Nelson Mandela starts a thirteen-nation international tour.
  • 5 – Colonel Gabriel Ramushwana, Chairman of the Venda Council for National Unity, announces the lifting of the state of emergency and the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Venda.
  • 7 – President FW de Klerk lifts the state of emergency in South Africa that has been in place for ten years.
  • 14 – Inkatha Freedom Party is formed when it is transformed from the Inkatha National Cultural Liberation Movement into the IFP
  • 4 – South Africa announces that Harry Schwarz, a prominent anti-apartheid campaigner in Parliament, will be its next ambassador to the United States. He is the first serving politician from the opposition ranks to be appointed to a senior ambassadorial post in South African history.



  • 16 January – Paedophile Gert van Rooyen shoots his accomplice and lover, Joey Haarhoff and then commits suicide soon after a police chase.
  • 20 January – Thomas Mandlenkosi (Mshengu) Shabalala, an Inkatha Freedom Party National Council member, is shot dead outside his house in Lindelani's C Section, also known as eMadamini, near KwaMashu, Durban.
  • 1 May – Jackie Matjili, Umkhonto we Sizwe member, is shot dead in Thokoza.
  • 13 June – Sipho Phungulwa, one of a group of exiles who were held in African National Congress detention camps in Angola, is shot dead in Umtata while trying to seek an audience with the Transkei ANC leadership to expose the hardships they had endured in Angola. Ndibulele Ndzamela, Mfanelo Matshaya and Pumlani Kubukeli will be granted amnesty on 13 August 1998 in connection with this incident.



  • Spoornet places the first of fifty Class 10E1, Series 2 electric locomotives in mainline service.[1]:50–52, 59–60[2]
  • Spoornet begins to semi-permanently couple pairs of otherwise unmodified Class 6E1 electric locomotives and reclassify them to Class 16E.[1]:49–51, 54–57




  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ "UCW - Electric locomotives" (PDF). The UCW Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2010.