Political prisoners

po110. Free Oscar Mpetha

Oscar Mpetha was a South African trade union leader and founder member of SACTU (South African Congress of Trade Unions). In 1980 he was arrested after taking part in protests in Nyanga, Cape Town, in which two people were killed. After a long trial he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was eventually released in 1989 soon after his 80th birthday. 

tu33. ‘Free Oscar Mpetha!’

Oscar Mpetha was a South African trade union leader and founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). In 1980 he was arrested after taking part in protests in Nyanga, Cape Town, in which two people were killed. After a long trial he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and eventually released in 1989 soon after his 80th birthday. This leaflet was produced by the AAM and the British Transport and General Workers Union.

po098. Stop Repression of Trade Unionists in South Africa and Namibia

Repression of trade unionists intensified from the end of 1987, with four union activists held on death row. On 1 February 1988 the AAM and SATIS launched the Joint Campaign against the Repression of Trade Unionists at a demonstration outside South Africa House that coincided with the reopening of the trial of NUMSA General Secretary Moses Mayekiso. In the following months most British trade unions launched their own actions, including the National Union of Mineworkers’ petition for the release of three South African mineworkers sentenced to hang. The petition was signed by over 30,000 people in Britain’s coalfield communities.

lgs35. Steve Biko memorial meeting

Leaflet publicising a memorial meeting for Steve Biko and a collection for South African refugees.

tu34. ‘Free the trade unionists’

In 1988 the apartheid regime stepped up its repression of the South African trade union movement. This leaflet highlighted four cases where trade unionists were detained or put on trial. It also publicised the situation of trade unionists in Namibia.

pri36. South African Political Prisoners Day, 1988

Leaflet advertising a meeting on South African and Namibian political prisoners on 11 October, the day designated by the UN as a day of solidarity with Southern African political prisoners.

po151. South African Political Prisoners Day, 1988

Poster advertising a meeting about South African and Namibian political prisoners on 11 October, the day designated by the UN as a day of solidarity with Southern African political prisoners.

pri35. ‘Free the Alex Five’

The Alex Five were civic leaders in Alexandra Township charged with sedition after they set up the Alexandra Action Committee. One of the five was trade union leader Moses Mayekiso. 5,000 of these postcards were distributed in Britain with support from the British Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions. After a long trial the five were acquitted in April 1989. The TUC sent an observer to the trial.