Apartheid SWM (Apartheid: Super Warmonkey) is a ATL about the South African Apartheid system with the POD in 1976, during the Soweto Uprising. The timeline will detail events before the POD and after, when the First South African Civil War erupts throughout the nation.


Note: "Africans" refers to people of African (Black) descent.


  • 1651: Dutch settlers arrive in South Africa. In 1756, they import slaves from West Africa, Malaysia, and India, establishing the dominance of Whites over non-Whites in the region.
  • 1700s: Riding on horseback and covered wagons, Dutch farmers (called Boers) migrate across land inhabited by Bantu and Khoi peoples. Armed with shotguns, the Boers seize land used by the tribes for cattle and sheep grazing -- the basis of their economy. Without land, the tribes must work on Boer farms to support themselves.
  • 1810s: British missionaries arrive and criticise the racist practices of the Boers. They urge the Boers to treat the Africans more fairly. Boers justify their practices in the belief that they are superior to Africans.
  • 1867: Diamond mining begins in South Africa. Africans are given the most dangerous jobs, are paid far less than White workers, and are housed in fenced, patrolled barracks. Oppressive conditions and constant surveillance keep Africans from organising for better wages and working conditions.


  • 1908: A constitutional convention is held to establish South African independence from the United Kingdom. The all-White government decides that non-Whites can vote, but cannot hold office. A few people in the new government object, believing that South Africa would be more stable if Africans were treated better.
  • 1910: The South Africa Act takes away all political rights of Africans in three of the country's four states.
  • 1912: The African National Congress is founded. This political party aims to organise Africans in the struggle for civil rights.
  • The Native Lands Act gives 7.3% of the country's land to Africans, who make up 80% of the population. Africans are prohibited from owning land outside their region. Africans are only allowed to be on White land if they are working for Whites.
  • 1920s: Blacks are fired from jobs which are given to Whites.
  • 1910s-1930s: Africans educated at missionary schools attempt to organise to resist White minority rule and gain political power. Their efforts are weakened because few Africans are literate, communication is poor, and access to money or other resources is limited.
  • By 1939, fewer than 30% of Africans are receiving any formal education, and Whites are earning over five times as much as Africans.
  • 1936: Representation of Voters Act: This law weakens the political rights for Africans in some regions and allows them to vote only for White representatives.
  • 1946: African mine workers are paid twelve times less than their White counterparts and are forced to do the most dangerous jobs. Over 75,000 Africans go on strike in support of higher wages. Police use violence to force the unarmed workers back to their jobs. Over 1,000 workers are injured or killed.
  • 1950: The Population Registration Act. This law classifies people into three racial groups: White, Coloured (mixed race or Asian), and native (African/Black). Marriages between different racial groups are outlawed in order to maintain racial purity.
  • 1953: The Preservation of Separate Amenities Act establishes "separate but not necessarily equal" parks, beaches, post offices, and other public places for Whites and non-Whites. At right are signs for segregated toilets in English and Afrikaans.
  • 1951: The Group Areas Act sets aside specific communities for each of the races (White, Coloured (mixed race or Indian), and native (African/Black) ). The best areas and the majority of the land are reserved for Whites. Non-Whites are relocated into "reserves." Mixed-race families are forced to live separately.
  • 1951: The Bantu Homelands Act. Through this law, the White government declares that the lands reserved for Black Africans are "independent" nations. In this way, the government strips millions of blacks of their South African citizenship and forces them to become residents of their new designated "homelands." Blacks are now officially considered foreigners in White-controlled South Africa, and require pass books to leave their designated area. Blacks only enter White areas to serve Whites in menial jobs.
  • The homelands are too small to support the many people in them. In Soweto, for example, seventeen to twenty people live in a four-room house.
  • The African National Congress (ANC), a political organisation for Africans, encourages peaceful resistance to the discriminatory laws of apartheid. The ANC issues a Freedom Charter that states, "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people." The government reacts by arresting people and passing more repressive laws.
  • 1952: Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents Act. This misleadingly-named law requires all Africans to carry identification booklets with their names, addresses, fingerprints, and other information. Africans are frequently stopped and harassed for their passes. Between 1948-1973, over 10,000,000 Africans were arrested because their passes were "not in order." Burning pass books becomes a common method of protest.
  • 1960: A large group of Blacks in the town of Sharpeville refused to carry their passes. The government declares a state of emergency and responds with fines, imprisonment, and whippings. In all, 69 people die and 187 people are wounded. The African political organisations, the African National Congress and the Pan-African Congress, are banned.
  • 1962: The United Nations establishes the Special Committee Against Apartheid to support a political process of peaceful change. The Special Committee observes the International Day Against Racism to mark the anniversary of the people who died in the Sharpeville protest.
  • 1963: Nelson Mandela, Leader of the African National Congress, is jailed.
  • 1953: Preservation of Separate Amenities Act. This law created "separate but not necessarily equal" beaches, parks, post office, and other public places for Africans (Blacks), Coloureds (the term used for Asian and mixed-raced people) and Whites.
  • 1953: Bantu Education Act: Through this law, the White government supervises the education of all Blacks. Schools condition blacks to accept White domination. Non-Whites cannot attend White universities.
  • 1970s: Resistance to apartheid increases. Organising by churches and workers increases. Whites join Blacks in the demonstrations.
  • 1970s: The all-Black South African Students Organization, under the leadership of Steven Biko, helps unify students through the Black Consciousness movement.
  • 1976 (POD): The Soweto Uprising: People in Soweto riot and demonstrate against discrimination and instruction in Afrikaans, the language of Whites descended from the Dutch settlers. The police react with gunfire, where 575 people are killed and thousands more are injured and arrested. Steven Biko is beaten and left in jail to die from his injuries. Protesters against apartheid link arms in a show of resistance.


