Hull University Students Union appointed South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) leader Hermann Toivo ja Toivo as its Honorary Vice-President in the early 1970s. Toivo was serving a 20-year prison sentence on Robben Island.

This booklet tells the story of Hull students’ campaign to make the university sever its links with the food company Reckitt & Colman because of the company’s operations in South Africa. The Hull sit-in was one of many student disinvestment campaigns in the 1970s.

In October 1972 Manchester University students asked the university authorities to sell shares in companies with South African interests. This broadsheet publicised a picket of a meeting of the University Council called to discuss the university’s investment policy in February 1973. When the Council referred the issue to its investment sub-committee, students protested by occupying the administration building.

The apartheid government banned the entire leadership of the black student organisation SASO (South African Student Organisation) in February 1973. Leaders of NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) were also banned. British students picketed South Africa House on 2 March 1973 in protest against the bannings.

Manchester University students first asked the university authorities to sell shares in companies with South African interests In October 1972. In response to a vigorous student campaign and national publicity about the below subsistence wages paid to South African workers, the University Council agreed to press companies in which it held shares to pay higher wages. This was rejected by the student union and students occupied the Council Chamber in protest. Manchester students argued that all investment in South Africa supported apartheid and that the university must disinvest. This newsletter reprinted the statements issued by the university authorities and the student union, and urged students to attend a union general meeting to discuss the next step in the campaign. 

In 1973 the student union at University College Swansea voted to call on the university authorities to sell shares in companies with South African interests. This pamphlet set out the case for disinvestment.

In September 1971 the National Union of Students, AAM and Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guiné set up a student network to coordinate student campaigning on Southern Africa. Every year through the 1970s and early 1980s the network held an annual conference to discuss campaign priorities. This is the report of the second conference, held at Aston University, Birmingham in July 1973. It was attended by 80 delegates representing 24 colleges. Student action concentrated on disinvestment from Southern Africa, fundraising for the liberation movements, campaigning for political prisoners and the cultural, academic, sports and consumer boycotts.

The 1973 NUS/AAM student network conference agreed a programme of action that concentrated on persuading universities to disinvest from companies involved in South Africa and raising material support for the Southern African liberation movements.