On this day, April 2

A popular pope dies. Picture: Reuters

A popular pope dies. Picture: Reuters

Published Apr 2, 2024


The Zulu nation loses the Anglo-Zulu War, the Falkland islands are invaded and a notorious gangster is sentenced

1804 Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal.

1879 The Anglo-Zulu War’s climactic battle takes place with the battle of Gingindlovu: The British defeat Cetshwayo and the kraal is destroyed. The British garrison besieged by Zulus at Eshowe is also relieved.

1900 Jan Malhombe is executed by the British under Baden-Powell because he stole a goat during the siege of Mafeking.

1930 After the mysterious death of Empress Zewditu, Haile Selassie (real name Ras Tafari Makonnen) is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.

1904 Herero tribesmen defeat German forces near Okaharui, German West Africa (Namibia).

1937 Political activities by foreigners are outlawed in South Africa.

1952 The US posthumously awards SA Cheetah Squadron pilot Lieutenant RM du Plooy the Silver Star for gallantry in the Korean War.

1957 The Union Jack is lowered and the British occupation of Simonstown – an important naval base – comes to an end after 143 years.

1968 South African sprinter Paul Nash equals the world record for the 100m sprint when he clocks 10 seconds at a meeting in Krugersdorp. He also runs the 200m in 20.1 seconds

1972 Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the US for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the 1950s.

1979 A Soviet bio-warfare laboratory at Sverdlovsk accidentally releases airborne anthrax spores, killing 66 people plus an unknown amount of livestock.

1982 Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.

1992 In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of five murders, plus conspiracy to murder, loansharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion.

2004 An attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid is thwarted.

2005 Pope John Paul II (84), the third-longest serving Pontiff, dies at the Vatican.

2020 A study shows western Antarctica was once swampy with temperate forests 93-83 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

2023 Footage of the deepest living fish ever recorded, the snailfish, released caught on camera at depth of 27 349 feet (8 336 meters) in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, south of Japan.