March 30 (2017) Thursday

On this day in 1951, the Group Areas Act came into effect.

The Act was the title of three acts of the Parliament enacted under the apartheid government. The acts assigned racial groups to different residential and business sections in urban areas in a system of urban apartheid. An effect of the law was to exclude non-Whites from living in the most developed areas, which were restricted to Whites. It caused many non-Whites to have to commute large distances from their homes in order to be able to work. The law led to non-Whites being forcibly removed for living in the ‘wrong’ areas. The non-white majority were given much smaller areas to live in than the white minority who owned most of the country. Pass Laws required that non-Whites carry pass books, and later 'reference books to enter the 'white' parts of the country.

ALSO TODAY IN HISTORY

  • In 1919, the passive resistance movement began when a mass meeting of two thousand Africans in Vrededorp decided to reject the passes. The next day, three thousand Africans demonstrated outside the Johannesburg pass office, dumping bags full of passes. The demonstrations were peaceful. The South African Native National Congress (SANNC) had even hired constables to ensure this was upheld. However, police used force on the crowd and arrested hundreds.
  • In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled China and was granted political asylum in India. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese control, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed in which the nation became a ‘national autonomous region’ of China. After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee as the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures against the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide.
  • In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled China and was granted political asylum in India. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese control, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed in which the nation became a ‘national autonomous region’ of China. After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee as the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures against the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide.
  • In 2012, Mastercard and Visa announce a massive breach in security with over ten million compromised credit card numbers. The card issuers sent private alerts to banks indicating a data breach occurred between January 21, 2012 and February 25, 2012 and official announcements have since been made. After the news broke, payment processor Global Payments was identified as the compromised party, and the data theft was deemed extensive. According to the official alerts sent out by both Visa and MasterCard, so-called Track 1 and 2 data was included in the information stolen. That means the hackers have all the data they need to clone cards from scratch. The banks and credit unions believed to be affected investigated the breach more thoroughly, and contacted businesses and individuals with potentially compromised accounts. Global Payments admitted that it did not notice the breach until early March, and some cards were already used in the wild.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court declared Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the Kenyan presidential election. A presidential election was held as part of the Kenyan general election on March 4, 2013. Incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was not eligible to contest as he was constitutionally barred having served the maximum two terms. As a result of clauses in the new constitution, it was the first presidential election in Kenya where presidential candidates would have potentially faced a second round run-off between the first and the second if no-one achieved a simple majority in the first round and 25% of the votes in at least 24 counties. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was on March 9, 2013 declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the President-elect after meeting the constitutional threshold. Prime-Minister Raila Odinga contested the results at the Supreme Court of Kenya.

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Thandiswa Mazwai

Thandiswa Mazwai, a multi-award winning South African musician was born on this day in 1976.

She began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering Kwaito bands. She became widely recognised as the voice of South Africa's conscious youth, their compositions consistently combining dance floor favourites with thought-provoking lyrics. They were invited to perform all over the world, and shared the stage with musical icons Stevie Wonder, the Marley clan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Chaka Khan, Sean Paul, Steel Pulse and Skunk Anansie, among others. Their contribution to the South African musical cannon earned Bongo Maffin numerous awards, among them South African Music Awards, the Kora All Africa Music Awards, and the Metro FM Music Awards. After five albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project, Zabalaza (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards, including a Kora award for Best African Female and four South African Music Awards, including Best Album. It was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Planet awards. Her second album, Ibokwe (2009), reached gold status in the first few weeks of its release and her live DVD, Dance of the Forgotten Free (2010), won Best Female Artist and Best Live DVD in 2011. The Guardian has called her ‘South Africa's finest female contemporary singer.’