Stop the hangings

hgs21. ‘No Apartheid Executions’ rally

hgs21. ‘No Apartheid Executions’ rally

At the end of 1989 over 70 political prisoners were still being held on death row in South Africa. Many others had had their sentences commuted after international campaigns to save their lives. This leaflet publicised a rally on South African Political Prisoners Day, 11 October 1989.

pic8920. ‘William Ntombela must not hang’

William Ntombela was one of several South African trade unionists sentenced to death in 1989. The British shopworkers union USDAW launched a petition for his release, signed by 5,000 members.  In the photograph USDAW General Secretary Garfield Davies (left) displays the petition. Partly as a result of the campaign the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

tu36. ‘Save the SARHWU Four!’

tu36. ‘Save the SARHWU Four!’

This leaflet tells the story of four railway workers who were sentenced to hang after a strike by employees of the South African Transport Service in 1987. They were alleged to have taken part in the killing of four non-strikers. The leaflet was produced by the Joint Campaign against the Repression of Trade Unionists with support from leading British trade unions.

bdg18. Free the South African Railworkers

Four railway workers were sentenced to death after a strike by employees of the South African Transport Service in 1987. They were alleged to have taken part in the killing of four non-strikers. This badge was produced by the Joint Campaign against the Repression of Trade Unionists, set  up by the AAM and leading British trade unions to campaign for the release of South African trade unionists.

pic9014. ‘Save the Upington 14’

pic9014. ‘Save the Upington 14’

Supporters of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) asked Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to intervene on behalf of the Upington 14, sentenced to death on 26 May 1989. Thirteen men and a woman, 60-year old Evenlyn de Bruin, were sentenced to hang because they were present at a demonstration during which a black policeman was killed. The sentence was overturned in May 1991.

int34t. Sir Geoffrey Bindman transcript

Sir Geoffrey Bindman is a lawyer and was Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS ). SATIS publicised political trials, called for the release of those detained without trial and mobilised public opinion against the hanging of political prisoners.It campaigned for the release of thousands of anti-apartheid activists, including many children, detained under the States of Emergency imposed in the mid-1980s.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom AAM history project in 2013.

int34a1. Sir Geoffrey Bindman interview clip1

Sir Geoffrey Bindman is a lawyer and was Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS ). SATIS publicised political trials, called for the release of those detained without trial and mobilised public opinion against the hanging of political prisoners.It campaigned for the release of thousands of anti-apartheid activists, including many children, detained under the States of Emergency imposed in the mid-1980s.

In this clip Sir Geoffrey describes his experience of investigating the legal aspects of apartheid and visiting political prisoners in South Africa.

int41a1. Richard Caborn interview clip 1

Richard Caborn was the Labour MP for Sheffield Central, 1983–2010, and Minister for Sport, 2001–2007. He joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement when he was a trade union official in the 1970s and was a founder member of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group. He served as the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s national Treasurer, 1989–1994. In 1984 he became Secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on Southern Africa.

In this clip Richard Caborn tells how the parliamentary group on Southern Africa used a sympathetic Conservative intermediary to make representations to Prime Minister Thatcher about political prisoners on death row.