nam01. South West Africa

From its formation in 1960, the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for an end to South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia (South West Africa). In March 1966 writer Ronald Segal convened an international conference with the support of the AAM. This pamphlet set out the background to the conference and explained how South Africa had contravened its League of Nations mandate. It called for political action at the UN and showed how the Western powers were blocking any steps to end South Africa’s control of the territory.

nam02. International Conference on South West Africa

From its formation in 1960, the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for an end to South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia (South West Africa). In March 1966 writer Ronald Segal convened a international conference on the territory, sponsored by the AAM and the Africa Bureau, and chaired by the future Prime Minister of Sweden, Olaf Palme. The conference published papers on South Africa’s violation of its mandate, economic and legal issues, and the responsibility of the international community.

nam03. Karakul sales protest

In the mid-1970s Namibia was the world’s biggest producer of karakul wool, marketed in London by Hudsons Bay & Annings Ltd. The sales contravened UN resolutions that declared South Africa’s administration of Namibia illegal. This leaflet was produced by the AAM in co-operation with the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) and the National Union of Students. It was distributed to buyers attending the sales by supporters of the AAM and Friends of Namibia.

pic7304. Namibia Day, 1 June 1973

AAM supporters picketed the headquarters of the mining company Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) in St James’s Square, London on Namibia Day, 1 June. RTZ operated the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia in defiance of a judgement by the International Court of Justice that South Africa’s rule there was illegal.

po178. SWAPO women’s tour, 1975

Poster publicising a speaking tour of Europe by Putuse Appolus from the Namibian Women’s League and a representative of SWAPO’s Youth League in the summer of 1975. The two women spent two weeks in Britain, meeting women’s groups, student unions and labour movement representatives. The UN designated 1975 as International Women’s Year.

arm16. The Labour movement and the Southern African struggle

This memorandum showed how the Labour government elected in 1974 was failing to honour its election pledge to end military links with South Africa. It asked trade unionists and Labour Party members to press the government to end military co-operation and to take action on Zimbabwe and Namibia.

arm17. Marconi Arms Apartheid

This report argued that Marconi’s contract to supply troposcatter communications equipment to South Africa was a breach of the arms embargo imposed by the 1974 Labour government. The equipment was to be used to send information from the South African forces fighting SWAPO guerrillas in northern Namibia to the Defence Department’s computer centre in the Cape. The AAM argued that the arms ban should cover all equipment with ‘dual purpose’ military and civilian use and that no equipment should be sold to the South African defence forces.

arm29. Marconi Tropospheric Scatter System and South Africa

In 1976 the AAM campaigned to stop the supply of GEC-Marconi communications equipment to the South African Defence Force on the grounds that it breached the Labour government’s arms embargo. It argued the system would be used against SWAPO guerrillas in Namibia. After the government decided that the equipment would require an export licence, the apartheid government announced that communications in Namibia would in future be the responsibility of the South African Post Office. In October 1976 the British government announced that it would grant an export licence. This AAM fact sheet called for a parliamentary enquiry to investigate loopholes in the British arms embargo.