Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The TRC had submissions from 21000 people across South Africa, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its chairman.
Athol Fugard
One of the best-known South African playwrights shared his defining moment with us in 'Master Harold... and the boys'.
Basil D'Oliviera
Basil D'Oliviera was one of the greatest cricketers South Africa has known, but he was never to play a test match in his own country.
Bessie Head
Born in Pietermaritzburg, Bessie Head was one of Africa's most respected writers at only age 12. She was widely consulted by scholars from universities, local and abroad.
Bethuel Mokgosinyana
Bethuel Mokgosinyana was the first president of the soccer team that would become South Africa's beloved Orlando Pirates.
Brenda Fassie
Brenda Fassie, known as the Madonna of the townships, was one of Africa’s biggest home-grown stars, and South Africa’s top-selling local artist.
Cissie Gool
Cissie Gool was the first black woman in the country to serve in local goverment, sitting on the Cape Town City Council from 1938 until 1951. In 1962 Gool became the first black woman to be called to the Cape Bar.
Death in Detention
Between October 27, 1971 and January 30, 1990, seven people died in John Vorster Square while being held indefinitely under apartheid's detention laws.
Duma Nokwe
On March 9 1956 Duma Nokwe became South Africa's first black advocate at the Johannesburg Bar, beating his nearest rival, Nelson Mandela, to the honour.
Enoch Mgijima
On May 24 1921, police killed at least 183 Israelites - followers of the prophet Enoch Mgijima - in a 20-minute battle at Bulhoek near Queenstown.
George Pemba
In 1952, George Pemba resigned from his hated job as a rent collector to become a full-time artist.
Happyboy Mgxaji
Nkosana "Happyboy" Mgxaji was one of South Africa's greatest boxers, winning the SA Junior Lightweight title in 1973 and inspiring generations of champions.
Ingrid Jonker
In 1963 Ingrid Jonker's poem, 'The Child Who Was Shot Dead by Soldiers at Nyanga', was published. Two years later, at the age of 31, her ongoing battle with depression and anxiety caught up with her and she took her own life.
Lilian Ngoyi
A tireless anti-apartheid campaigner, Lilian Ngoyi spent a total of twenty years banned, and eighteen years under house arrest.
A song that was to become a beloved anthem of hope and resistance for many South Africans.
Mohandas Gandhi
The shy Indian lawyer who led the first public burning of the hated passes that people of colour had to carry under apartheid.
Nontetha Nkwenkwe
On December 6, 1922, at the King William's Town magistrate's court, the prophetess Nontetha Nkwenkwe was committed to Fort Beaufort mental hospital for "medical observation" as hundreds of her followers sang hymns outside.
Olive Schreiner
A world-famous novelist but also a tireless campaigner for the vote for women of all races.
Race Classification Board
One of the most bizarre inventions of the apartheid government, the Race Classification board conducted formal hearings as to what "race" people should be labelled.
Raymond Dart
The man who found the Missing Link but struggled to convince a sceptical scientific community of the importance of his discovery.
Raymond Mhlaba
"Oom Ray" Mhlaba led the first act in the nationwide defiance campaign that began on June 26, 1952.
Reverend Isaac Wauchope
A chaplain in the South African Native Labour Corps who rallied hundreds of servicemen when their ship sank during World War I.
The First Trans-Africa Flight
On March 20 1920, Pierre van Ryneveld and Quintin Brand touched down at Youngsfield, Wynberg in a De Havilland DH9 - the first trans-Africa flight from London to Cape Town.
The Purple Shall Govern
A piece of graffiti that appeared in the wake of the “Purple March” in 1989 and that rang the knell for apartheid.
Tsietsi Mashinini
The charismatic schoolboy who led the first students from a Soweto high school to start the June 1976 uprising.


Bringing archives to the people

In 2006-7, the South African History Archive (SAHA) teamed up with the Sunday Times Heritage Project to source and develop the archival and educational material on this website. Find out more about the organisation and its involvement in this project.

An archive for the people

SAHA & the Sunday Times Heritage Project