  • 1980s: People and governments around the world launch an international campaign to boycott South Africa. Some countries ban the import of South African products, and citizens of many countries pressure major companies to pull out of South Africa. These actions have a crippling effect on the South African economy and weaken the government.
  • 1982: The South African Uprising: People (especially blacks) from all over South Africa start large-scale, violent riots in all major metropolitan areas. Numbers estimate that over 6,000,000 people took to the streets during the uprising, which continued for ten days.
  • 1982: During the closing days of the S.A. Uprising, the South African Defence Force receives the order from Prime Minister P. W. Botha to bring the riots to a complete stop and pacify the Black population "permanently." Over 150,000 Blacks are killed, along with more than 40,000 Coloureds and 5,000 Whites.
  • 1983: The African National Congress and it's paramilitary wing start strategically attacking South African government facilities, killing over 3,000 government and police officials within the first two weeks.
  • 1985: The First South African Civil War officially starts when the State President, now also Pieter Willem Botha, declares a national state of emergency and passes a curfew for all citizens. The South African Defence Force and large groups of armed protesters battle in the streets of Pretoria.
  • 1985: An explosion rocks the Union Buildings, instantly killing over 50 people, including three members of the Cabinet. State President P. W. Botha is taken to a secure location.
  • 1985: The United Nations Secretary-General makes an official press release, stating "This was bound to happen.. and it had to happen to loosen the racial tension in South Africa. We urge all countries to evacuate their citizens from South Africa before the next fortnight, when the United Nations will sever all ties with the Union of South Africa."
  • 1986: The death tolls lay at over 2,000,000 Blacks and 500,000 Whites. The Government of South Africa has become unstable.
  • 1990: As the Blacks take over Johannesburg and parts of Southern Pretoria, the Government is completely destabilised. State President F. W. de Klerk flees the country.
  • 1990: South Africa is unofficially divided into three regions, each claiming it's own independence. The Volkstaat, which is mostly inhabited by Boers and Afrikaners forms in the Western parts of the country. The Republic of South Africa forms in the Northern parts of the country, and the Zulu Kingdom is established in the remaining parts of South Africa. War between the Republic of South Africa and the Volkstaat continue, with the Zulu Kingdom remaining relatively peaceful, however, halting most of it's technological advances.
  • 1990: Seizing the opportunity, Namibia pushes the remains of the South African government out of its borders and declares independence.