On This Day: What happened on 12 December?

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 12 December, throughout history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1962 | Poqo members were detained by the police when they were on their way to kill Chief Kaiser Matanzima. Seven members died and three police officers were seriously injured.

1963 | Kenya officially gains Independence from Britain. Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first Prime Minister.

1984 | United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders, Archibald Gumede, Paul David and Billy Nair are charged with treason for organising a protest against August 1984 elections for the new Indian and Coloured chambers of Parliament.

1986 | Zwelakhe Sisulu, South African journalist was arrested for his journalism and held up at John Vorster Square.

1991 | Abuja becomes the capital city of Nigeria, replacing the most populated city Lagos.

READ: On This Day: What happened on 11 December?


1913 | Emperor of Ethiopia, Menelik II (69)

1947 | Egyptian feminist leader, Huda Sha’arawi (68)

2004 | South African boxer, George Hunter (77)


1917 | South African political activist, Benjamin Magson Kies

1969 | Kenyan middle-distance runner, Wilfred Kirochi

1971 | Kenyan long-distance runner, Sammy Korir

1980 | Ethiopian runner, Dejene Berhanu

1986 | Rwandan football player, Daddy Birori

1990 | Kenyan middle-distance runner, Nixon Chepseba 


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2002 | Cristiano Ronaldo received the Ballon d’Or and for the second time as the best footballer in Europe. 

2009 | South Africa Sevens leg, played in George, New Zealand won the Cup final 21-12 against Fiji. 

2010 | 5th ODI in Chittagong, Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by six wickets. 

2016 | Cristiano Ronaldo received the Ballon d’Or for the 4th time. 


2001 | American actress Winona Ryder is arrested for shoplifting.


The shortest people in the world, called the pygmies, live in Africa. The average man is 1.45m (4-foot-7) and the average woman is 1.33m (4-foot-4).

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