14 May 1951

The South African parliament, which was dominated by the Afrikaner nationalist majority, embarked on a series of campaigns to remove Coloured people from the common voter’s rolls. On 14 May 1951, members of the cabinet finally voted for the removal of the Coloured people from the voters roll. The Minister of the Interior, Dr Theophilus Donges, said it was necessary to avoid the collapse of White civilisation in the whole of Africa, as this move would guarantee their wishes. Subsequently the government introduced the Separate Representation Bill to strip Coloured people of their voting rights. However, the move was not well received by the Coloured people, as they embark on their own offensive campaign in order to enforce their re-instated in the voters roll. They formed the Franchise Action Council in Cape Town and over 15,000 Coloured people marched through the streets of the city following a mammoth meeting on the Grand Parade. The Coloured People also challenged the Bill in the Supreme Court until it was declared invalid by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.  


Boddy-Evan,A.,This Day in African history: 14 May,(online) Available at www.africanhistory.about.com [Accessed: 13 May 2015]