1971 in South Africa

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South Africa

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The following lists events that happened during 1971 in South Africa.



  • 27 – The oil tanker Wafra grounds near Cape Agulhas, causing considerable environmental damage.[2]
  • 10 – Two Buccaneer aircraft of 24 Squadron SAAF, prescribed to by Headquarters, attempt to sink the SS Wafra with AS-30 missiles but succeeds only in starting a fire.[2]
  • 12 – A Shackleton aircraft of 35 Squadron SAAF, not prescribed to by Headquarters, sinks the SS Wafra in 6,000 feet (1,829 metres) of water using depth charges.[2]
Unknown date


  • 20 February – Joost van der Westhuizen, rugby scrum-half. (d. 2017)
  • 28 June – Elon Musk, South African-born Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor.
  • 30 July – Mzukisi Sikali, triple world champion boxer. (d. 2005)
  • 12 November – Gert Thys, long-distance runner.
  • 17 December – Alan Khan, media and radio personality.


  • 27 October – Ahmed Timol, activist and political leader. (b. 1941)



Four new Cape gauge locomotive types enter service on the South African Railways:


  1. ^ Archontology.org: A Guide for Study of Historical Offices: South Africa: Heads of State: 1961-1994 (Accessed on 14 April 2017)
  2. ^ a b c The Buccaneer Fiasco with the Sinking of the SS Wafra, by Simon van Garderen, ex 24 Squadron SAAF O.C.
  3. ^ a b c Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 128–129, 140–141. ISBN 0869772112. 
  4. ^ a b South African Railways Index and Diagrams Electric and Diesel Locomotives, 610mm and 1065mm Gauges, Ref LXD 14/1/100/20, 28 January 1975, as amended
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