Namibia

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.

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.

pic7714. ‘Save SWAPO Leaders’

Demonstrators outside South Africa House on 14 February 1977, demanding freedom for SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo. The two men were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. They were freed on appeal in 1977 after an international campaign for their release.

nam04. Vorster and Callaghan

In the late 1960s, under a Labour government, British Nuclear Fuels signed long-term contracts with Rio Tinto-Zinc (RTZ) for uranium from Namibia. The first supplies were to be delivered in 1977. The deal flouted UN Security Council resolutions asking member states not to collaborate with South Africa’s illegal administration. This leaflet was produced by the Campaign Against the Namibian Uranium Contract (CANUC), set up by the AAM, the Namibia Support Committee and the Haslemere Group.

nam05. Wellington boot appeal

This appeal for rubber boots for Namibian refugees in Angola by the Namibia Support Committee met with a huge response from AAM supporters. Thousands of pairs of Wellington boots were shipped to SWAPO refugee camps.

nam06. The Rossing File

In the late 1960s Britain signed long-term contracts with the mining company Rio Tinto-Zinc (RTZ) for the supply of uranium for its nuclear energy programme. When the contract came into effect it was clear the uranium came from the Rossing mine, operated by RTZ in defiance of UN resolutions on Namibia. The Rossing File tells the story of the uranium contracts and the failure of successive British governments to honour their UN obligations.

nam10. ‘Freedom for Namibia Now!

After Zimbabwean independence in 1980 the AAM stepped up its campaigning for an end to South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia. This leaflet set out a comprehensive set of demands on the British government. It called for support for the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), mandatory UN sanctions against South Africa, the release of Namibian political prisoners and the cancellation of Britain’s contract for the supply of Namibian uranium.