On this day

South African rugby union referee, Rasta Rasivhenge celebrates his birthday. Image: Wikimedia Commons

On This Day in South Africa: What happened on 03 January?

We look back on this day in history and remember the people and events that shaped the world we live in today.

On this day

South African rugby union referee, Rasta Rasivhenge celebrates his birthday. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 03 January, throughout world and South African history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1987 | The leader of the Labor Party, Reverend Allan Hendrikse with 150 supporters, who was known for expressing his disagreement with the government in public despite being part of P W Botha’s cabinet, swam at a “whites only” beach in Port Elizabeth.

2019 | Chang’e 4 made the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, carrying the Yutu-2 lunar rover.

2018 | Computer analysts reported major security vulnerabilities, dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” affecting the microprocessors of nearly all computers in the world.

2009 | The first block of the Bitcoin decentralized payment system blockchain, called the Genesis block, was created by the system’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

2002 | Conflict between Israel and Palestine: Israeli forces seized the Palestinian ship Karine A in the Red Sea and found 50 tons of weapons.

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1986 | South African rugby union referee, Rasta Rasivhenge

1923 | Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman; British Anglican bishop and anti-apartheid campaigner in South Africa, Graham Chadwick died in October 2007.

1947 | English rugby player, Fran Cotton, 

1985 | American football player, Evan Moore,

1991 | Australian rugby league player, Dane Gagai. 


2010 | American theologian and scholar, Mary Daly, 82.

2003 | Scottish racing driver, Jimmy Stewart, 72. 

1944 | Lithuanian poet, critic, and translatorJurgis Baltrušaitis, 71. 

2002 | Mexican pianist and composer, Juan García Esquivel, 84. 

2014 | American film producerSaul Zaentz, 93. 


Wayne GGretzky. Image: Wikimedia Commons

1991 | Wayne Gretzky became the fastest and youngest NHL player to score 700 goals on this day.


1893 | “Iolanta” , by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was first performed outside of Russia in Hamburg, Germany on this day.


Gqeberha is South Africa’s fifth biggest city with over 970 000 inhabitants.