Government

gov41. ‘Britain, South Africa and Namibia’

Memorandum to Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe, urging the British government to support the UN Secretary-General in implementing Security Council resolution 601 authorising him to arrange a ceasefire in Namibia. The memorandum criticised Prime Minister Thatcher’s effective endorsement of the US argument that Cuban troops must withdraw from Angola before agreement could be reached on Namibian independence.

gov43. Letter from Lynda Chalker to the AAM Women’s Committee

Letter from Lynda Chalker, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, telling the AAM Women‘s Committee that the British government had asked the South African government to commute the death sentences on the Sharpeville Six. One of the six was a woman, Theresa Ramashamola. The six were condemned to death for taking part in a demonstration at which a black deputy mayor was killed. They were eventually reprieved in July 1988 after spending two and a half years on death row. 

gov42. Briefing note for parliamentary debate on South Africa

Briefing for MPs speaking in the House of Commons debate called in response the banning of the United Democratic Front and other anti-apartheid organisations in South Africa in 1988. The AAM argued that the bannings showed that the British government’s strategy of encouraging President Botha to negotiate the ending of apartheid lacked credibility.

gov44. Letter from Trevor Huddleston to Margaret Thatcher

Letter asking Prime Minister Thatcher to intervene directly with South African President Botha urging him to reconsider his rejection of an appeal for clemency for the Sharpeville Six. The Six were condemned to death for taking part in a demonstration at which a black deputy mayor was killed. They were reprieved in July 1988 after a huge international campaign and released in 1991 and 1992.

gov45. Letter from Trevor Huddleston to Margaret Thatcher

Letter from Archbishop Trevor Huddleston asking Prime Minister Thatcher to meet the freedom marchers who walked from Glasgow to London as part of the AAM’s ‘Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70’ campaign. The British government changed its attitude in response to the growing campaign for Mandela’s freedom and by 1988 was calling for his unconditional release.

gov47. Letter from Trevor Huddleston to Margaret Thatcher

An English cricket team, led by Mike Gatting, planned to tour South Africa in 1990. This letter from the AAM’s President Archbishop Trevor Huddleston expressed dismay at Prime Minister Thatcher’s failure to implement the Commonwealth Gleneagles Agreement, committing governments to do all in the power to end sporting relations with South Africa.

gov46. Letter from Charles Powell to Trevor Huddleston

Letter from Prime Minister Thatcher’s office responding to the AAM’s request for the British government to intervene on behalf of the Upington 14. The 14 were sentenced to death because they were present at a demonstration during which a black policeman was killed. After international protests they were reprieved in May 1991, after two years on death row. The letter set out the government’s criteria for intervening in cases where political prisoners were condemned to death.

gov48. Letter from Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society to Margaret Thatcher

Letter asking Prime Minister Thatcher to intervene with the South African government to stop the hanging of the Upington 14. The 14 were sentenced to death because they were present at a demonstration during which a black policeman was killed. After international protests they were reprieved in May 1991, after two years on death row.