British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan s wind of change speech to both houses of the South African Union parliament acknowledged already at the beginning of 1960 what the rest of Africa year would look like. The wind of black nationalism that he was describing stood in stark contrast with the suppression of black nationalism in South Africa by the National Party apartheid government. His speech was rather predictive since he had toured parts of the African continent and was aware of the planned independence of several African countries by the time he delivered the wind of change statement.
This study seeks to explore how 1960, Africa year , was portrayed in selected white South African newspapers. The study follows Macmillan s trip through Africa and reflects on the newspaper portrayal of these events in Ghana, Nigeria, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and finally the Union of South Africa. Furthermore the analysis considers how the newspapers responded to and portrayed the momentous speech. The newspaper reporting on the coming of independence to African countries during the year 1960 is also examined. A layered model to evaluate the use of newspapers as a historical source was devised. According to this, a combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis was applied to interpret how the newspapers portrayed African independence and responded to Macmillan s tour. The six newspapers, Die Transvaler, Die Vaderland, Die Burger, The Star, Rand Daily Mail and the Sunday Times, were selected as being representative of the white minority English and Afrikaans press. Through this analysis, deductions regarding the nature of the white press industry are made and some insights regarding the white minority South African zeitgeist are considered.