1990s

pic9102. ‘Apartheid Kills Commuters’

Thousands of South Africans were killed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in ‘black on black’ violence instigated by undercover forces. After the signing of a National Peace Accord in South Africa, AAM activists distributed leaflets at London train stations on 13 September asking British commuters to write to the South African government asking it to stop the violence.

90s10. ‘Apartheid Kills Commuters’

In 1990 violence between Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC supporters in KwaZulu spread to the townships around Johannesburg. A third force, linked to the South African Defence Force, fomented the killings. The AAM insisted it was the responsibility of the South African government to end the violence. At the same time it launched a ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign, holding symbolic voting sessions at the conferences of the Scottish TUC and the Liberal, Labour and Conservative Parties.

po154. ‘Apartheid Kills Commuters’

In 1990 violence between Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC supporters in KwaZulu spread to the townships around Johannesburg and there were unprovoked attacks on workers travelling on trains from Soweto to Johannesburg. A third force, linked to the South African Defence Force, fomented the killings. The AAM insisted it was the responsibility of the South African government to end the violence. Supporters leafleted commuters at central London stations asking them to protest against the killings.

90s13. An Appeal to Shoppers

Throughout the negotiations for a democratic constitution from 1991 to 1993 the AAM asked supporters to maintain the boycott of South African goods. It argued that continued pressure was needed on the South African government to force it to agree to a genuinely democratic constitution. The UN finally lifted the boycott in September 1993 after it was agreed to set up a transitional executive council. 

po129. Tell de Klerk: Stop the Violence and Repression

From 1990 negotiations for a new South African constitution were threatened by violence and repression and the media made much of ‘black-on-black’ violence. The AAM recognised that the responsibility for the violence rested ultimately with the apartheid regime and launched a campaign on the theme ‘Tell de Klerk: Stop the Violence and Repression’.

pic9201. ‘No White Veto: Democracy Now’

In February 1992 President de Klerk visited Britain shortly after a whites-only referendum in South Africa on whether constitutional talks should continue. Outside a rugby match at Twickenham, AAM supporters told him the white minority had no right to veto a democratic constitution.

Pic9210. AAM Freedom Bus vandalised

The AAM Freedom Bus was destroyed by unknown arsonists in February 1992. The bus toured Britain asking the British public to support the demand for one person one vote in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990. In the photo AAM staff member Gerard Omasta-Milsom is surveying the wreckage. 

90s16. ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign

The AAM argued that de Klerk wanted to establish ‘neo-apartheid’ rather than genuine majority rule in the negotiations that followed the release of Nelson Mandela. In 1991 it launched a ‘Vote for Democracy’ campaign, calling for an interim government and constituent assembly in South Africa. This leaflet was published in the run-up to the 1992 British general election.