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1961 in South Africa
The following lists events that happened during 1961 in South Africa.
- 15 – South Africa announces its intended withdrawal from the Commonwealth upon becoming a republic.
- The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions submits a memorandum to the United Nations General Assembly calling for economic sanctions against South Africa.
- 4 – The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hassim Jawad, announces that Iraq will not recognise the South African government because of its apartheid policy.
- 16 – Umkhonto we Sizwe commences its sabotage campaign with a bomb attack on the Durban office of the Department of Bantu Administration and Development.
- Unknown date
- Eendrag Men's Residence opens its doors to students of Stellenbosch University.
- Mimi Coertse is awarded the Medal of Honour of Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.
- The Department of Indian Affairs is established.
- 1 February – Jeremy Maggs, journalist, radio host and television presenter.
- 4 March – Roger Wessels, golfer.
- 10 April – Tian Viljoen, tennis player.
- 16 April – Schalk van der Merwe, tennis player. (d. 2016)
- 1 May – Christo Steyn, tennis player.
- 23 June – Ivan Wingreen, cricketer. (d. 2014)
- 30 August – Brian Mitchell, boxer.
- 6 September – Adolf Malan, rugby player.
- 28 September – Wayne Westner, golfer. (d. 2017)
- 10 October – Jonathan Butler, singer-songwriter and guitarist.
- 14 October – Kevin Moir, tennis player.
- 5 December – Ada Booyens, race walker.