1980s

80s14. Ciskei vigil

The Ciskei in the eastern Cape was one of the fragmented parcels of land that South Africa designated as an African ‘homeland’ or Bantustan. It was given nominal ‘independence’ in 1981, but its stooge government was totally dependent on South Africa. This leaflet publicised an AAM vigil and meeting to protest against mass detentions of Ciskei residents who had supported a bus boycott in protest against a hike in fares.

pic8407. Namibia torture protest

Namibia Support Committee protesters called for the recognition of SWAPO freedom fighters Sam Mundjindji and Veiko Nghitewa as prisoners of war. The protest marked the opening of their trial on 5 February 1984. The two men had been subject to months of torture and solitary confinement. They were eventually released in July 1989 in the run-up to Namibian independence.

pic8408. Protest against South African ads

Members of City Anti-Apartheid Group picketed the Guardian newspaper’s head office in February 1984 in protest against its refusal to ban South African advertisements.

pic8403. ‘Southern Africa – The Time to Act’

‘Southern Africa – The Time to Act’ was the theme of a month of action against apartheid launched by the AAM in March 1984. The campaign was launched at a press conference in London by UN Special Committee Against Apartheid member Ambassador Sahnoun. It was taken up by anti-apartheid campaigners all over Britain. In the photograph supporters of West Glamorgan AA Group ask shoppers at a Tesco store in Swansea to boycott South African goods.

las03. Greater London Council Declaration against Apartheid

This Declaration was adopted by the GLC in December 1983. ANC President Oliver Tambo was the main speaker at the GLC’s anti-racist rally held on the anniversary of Sharpeville, 21 March 1984.

pic8409. London Against Racism rally

ANC President Oliver Tambo was the main speaker at the London Against Racism rally held at Friends Meeting House by the Greater London Council on 21 March 1984. In December 1983 the GLC launched an Anti-Apartheid Declaration pledging that it would discourage all links between London and apartheid South Africa.

80s16. Lobby of Parliament, 21 March 1984

The AAM joined with other organisations to organise this national lobby of Parliament on the anniversary of the massacre at Sharpeville on 21 March 1960. Over 600 lobbyists met their MPs – many of them Conservatives who opposed any anti-apartheid action. At a meeting in the House of Commons Labour, Liberal and Social Democratic Party MPs pledged support for the AAM’s Southern Africa Manifesto.

pic8404. Vigil for Benjamin Moloise

Benjamin Moloise was sentenced to death in June 1983 on a framed charge of killing a South African security policeman. This vigil outside the South African Embassy, calling for his release, was held on 6 April 1984, the fifth anniversary of the execution of Solomon Mahlangu. In spite of an international campaign for clemency, Benjamin Moloise was hanged on 18 October 1985.