Browse the AAM Archive

The March issue led on the AAM’s March month of action and reprinted an ANC leaflet distributed in South Africa. It reported on an AAM conference for trade unionists, at which Leyland shop stewards said they would ask workers to ‘black’ exports to South Africa. Features on South Africa’s dependence on imports of oil and investment exposed the roles of Barclays and Midland banks in supporting apartheid. AA News reported on the retrial of the Pretoria 12 and on a new show trial of PAC (Pan-Africanist Congress) supporters. A centre spread featured growing resistance to white rule in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. 

The April issue called for an international campaign to save the life of Solomon Mahlangu, sentenced to hang under the Terrorism Act. It announced AAM aims and activities for the UN Year Against Apartheid, March 1978–March 1979. A picture spread featured action by local AA groups during the AAM’s March month of action. AA News reported on British trade union support for the international week of anti-apartheid action. A centrespread recorded the Zimbabwe Patriotic Front’s rejection of British Government proposals for a deal with the Smith regime. An obituary by Randolph Vigne mourned PAC leader Robert Sobukwe.

This issue again highlighted the Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Front’s rejection of the ‘internal settlement’ promoted by the Smith regime. It publicised the AAM’s new Teacher Network and Medical Committee. It recorded the life sentences passed on six defendants in the trial of the Pretoria 12 and reported on the secret trial of 18 alleged PAC members. It reproduced a statement by British Foreign Secretary David Owen saying that the UK should scale down its investment in South Africa on economic grounds. A feature on the South African economy argued that it was facing further recession.

The June issue led on the massacre of Namibian refugees at Kassinga in Angola. It publicised the first of the sponsored walks to raise funds for the ANC school in Tanzania by local AA groups and the formation of a broad-based International Anti-Apartheid Year Committee. In an interview with AA News, former Rhodesian Prime Minister Garfield Todd accused South Africa of propping up the Smith regime. A feature on British Leyland revealed changes in its South African operation. AA News again asked readers to write to Foreign Secretary David Owen calling on him to ask the South African Government to reprieve Solomon Mahlangu.

‘Release Nelson Mandela’ was the front page appeal in this issue. It reported that the British Government had rejected calls to intervene on behalf of condemned ANC freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu. A centrespread revealed that over 800 Namibian refugees had been murdered by South African soldiers at Kassinga. Sadie Forman described a day in Nelson Mandela’s life on Robben Island in the month of his 60th birthday. Christian Institute of Southern Africa representative Horst Kleinschmidt explained why Christians should support the ANC. AA News reported events remembering the school students killed in the June 1976 Soweto uprising.

The September issue led on the campaign to stop the imminent execution of Solomon Mahlangu after the South African courts had refused him leave to appeal. It reported on British Government-backed computer firm ICL’s contract to supply equipment to the South African police. It published SWAPO’s response to proposals by Western governments for a UN-organised transition to independence in Namibia. A centre spread highlighted the apartheid government’s plans to pull down the Crossroads squatter camp in Cape Town. A first-hand account from Zimbabwe told of the widespread rejection of the ‘internal deal’ imposed by the Smith regime. 

This issue reported on South Africa’s rejection of the UN plan for Namibian independence. It called for a big turnout for the AAM’s International Anti-Apartheid Year rally on 21 October. UN volunteer Maggie Black described how growing numbers of Zimbabweans were fleeing the country since the imposition of the ‘internal settlement’. A centrespread urged the British Government to impose oil sanctions on South Africa. A review of political trials in South Africa revealed an upsurge in opposition to the apartheid government. AA News reported that the British Government had joined the Commonwealth’s appeal for clemency for Solomon Mahlangu.

The November issue led on the AAM’s 21 October demonstration calling for sanctions against the Smith and Botha regimes. It reported on student action on Barclays Bank and publicised a day of action on Barclays on 1 December. In a report on the 1978 Labour Party conference, Neil Kinnock called on the Labour Government to implement party policies on Southern Africa. AA News highlighted the imposition of martial law in Zimbabwe and the collapse of the country’s economy. It argued that South African Prime Minister Vorster’s retirement had no real political significance.