Umkhonto we Sizwe - Timeline

This timeline is NOT complete. Any omissions are unintentional as this timeline is a work in progress that will be added to over time. Please click on the contribute icon on this page if you would like to add an event.

December 16, The formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe/MK by the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other fraternal organisations is announced by a series of bomb blasts against apartheid structures in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban.
January, Nelson Mandela leaves South Africa for military training.
1963 - 1964
October - June, The Rivonia trail, which results in MK high command members Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhlaba, Andrew Mlangeni and Elias Motsoaledi's being sentenced to life imprisonment, takes place. The charge sheet at the trail lists 193 acts of sabotage.
November 6, Vuyisile Mini, Wilton Khayingo and Zizakile Mkhaba, three prominent trade unionists from Port Elizabeth , are sent to the gallows for MK activities.
July 30 - August 3, The "Luthuli Detachment", comprising African National Congress (ANC) and Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU guerrillas), crosses the Zambezi river into Rhodesia (the present Zimbabwe) and engages joint Rhodesian and South African troops at the start of the Wankie and Sipolio battles, which rage until late 1968.
1970 - 75
MK reconsolidates its underground structures. Among others, Chris Hani returns to South Africa.
December 16,MK celebrates its 10th Anniversary.
June 25, Mozambique receives its independence from Portugal after a protracted 10-year battle by FRELIMO troops against the Portuguese authorities, in which MK troops participated.
November 11, Angola gains independence from Portugal. The Angolan Government invites MK to train its cadres on Angolan soil.
1975 - 76
MK commanders who were active in the early 1961 - 64 sabotage campaigns are released from Robben Island . Among them are Joe Gqabi, Indres Naidoo, Ismael Ebrahim and Andrew Masondo .
June 16, Following the Soweto uprisings, thousands of young people leave South Africa to join MK . They are henceforth called "The June 16 Detachment".
December 16, The 15th anniversary of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
There is a dramatic increase in MK operations, including the sabotage of railway lines, attacks on police stations and so on.
The Year of the Spear. Named in tribute to the history of unbroken resistance from the Battle of Isandelwana on January 22 1879.
April 6, MK hero Solomon Mahlangu is hanged in Pretoria. His comrade, Monty Motloung, suffered brain damage from the torture he received at the hands of his captors
January The Silverton siege takes place. MK combatants are intercepted en route to a mission and take refuge in a bank in Silverton, Pretoria. The MK combatants explain the policies of the African National Congress (ANC) to the hostages, pledge not to hurt them and demand Nelson Mandela's release. The police bundle the operation, and kill some of the hostages as well as the three MK comrades, but several policemen also succumb.
June, Umkhonto we Sizwe hits at the massive Sasol complex in Sasolburg, causing damage estimated at R66 million.
June, As part of nationwide defiance against Republic Day celebrations, MK strikes at several strategic targets, blows up railway lines, power plants, military bases and recruiting offices. Altogether, there are more than 90 armed actions against the apartheid regime and its installations during the year.
August 9, The South African Defence Force (SADF)'s major military installation, Voortekkerhoogte, is attacked by MK combatants using 122mm rocket launchers.
November 3, The "Indian Affairs" building in Durban is blasted, the day before the South African Indian Council elections.
December 16, MK celebrates its 20th anniversary.
January 8, On the 70th anniversary of the formation of the African National Congress (ANC), MK attacks the Koeberg nuclear power plant in Cape Town.
May, A car bomb explodes outside the South African Air Force Headquarters and the South African Defence Force (SADF) Military Intelligence headquarters in Pretoria, killing several civilians. MK claims responsibility.
June, Jerry Mosolodi, Terry Mogerani and Thabo Montaung are executed for their part in an attack on the Wonderboom police station in Pretoria .
September, MK operatives increase dramatically in response to the Vaal Uprisings. Actions include engaging South African Defence Force (SADF) and police personnel, as well as sabotaging economic and military installations.
The Amanzimtoti bomb attack takes place.
October 18, Malesela Benjamin Moloise is executed in defiance of international calls for clemency.
The second state of emergency is declared and Andrew Zondo is hanged by the regime for his part in the Amamzimtoti bomb blasts.
May, A car bomb explodes outside the Johannesburg Magistrates Court, killing four policemen.
July, The South African Defence Force (SADF)'s Witwatersrand Command complex in Johannesburg is severely damaged by a massive car bomb. The SADF refuses to disclose casualties.
A large contingent of MK combatants attack a South African Air Force secret radar installation at Klippan in the Western Transvaal, causing extensive damage and undisclosed casualties.
August 1,MK suspends the armed struggle after 29 years.