pic7808. Week of trade union solidarity

Trade unionists picketed South Africa House on 15 March 1978 as part of a week of trade union solidarity with South African trade unionists. The solidarity week was initiated by an international trade union conference held in Geneva the previous year.

pic7807. Mandela’s 60th birthday

Anti-apartheid supporters and ANC members picketed South Africa House to mark Nelson Mandela’s 60th birthday on 18 July 1978. In the House of Commons Prime Minister James Callaghan sent birthday greetings, and politicians and trade unionists signed a birthday card which they tried to hand in at South Africa House.

pic7802. Trade union picket for Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 after being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed. The AAM organised weekly demonstrations outside South Africa House calling for his release. Thousands signed a petition asking the British government to intervene. This picket was held on 2 August 1978. In the photograph are Bob Wright, Assistant General Secretary of AUEW (Engineering), Jim Slater, General Secretary of the National Union of Seamen (NUS) and members of the NUS Executive.

pic7803. Fast for Solomon Mahlangu

Forty former South African political prisoners held a 24-hour fast in support of Solomon Mahlangu on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square in August 1978. They collected signatures to a petition asking Prime Minister James Callaghan to intervene with the South African government. Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 for being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed.

pic7804. Steve Biko protest

On the first anniversary of the death of Steve Biko on 12 September 1978, Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) unfurled a 90-foot banner from the roof of St Martin’s in the Fields. It listed the names of all those known to have died under interrogation by the South African Security Police. Inside the church a special service commemorated Steve Biko’s life.

pic7805. International Anti-Apartheid Year demonstration

Thousands marched through central London on 21 October 1978 to mark  International Anti-Apartheid Year. They protested against the massacre of Zimbabwean refugees in Zambia by white Rhodesian security forces and called for international sanctions against the Rhodesian and South African regimes. At a rally in Trafalgar Square, Angolan ambassador, Luis de Almeida, pledged solidarity with freedom fighters in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

pic7806. Mandela Pioneers

Mandela Pioneers, the children of ANC supporters, outside South Africa House on 27 December 1978. They carried placards asking passers-by to remember the massacres at Sharpeville and Soweto. They were also supporting young ANC activist Solomon Mahlangu, condemned to death in South Africa in March 1978.

pic7901. ‘Release women political prisoners’

ANC women picketed South Africa House to demand freedom for all women political prisoners on 7 March 1979, the eve of International Women's Day. They also called for the release of Solomon Mahlangu. In the photo are former political prisoner Dulcie September and ANC Women’s Section members Ramnie Dinat and Teresa Nannan.