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‘Vorster’s police shoot to kill’ proclaimed AA News as it mourned the death of hundreds of Soweto school students. It told readers that the school students protests were not just about the introduction of Afrikaans as a teaching medium, but a rejection of the apartheid system. It alleged that British arms were used in the massacre and called for the extension of the arms embargo to all police and military equipment. Other stories covered the appeal by two SWAPO leaders sentenced to hang, the spread of guerrilla war in Zimbabwe and a review of the international sports boycott of South Africa.

The September issue focused on the mass protests in South Africa following the school students uprising on 16 June. It printed a statement from ANC President Oliver Tambo calling for an end to British trade and investment in South Africa, including the export of Landrovers used in the shootings. It alleged that thousands of Mozambicans had been massacred in a border raid by white Rhodesian troops. A centrespread exposed South Africa’s Bantustan policy as a sham. A feature on UK investment in South Africa accused British companies of refusing to negotiate with independent trade unions. 

This issue reported on the continuing school boycotts and strikes in South Africa. It publicised a British student campaign for disinvestment from apartheid. It revealed plans by non-aligned and African countries to press for a UN mandatory arms ban against South Africa at the Security Council. Ethel de Keyser reviewed the Labour Party NEC’s new Southern Africa policy statement, which called for UN mandatory action against apartheid. Paul Blomfield reported on meeting with black student activists on his recent visit to South Africa.

The AAM was planning a major campaign for an end to arms sales and investment and trade with South Africa, announced AA News. It reported that the Labour Government had once again joined France and the USA in vetoing a UN Security Council resolution imposing a mandatory arms ban. An interview with ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo accused Western countries of supplying arms to the Smith regime. The newspaper recorded the mass arrests of South African school students and community leaders. Ben Wisner, recently returned from Mozambique, described FRELIMO’s first steps towards building a new society.

AA News led on the UN General Assembly’s resolution condemning Western countries for supplying arms, capital and technology to South Africa. It announced the launch of a mass petition calling for a strict arms embargo by the British Government. It reported on an AAM labour movement conference, where British Leyland workers leader Peter Nicholas pledged that Leyland workers would ‘black’ parts for South Africa if Leyland South Africa refused trade union recognition. School students in South Africa were calling for a Christmas boycott after more mass arrests of students and teachers, reported this issue.  

This issue focused on the AAM campaign to stop British arms sales to South Africa and profiled the British companies supplying military equipment. It exposed the murder of political detainees by the South African security police and the sentencing of SASO (South African Student Organisation) leaders under the Terrorism Act. It reported on the international week of trade union solidarity with the people of South Africa, 17–24 January 1977. A centrespread highlighted the liberation war in Zimbabwe. Mary Benson interviewed actors Winston Ntshona and John Kani.

AA News again headlined the killing of a political detainee by the South African security police. It publicised the AAM’s petition for an end to arms sales to South Africa. School students leader Tebello Motapanyane told AA News that South African students supported armed struggle. A feature argued that the Labour Government was relying on Prime Minister Vorster to put pressure on the white Rhodesian regime. SACTU (South African Congress of Trade Unions) General Secretary John Gaetsewe appealed to British workers to boycott South Africa. AA News asked the British Government to cancel its contract for the supply of uranium from Namibia.

A front-page picture showed the presentation of the AAM’s 60,000-signature petition against South African arms sales to British Foreign Secretary David Owen. AA News reported on the long prison sentences imposed on South African school students and the detention of former Robben Island prisoners. It exposed a smear campaign portraying the AAM as a narrow-based pro-Soviet organisation. Abdul Minty examined US Southern African policy under the country’s new president Jimmy Carter. A review of a pamphlet by Martin Bailey showed how British companies were busting Rhodesian sanctions.