Fifty years ago the Anti-Apartheid Movement won its first big victory with the cancellation of the Springbok cricket tour scheduled for June 1970. A new pamphlet ‘Apartheid is Not a Game’ by Geoff Brown and Christian Hogsbjerg tells how direct action against the Springbok rugby tour in 1969-70 organised by the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign led to the ban on South Africa’s all-white cricket team. The pamphlet is available from Bookmarks, https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk. Price: £4
Don’t miss – ‘Beneath the Surface: South Africa in the Seventies’, an exhibition of photographs by Steve Bloom at The Beaney, Canterbury, 19 October–19 January 2020. The exhibition covers 1976, a pivotal year in South Africa’s history, when school students protests marked the beginning of the end of apartheid. It also includes anti-apartheid posters, badges and artefacts. https://canterburymuseums.co.uk/events/steve-bloom-beneath-the-surface-south-africa-in-the-seventies/
Fifty years ago the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Stop the Seventy Tour launched the campaign that led to the AAM’s first big victory – the cancellation of the all-white Springbok cricket series in June 1970. Thousands of people took part in demonstrations and pitch invasions of the Springbok rugby tour that began in November 1969, and forced the cancellation of the cricket tour planned for the following summer. Were you there? If so, please send your memories for a new pamphlet about the campaign. Contact Geoff Brown at or Christian Hogsbjerg at
In 1984 shopworkers at Dunnes Stores in Dublin went on strike to demand the reinstatement of a colleague sacked for refusing to handle Outspan oranges from South Africa. The Irish trade union Mandate is celebrating their action with a festival of diverse culture and lively discussion which brings the energy of the 1984 anti-apartheid strike to the struggles and challenges we face today. The event will include a reading of Strike!, a play by Tracy Ryan based on the events of 1984. Saturday 2 November, 6–10.30pm, Liberty Hall, Dublin and Sunday 3 November, 10.30am-4.30pm, Connolly Hall, Dublin. https://mandate.ie
Oliver Tambo was President of the African National Congress, 1967–1991. More than anyone else, he held the organisation together during the long years when Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders were imprisoned on Robben Island.
Oliver Tambo: Have You Heard From Johannesburg’ is a new film that tells his story. It is the latest in the Clarity Films series about the international struggle against apartheid. Director and producer: Connie Field. Executive producer: Albie Sachs. Available online at: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/olivertambo
‘Mandela 100’ is a new education pack showing how Nelson Mandela’s values are relevant to school students’ everyday lives. It is suitable for pupils aged 8–14 and has ideas for involving students through dance, drama and poetry, as well as classroom discussion.
A new GCSE syllabus ‘South Africa 1960–1994: The People and the State’ is under preparation by the OCR examination board.
The syllabus includes a module on the ANC in exile and the international anti-apartheid movement. An OCR ‘A’ level syllabus ‘Apartheid and Reconciliation: South African Politics 1948-1999’ also covers apartheid and the internal and external anti-apartheid struggle.
The newly formed Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation (NMSMF) is planning to erect a statue of Nelson Mandela in Glasgow to celebrate his centenary in 1918.
The Foundation was launched in October at an event at Glasgow City Chambers. Trustees include Sir Alex Ferguson and the Lord Provost of Glasgow. Glasgow already has a square named after Mandela – the former site of the apartheid regime’s Glasgow consulate. For more news of the Foundation’s plans go to https://mandelascottishmemorial.org
The centenary of Oliver Tambo’s birth on 27 October 1917 will be celebrated in South Africa and Britain. Tambo led the ANC during the long years when Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders were imprisoned on Robben Island.
His dedication, incorruptibility and vision meant that the ANC survived to take part in the negotiations which led to South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994. In Britain the OR Tambo Centenary Committee is organising a lecture at South Africa House by Judge Albie Sachs on 26 October 2017. There will also be a competition for a piece of artwork celebrating Tambo’s vision for school students in the London Borough of Haringey, where Tambo’s family lived during their exile from South Africa.
Scotland was in the forefront of the international campaign against apartheid. The country had a strong missionary tradition in Southern Africa; this was one of the sources of the more radical internationalism demonstrated in its support for the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
In 1981 Glasgow became the first city to make Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen and Scotland is still twinned with the Eastern Cape in South Africa. A new film, ‘South Africa, Scotland and Apartheid’ tells this story.