On This Day: What happened on 17 November?

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 17 November, throughout history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1964 | Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister, imposes an official ban on arms exported to South Africa.

1973 | The Democratic Party is formed at a conference in Johannesburg and Theo Gerdener is selected as the leader. 

1993 | In Nigeria, the government of Ernest Shonekan is forced out by General Sani Abacha and the military.

1977 | Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, accepts an invitation to visit Israel which was opposed by a lot of Arabs. He was the first Arab leader to visit Israel.

1997 | Outside the Temple of Hatshepsut, known as Luxor massacre, an Islamic extremist group in Egypt, fired at a tourist bus killing 60 Swiss and Japanese tourists.

2012 | An accident between a train and a school bus in Manfalut, Egypt, killed 50 schoolchildren and a bus driver.

2019 | Coronavirus first case traced to a man, aged 55, who visited Wuhan.

READ: On This Day: What happened on 16 November?


1977 | Sipho Malaza, a black high school student, presumably dies in police custody at the age of 18.

1989 | ANC guerilla, Anton Fransch is killed in a house in Athlone, Cape Town at the age of 20.

2006 | Zimbabwean cricket batsman, Tony Pithey, dies at the age of 73.


1903 | South Africa’s third state president, Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs

1921 | South African Professor Richard van der Ross

1952 | South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa

1977 | South African swimmer, Ryk Neethling 

1995 | Panashe Muzambe, a Zimbabwean who plays for Scottish rugby union


2004 | Rugby player, Breyton Paulse, is included in the national team to play at the Tri-Nations.

1906 | South Africa play against Scotland for the first time as de Springbokken play and lose 6-0.

1931 | A cricket legend, Donald Bradman, scores 135 when New South Whales played against South Africa.


1998 | Singer, Whitney Houston, releases My Love is Your Love.

2015 | Two and a Half Men actor, Charlie Sheen confirms that he is HIV-positive


Lake Victoria, also known as Victoria Nyanza, is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world.