This day in history: Indian students join Coloured schools boycott

Today in history: Indian students join the schools boycott, a death in police detention, a resistance movement is founded, a military pact finalized and a settler is born.

On this day in 1980, pupils from a number of Indian schools in Pretoria and KwaZulu-Natal decide to join a boycott of classes begun by Coloured schools. 

Students from around 60 Coloured high schools, teacher training facilities and the University of the Western Cape embarked on the boycott to show their dissatisfaction with the South African educational and political systems.

Groups from the Black Consciousness movement also pledged support for the action.

Around 100 000 students from 70 schools participated in the boycott, which ran over the course of three weeks.

Other events on this day:

1989 Р Dinana Mbetheni, 21, dies while in police custody. Mbetheni is found hanging from an electric wire tied to a bar in his cell in Alice, in the Eastern Cape.

1946 – The Transvaal Passive Resistance Council is established under Dr Yusuf Dadoo. The establishment of the council flowed out of a mass meeting of the Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC).

1956 – A military pact between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen is finalised.

1619 – Jan van Riebeeck, leader of the first batch of Dutch settlers at the Cape, is born in Culemborg, the Netherlands.

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