Gift an article

EXTRACT | Thula Simpson's 'History of South Africa' - The breaching of Verwoerd's granite wall

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
loading...
Loading, please wait...
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Cover of 'History of South Africa' (Supplied)
Cover of 'History of South Africa' (Supplied)

Thula Simpson's 'History of South Africa' explores the country’s tumultuous journey from the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Boer War to the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on never-before-published documentary evidence – including diaries, letters, eyewitness testimony and diplomatic reports – the book follows the South African people through the battles, elections, repression, resistance, strikes, insurrections, massacres, economic crashes and health crises that have shaped the nation’s character. In the extract below, Simpson examines sanctions under apartheid.

Stanley Uys used his Sunday Times column on 15 November 1964 to speculate whether historians might point to Wednesday that week, the 11th, as the date when it became clear that apartheid was unworkable. On that day, the white Artisan Staff Association had officially accepted a Transport Ministry argument that manpower shortages in Durban’s railway workshops required the admittance of forty non-whites into semi-skilled jobs.

Paul Sauer (of the 1940s Sauer Commission) was the minister of lands when he delivered a speech in Humansdorp on 19 April 1960, declaring that Sharpeville had closed the ‘old book’ of South African history. He claimed the pass system and liquor laws had ripened natives for revolt, and would be changed. He was rebuked a day later by the acting prime minister, Eric Louw, who told the House of Assembly – without naming any names – that the prime minister alone could make policy announcements.

Read this for free
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE