Welcome to the “What Was Happening When” series – an interactive weekly series telling you what was going on in South Africa when each of our films was made. Feel free to ask questions, do more research on your own + share this history on your social media! This week we’re looking at “Abathumbi”.
A mysterious gangster known only as “Boss” infiltrates the home of a local pastor with a devious scheme to abduct the pastor’s nephew. In order to get a heavy ransom from the boy’s wealthy father, he is let down by the ineptitude and incompetence of his two underlings.
The young nephew, together with his two cousins, work cleverly together and with the help a good Samaritan neighbour manage to defeat the crooks.
1980 – Abathumbi
+ 25 Jan Three Umkhonto we Sizwe terrorists kill two civilians and hold the staff and customers in a bank in Silverton in Pretoria hostage. The siege ends in a shoot-out with the police in which all three terrorists are killed
+ 26 March A mine lift cage at the Vaal Reefs gold mine in South Africa falls 1.9 kilometres (1.2 miles), killing 23
+ 12 March In Pretoria nine people are sentenced to five years imprisonment for training as guerrillas outside South Africa and recruiting others to undergo training
+ 4 April Umkhonto we Sizwe attacks the Booysens Police Station in Johannesburg with grenades, rocket launchers and AK47s
+ 21 April More than sixty coloured high schools, teacher training colleges and the University of the Western Cape start boycotting classes
+ 29 April In Johannesburg hundreds of coloured school children are arrested in terms of the Riotous Assemblies Act during a student-police confrontation
+ 1 June Bombs explode at Sasol One and Two and Natref Eight at Sasolburg and Secunda, with no injuries and RM58 damage. The attack was organised by Solomon Mahlangu of the Umkhonto weSizwe Special Operations
+ 29 Oct Umkhonto we Sizwe insurgents throw two grenades into the government buildings of the West Rand Administration Board and injure a security guard and his friend.