Letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher calling on the British government to support UN mandatory economic sanctions against South Africa in response to South Africa’s invasion of Angola in 1981.

Memorandum asking the British government to enforce the Gleneagles Agreement on sporting links with South Africa.

Ruth First was assassinated by South African agents in Mozambique in August 1982. The AAM wrote to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher showing that the killing was part of an escalating pattern of South African aggression, including the bombing of the ANC’s London office in March 1982. It asked her to instruct the British Ambassador in Cape Town to make a formal protest to the apartheid government.

On 14 March 1982 undercover South Africa agents planted a bomb at the ANC’s London office which did extensive damage. The bomb followed a series of burglaries at the offices of the AAM and other Southern African solidarity groups. This memorandum was presented to the British government by representatives of the AAM at a meeting with the Home Secretary on 13 October 1982. It asked the government to investigate the activities of staff at the South African Embassy in London. It alleged that South Africa used London as a centre for planning subversive activities against independent African states.

Letter from Cranley Onslow, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, acknowledging receipt of the AAM’s petition calling for sanctions against South Africa in November 1982.

In May 1983 the AAM’s new office in north London was broken into and burgled. This memorandum set out evidence showing that the break-in was the work of South African agents and listed other similar incidents. It repeated the proposals for government action in the AAM’s memo of October 1982 and asked the Home Secretary to make a formal protest to the South African government.

The 1980s Conservative government was strongly opposed to sanctions against South Africa, arguing instead for ‘internal reform’. This letter from Malcolm Rifkind, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, followed up a meeting with a delegation from the AAM which focused on Namibia, sanctions and South African involvement in the building of an airfield in the Falkland Islands in the aftermath of the Falklands war.

In November 1983 the South African Supreme Court turned down an appeal by Umkhonto we Sizwe activist Benjamin Moloise against the death sentence. This letter from Des Starrs, Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS), asked Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe to intervene with the South African Foreign Minister, who was visiting London. Benjamin Moloise was hanged on 18 October 1985.