1980s

po198. Shell & BP Fuel Apartheid

Poster produced for a month of boycott of Shell and BP organised by the AAM in June 1981. Oil was the one major commodity that South Africa did not possess. In the 1970s the chief oil exporting countries imposed an oil embargo on South Africa. This was circumvented by the major Western oil companies, including Shell and BP. The two companies were joint owners of South Africa’s largest oil refinery. 

pic8109. Armando Guebuza in London

FRELIMO Central Committee member and future Mozambique President Armando Guebuza at a meeting with representatives of London’s black community, 24 June 1981.

she05. Boycott Shell and BP

Oil was the one major commodity that South Africa did not possess. In the 1970s the chief oil exporting countries imposed an oil embargo on South Africa. This was circumvented by the major Western oil companies, including Shell and BP. The two companies were joint owners of South Africa’s largest oil refinery. This leaflet was produced for a special month of boycott of Shell and BP in June 1981. 

pic8107. South Africa Freedom Day rally, 26 June 1981

ANC President Oliver Tambo was the main speaker at a rally held in London to mark South Africa Freedom Day on 26 June 1981. He told AAM supporters ‘It is your struggle as it is ours’. Also on the platform were ANC representative Ruth Mompati, FRELIMO leader and future Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, SACTU General Secretary John Gaetsewe and SWAPO Deputy Secretary for Labour P Munyaro.

Pic8108. Boycott Shell and BP

This banner saying ‘No Shell-BP Oil for Apartheid’ was suspended from a footbridge in Southampton in June 1981. The action was part of a national Month of Boycott of Shell and BP organised by the AAM. Southampton AA Group members picketed local Shell and BP garages throughout the month. 

pic8113. Freedom of City of Glasgow for Mandela

Nelson Mandela was given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow on 4 August 1981. Glasgow was the first of many British cities to honour Mandela in this way. The photograph shows ANC representative Ruth Mompati speaking at a meeting in Glasgow City Chambers held after the award ceremony. Also in the picture are Nigerian Vice-President Alex Ekwueme,  the Lord Provost of Glasgow Michael Kelly and the Chair of the Scottish AA Committee, Brian Filling.

pic8106. ‘Stop the Death Sentences’

Three young men, Johannes Shabangu, Anthony Tsotsobe and David Moise, were sentenced to death in Pretoria on 19 August 1981. They were charged with taking part in attack on the SASOL oil-from-coal power station and a Johannesburg police station. All three were school students who left South Africa to join Umkhonto we Sizwe after the Soweto uprising in 1976. After an international campaign the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on 7 June 1983.

gov17. Letter from the Anti-Apartheid Movement to Margaret Thatcher

Letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher calling on the British government to support UN mandatory economic sanctions against South Africa in response to South Africa’s invasion of Angola in 1981.