Stop the hangings

pic6401. ‘Save These Lives’, 1964

After Nelson Mandela and seven of his co-accused were convicted of sabotage on 11 June 1964 there was a real danger that the trial judge would impose the death sentence. Supporters in London kept up a three-day vigil opposite South Africa House and 50 MPs marched from the House of Commons to present a petition to the South African ambassador. The vigil culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square on 14 June. When the sentence of life imprisonment was announced on 12 June it was seen as a victory for the international campaign to save the lives of the eight men.

pic6405. ‘Do You Believe People Should Die?’

 

After Nelson Mandela and seven of his co-accused were convicted of sabotage on 11 June 1964 there was a real danger that the trial judge would impose the death sentence. Supporters in London protested outside South Africa House and 50 MPs marched from the House of Commons to present a petition to the South African ambassador. The actions culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square on 14 June. When the sentence of life imprisonment was announced on 12 June it was seen as a victory for the international campaign to save the lives of the eight men. 

hgs01. Dockers Leader Condemned to Die

Trade union and ANC activist Vuyisile Mini and his comrades Wilson Khayinga and Zinakile Mkhaba were sentenced to death for their alleged complicity in the killing of an informer. Mini was a gifted singer and writer of freedom songs. In spite of an international campaign and an appeal by the UN Security Council, the three men were hanged on 6 November 1964.

pic7309. SATIS founding conference, 1973

Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) was a coalition that worked for the release of political prisoners in Southern Africa. Its founding conference, attended by 200 people on 8 December 1973, split into workshops like the one in the photograph addressed by former political prisoner Hugh Lewin. The conference set up a campaign that brought together the AAM, International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF), National Union of Students, and the Ruskin and AUEW (TASS) Kitson Committees. For the next 20 years SATIS worked on behalf of Southern African political prisoners and for the release of all those detained without trial. In the 1980s it led campaigns to save the lives of political activists sentenced to death by the apartheid government.

pri18. SATIS founding conference, 1973

Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) was a coalition that worked for the release of political prisoners in Southern Africa. Two hundred people attended its founding conference on 8 December 1973. The conference focused on South Africa, but for the next 20 years it campaigned on behalf of prisoners in all the white-dominated countries of Southern Africa. In the 1980s it led campaigns to save the lives of political activists sentenced to death by the apartheid government.

pri17. SATIS founding conference, 1973

Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) was a coalition that worked for the release of political prisoners in Southern Africa. Two hundred people attended its founding conference on 8 December 1973. They set up a campaign that brought together the AAM, IDAF, National Union of Students and the Ruskin and AUEW (TASS) Kitson Committees. For the next 20 years SATIS worked on behalf of political prisoners and for the release of all those detained without trial. In the 1980s it led campaigns to save the lives of political activists sentenced to death by the apartheid government.

po028. Save SWAPO Leaders

SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. With the Namibia Support Committee, SATIS promoted an international campaign for their release. It distributed thousands of postcards calling on the British government to intervene and held a demonstration outside South Africa House. The two men were released on appeal in 1977.

pic7604. ‘Save SWAPO Leaders’

SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. The Namibia Support Committee and Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) promoted an international campaign for their release. It distributed thousands of postcards calling on the British government to intervene and held a demonstration outside South Africa House. The SWAPO leaders were released on appeal in 1977. Left to right: Liberal MP Richard Wainwright, Botswana High Commissioner B M Setshango, TGWU General Secretary Jack Jones, SWAPO representative Peter Katjavivi, Labour Party General Secretary Ron Hayward, Amnesty International Director David Simpson and AAM Chair John Ennals.