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Namibia

nam01. South West Africa

From its formation in 1960, the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for an end to South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia (South West Africa). In March 1966 writer Ronald Segal convened an international conference with the support of the AAM. This pamphlet set out the background to the conference and explained how South Africa had contravened its League of Nations mandate. It called for political action at the UN and showed how the Western powers were blocking any steps to end South Africa’s control of the territory.

 
nam02. International Conference on South West Africa

From its formation in 1960, the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for an end to South Africa’s illegal rule in Namibia (South West Africa). In March 1966 writer Ronald Segal convened a international conference on the territory, sponsored by the AAM and the Africa Bureau, and chaired by the future Prime Minister of Sweden, Olaf Palme. The conference published papers on South Africa’s violation of its mandate, economic and legal issues, and the responsibility of the international community.

 
nam03. Karakul sales protest

In the mid-1970s Namibia was the world’s biggest producer of karakul wool, marketed in London by Hudsons Bay & Annings Ltd. The sales contravened UN resolutions that declared South Africa’s administration of Namibia illegal. This leaflet was produced by the AAM in co-operation with the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) and the National Union of Students. It was distributed to buyers attending the sales by supporters of the AAM and Friends of Namibia.

 
pic7304. Namibia Day, 1 June 1973

AAM supporters picketed the headquarters of the mining company Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) in St James’s Square, London on Namibia Day, 1 June. RTZ operated the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia in defiance of a judgement by the International Court of Justice that South Africa’s rule there was illegal.

 
arm16. The Labour movement and the Southern African struggle

This memorandum showed how the Labour government elected in 1974 was failing to honour its election pledge to end military links with South Africa. It asked trade unionists and Labour Party members to press the government to end military co-operation and to take action on Zimbabwe and Namibia.

 
po178. SWAPO women’s tour, 1975

Poster publicising a speaking tour of Europe by Putuse Appolus from the Namibian Women’s League and a representative of SWAPO’s Youth League in the summer of 1975. The two women spent two weeks in Britain, meeting women’s groups, student unions and labour movement representatives. The UN designated 1975 as International Women’s Year.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 

 

 

 
arm17. Marconi Arms Apartheid

This report argued that Marconi’s contract to supply troposcatter communications equipment to South Africa was a breach of the arms embargo imposed by the 1974 Labour government. The equipment was to be used to send information from the South African forces fighting SWAPO guerrillas in northern Namibia to the Defence Department’s computer centre in the Cape. The AAM argued that the arms ban should cover all equipment with ‘dual purpose’ military and civilian use and that no equipment should be sold to the South African defence forces.

 
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.

 
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 after an international campaign for their release.

 
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.

 
nam07. ‘Viljoen Go Home!’

 

Gerritt Viljoen was appointed Administrator General of South West Africa as part of South Africa’s imposition of an ‘internal settlement’ in Namibia. In April 1980 he held talks in London with Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington at the British Foreign Office. This leaflet was distributed by anti-apartheid supporters outside a South Africa Club dinner at the Savoy Hotel, where Viljoen was the guest speaker. 

 
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.

 
pic 8001. Anniversary of the Kassinga massacre

AAM supporters protested outside South Africa House in May 1980 on the second anniversary of the Kassinga massacre. They carried placards with the names of some of the 137 Namibians abducted from the Kassinga refugee camp in Angola by the South African Defence Force in May 1978. Over 600 Namibian refugees were massacred in the raid. Left to right: Labour MP Chris Mullin, Bishop Colin Winter and Labour MP Joan Lestor.

 
nam09. ‘End Import of Namibian Uranium’

In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported uranium from Rio Tinto-Zinc’s Rossing mine in Namibia in contravention of UN resolutions. As part of a long-running campaign, on 8 November 1980 over 300 demonstrators marched to British Nuclear Fuels Springfields plant near Preston where the uranium was processed. They were led by trade union banners from Preston, Leeds and Merseyside and joined by trade unionists from all over the north of England. The demonstration was organised by the North-West Trade Union/Anti-Apartheid Liaison Committee and the Namibia Support Committee.

 
pic8006. ‘Hands off Namibian Uranium’

In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported uranium from Rio Tinto Zinc’s Rossing mine in Namibia in contravention of UN resolutions. As part of a long-running campaign, on 8 November 1980 over 300 demonstrators marched to British Nuclear Fuels Springfields plant near Preston where the uranium was processed. They were led by trade union banners from Preston, Leeds and Merseyside and joined by unionists from all over the north of England. The demonstration was organized by the North-West Trade Union/AAM Liaison Committee and the Namibia Support Committee.

 
pic8005. ‘Hands off Namibian Uranium’

In the 1970s and 1980s Britain imported uranium from Rio Tinto Zinc’s Rossing mine in Namibia in contravention of UN resolutions. As part of a long-running campaign, on 8 November 1980 over 300 demonstrators marched to British Nuclear Fuels Springfields plant near Preston where the uranium was processed. They were led by trade union banners from Preston, Leeds and Merseyside and joined by trade unionists from all over the north of England. The demonstration was organised by the North-West Trade Union/AAM Liaison Committee and the Namibia Support Committee.

 
hgs03. Save Marcus Kateka!

Marcus Kateka was a 40-year old Namibian farmworker sentenced to death for allegedly helping SWAPO guerrillas. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society distributed ten thousand copies of this postcard asking Prime Minister Thatcher to intervene with the South African government. Supporters also picketed South Africa House on 27 October 1980. As a result of the international campaign, in July 1981 the sentence was commuted to 17 years imprisonment.

 
 
 
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