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gov04. Memorandum to the House of Commons Select Committee on Expenditure

In 1973 the low wages paid to black workers by the South African subsidiaries of British companies hit the headlines with the publication of a series of articles by Adam Raphael in the Guardian newspaper. The AAM submitted this memorandum to a House of Commons sub-committee tasked with enquiring into the operations of British companies in South Africa. The memorandum argued that all British economic involvement in South Africa supported apartheid and that British firms should pull out. The government rejected this argument and instead instituted a code of conduct for British companies operating in South Africa.

int24t. Chris Child transcript

Chris Child became involved in the campaign to make Barclays Bank withdraw from South Africa when he was a student at Durham University. He was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff membe from 1976 to 1982, initially as Trade Union Secretary and later as Deputy Executive Secretary. He was responsible for the AAM’s work with trade unions, the disinvestment campaign, Namibia and liaising with local AA groups.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom AAM history project in 2013.

int13t. Lela Kogbara transcript

Lela Kogbara was a member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s Black Solidarity Committee and Executive Committee, and an activist in South London AA Group. She was the Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) from 1994 to 2012, and still serves on its Executive Committee.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out by Christabel Gurney in 2005.

msc03. Apartheid Movement 1987/88 Catalogue

Mail order catalogue for T-shirts, badges, mugs and books available from the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Goods like these helped raise the profile of the AAM in the 1980s and build support for its campaigns.

int29a1. David Hillman interview clip

David Hillman became an Anti-Apartheid Movement activist in 1985, joining Hammersmith and Fulham AA Group.  He was a member of the London Anti-Apartheid Committee and the AAM Boycott Committee, where he led activities on the Boycott Shell campaign across London. After 1994, he served for over 10 years as a member of the National Executive Committee of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).

In this clip David Hillman describes how he and other anti-apartheid activists attempted to sabotage the tourist industry’s promotion of holidays in South Africa.

pic6003. Boycott Movement rally, 28 February 1960

The crowd in Trafalgar Square at a rally to launch the March Month of Boycott Action on 28 February 1960. On the platform were the Leader of the Labour Party Hugh Gaitskell, ANC leader Tennyson Makiwane, Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe, Lord Altrincham from the Conservative Party, Rita Smythe from the Co-operative Women’s Guild and Trevor Huddleston. During the month, local councils all over Britain banned South African goods and supporters distributed leaflets to shoppers calling for a boycott.

int34t. Sir Geoffrey Bindman transcript

Sir Geoffrey Bindman is a lawyer and was Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS ). SATIS publicised political trials, called for the release of those detained without trial and mobilised public opinion against the hanging of political prisoners.It campaigned for the release of thousands of anti-apartheid activists, including many children, detained under the States of Emergency imposed in the mid-1980s.

This is a complete transcript of an interview carried out as part of the Forward to Freedom AAM history project in 2013.

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.

Int37a2. Hanef Bhamjee interview clip 2

Hanef Bhamjee came to Britain in 1965 to escape detention by the South African security police. He became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement as a student at Birmingham University. In the 1970s he moved to Cardiff  and was a founder member of Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement, set up in 1981. He served as Wales AAM’s Secretary from 1982 to 1994 and is now Secretary of ACTSA Cymru.

In this clip Hanef tells how Wales AAM members avoided arrest because of the punitive fines imposed on anti-apartheid activists.

int39a2. Vijay Krishnarayan interview clip 2

Vijay Krishnarayan became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1984 while studying town and country planning at Oxford Polytechnic. As student union president, he was elected to the National Council of the student section of the Labour Party and in 1988 took part in the Mandela Freedom March from Glasgow to London. In 1989, he campaigned against the rebel cricket tour to South Africa before moving on to a career in civil society organisations, promoting people-to-people solidarity.

In this clip Vijay compares political campaigning in the 1980s with campaigning today and describes how it has been transformed by the social media and the internet.

int40a2. Sean O’Donovan interview clip 2

Sean O’Donovan became involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1984 as a student at Middlesex Polytechnic. He joined Haringey Anti-Apartheid Group in north London and served as its Secretary, and later Chair, until it disbanded in 1994.  He was active in the London AA Committee, the co-ordinating body for London anti-apartheid groups, and served on the AAM National Executive. He now works as a  caseworker for a Labour MP.

In this clip Sean tells how Haringey AA Group spread its message by speaking at meetings organised by political parties, church groups and other local organisations.

int41a2. Richard Caborn interview clip 2

Richard Caborn was the Labour MP for Sheffield Central, 1983–2010, and Minister for Sport, 2001–2007. He joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement when he was a trade union official in the 1970s and was a founder member of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group. He served as the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s national Treasurer, 1989–1994. In 1984 he became Secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on Southern Africa.

