Stop the hangings

pic7714. ‘Save SWAPO Leaders’

Demonstrators outside South Africa House on 14 February 1977, demanding freedom for SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo. The two men were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. They were freed on appeal in 1977 after an international campaign for their release.

pic7802. Trade union picket for Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 after being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed. The AAM organised weekly demonstrations outside South Africa House calling for his release. Thousands signed a petition asking the British government to intervene. This picket was held on 2 August 1978. In the photograph are Bob Wright, Assistant General Secretary of AUEW (Engineering), Jim Slater, General Secretary of the National Union of Seamen (NUS) and members of the NUS Executive.

pic7803. Fast for Solomon Mahlangu

Forty former South African political prisoners held a 24-hour fast in support of Solomon Mahlangu on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square in August 1978. They collected signatures to a petition asking Prime Minister James Callaghan to intervene with the South African government. Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 for being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed.

po049. Stop the Execution of Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was a young ANC freedom fighter sentenced to death in March 1978 for his involvement in a gun battle with police in which two men died. The judge accepted that he had not fired the fatal shots. Together with the ANC, the AAM campaigned in Britain against the sentence. As a result, the British Foreign Secretary David Owen intervened with the South African government. Despite worldwide demands for clemency, Mahlangu was hanged on 6 April 1979.

hgs02. ‘Stop the Execution of Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was a young ANC freedom fighter sentenced to death in March 1978 for his involvement in a gun battle with police in which two men died. The judge accepted that he had not fired the fatal shots. Thousands of this postcard were distributed in Britain and as a result of the campaign the British Foreign Secretary David Owen intervened with the South African government. Despite worldwide demands for clemency, Mahlangu was hanged on 6 April 1979.

pic7917. Solomon Mahlangu protest, 1979

Protesters gathered outside South Africa House for three days before the execution of Solomon Mahlangu on 6 April 1979. This protest took place on 3 April. Solomon Mahlangu was a young ANC freedom fighter sentenced to death in March 1978 for his involvement in a gun battle with police in which two men died. The judge accepted that he had not fired the fatal shots. He was hanged in spite of a huge international campaign. The UN Security Council and the governments of the UK and all the other major other Western European countries appealed to the South African government for clemency. US President Jimmy Carter also intervened. 

pic7902. Vigil for Solomon Mahlangu, 1979

Hundreds of people kept an all-night vigil at South Africa House in London before the execution of Solomon Mahlangu on 6 April 1979. In Scotland AAM supporters picketed the South African consulate in Glasgow. Solomon Mahlangu was hanged in spite of a huge international campaign. The UN Security Council and the governments of the UK and all the other major Western European countries appealed to the South African government for clemency. US President Jimmy Carter also intervened.

hgs03. Save Marcus Kateka!

Marcus Kateka was a 40-year old Namibian farmworker sentenced to death for allegedly helping SWAPO guerrillas. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society distributed ten thousand copies of this postcard asking Prime Minister Thatcher to intervene with the South African government. Supporters also picketed South Africa House on 27 October 1980. As a result of the international campaign, in July 1981 the sentence was commuted to 17 years imprisonment.