In this clip Richard Caborn compares the reluctance of House of Commons officials to allow Nelson Mandela to speak in the House of Commons in April 1990 with the welcome he received as President of South Africa in 1996.


int42a2. Anna Kruthoffer interview clip 2

Anna Kruthoffer (now Anna Murray) first became aware of the Anti-Apartheid Movement when she was a student in the late 1980s. She became an activist in her local AA group in Hackney when she moved to London. She was the secretary of Hackney AA Group and the London AA Committee, which co-ordinated the work of London anti-apartheid groups. In April 1994, she worked in the ANC’s Johannesburg regional office in the run-up to South Africa’s first democratic election.  

In this clip Anna describes how she attended Shell’s annual general meeting to protest about the company’s involvement in Southern Africa.

int36a2. Peter Brayshaw interview clip 2

Peter Brayshaw joined protests against UDI in Rhodesia as a student in the mid-1960s. He joined the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea and travelled to Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975. On his return to Britain he campaigned for international recognition of the MPLA government and later became Chair of the Mozambique Angola Committee. He is currently Vice Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and serves as a Labour Councillor in the London Borough of Camden.

In this clip Peter Brayshaw tells how he and his companion Tracy Warne were caught in fighting between MPLA and FNLA when they visited Angola soon after MPLA declared independence in 1975.

int45a2. Brian Filling interview clip 2

Brian Filling became involved in anti-apartheid campaigning as a student at Glasgow University in the late 1960s. He was a founder of the Scottish AAM Committee in 1976 and served as its Chair from 1976 to 1994, when he became Chair of ACTSA Scotland. He was a member of the Executive Committee of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) from 1994 to 2011 and is now Honorary Consul for South Africa in Scotland. He was awarded the National Order of Companions of O R Tambo, the highest award made to non-South Africans, by the Republic of South Africa in 2012. 

In this clip Brian Filling describes how Nelson Mandela visited Glasgow in 1993 to meet representatives from the nine British cities who had given him the freedom of their cities.

int47a2. Talal Karim interview clip 2


Talal Karim came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1971 and supported anti-apartheid campaigns as a student at Warwick University. He later became a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington and a member of its Race Equality Committee. He represented Islington Council on Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and was one of the main movers behind the Council’s Declaration on Southern Africa, and support for the African National Congress (ANC) and South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO).

In this clip Talal Karim explains why he became an anti-apartheid activist and describes his meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1993.



int48a2. Susi and Amin Mawani interview clip 2

Amin Mawani came to London from Kenya in 1975, where he met Susi, who grew up in Heidelberg, Germany. They were both founder members of Ealing Anti-Apartheid Group in West London in the mid-1980s and Amin became the group’s first Secretary. In 1988 he was elected to the AAM’s National Executive Committee and Susi took over as Secretary. Ealing AA group campaigned for a boycott of South African goods and organised numerous concerts and social events to raise funds for the AAM.

In this clip Amin Mawani remembers the low points of the struggle when the Sharpeville Six and others were sentenced to hang.

int49a2. Kath Harding interview clip 2

Kath Harding was the Chair of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid Group and helped set up Sheffield’s Southern Africa Resources Centre. Sheffield AA Group was one of the AAM’s most active local groups and worked with Sheffield City Council, trade unions and churches to make Sheffield a centre of anti-apartheid activity in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In this clip Kath Harding describes how the Anti-Apartheid Movement brought together a broad range of people united in campaigning against apartheid.

int51a2. Chitra Karve interview clip 2

Chitra Karve was an Anti-Apartheid Movement staff member from 1986 to 1989 and helped organise the 1988 Nelson Mandela: Freedom at 70 campaign. She was a member of the AAM Women’s and Black Solidarity Committees, and was Chair of the latter. After the formation of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) in 1994 Chitra was elected to ACTSA’s Executive Committee. She is currently Chair of ACTSA.

In this clip she recalls how the AAM Women’s Committee publicised the role played by women in opposition to apartheid within South Africa.

int52a2. Mike Sparham interview clip 2

Mike Sparham represented the civil service union NUCPS on the Anti-Apartheid Movement trade union committee from the mid-1980s and served as its Chair from 1990 to 1994. He was later the Chair of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).

In this clip Mike Sparham reflects how the role of the AAM trade union committee changed after 1990 and describes how British trade unions gave direct support to independent unions in South Africa.

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