AA News July–August 1989

The July-August issue again warned of the South African threat to free and fair elections in Namibia and publicised SWAPO’s election appeal fund. It reported on UDF co-president Albertina Sisulu’s visit to London and her condemnation of Prime Minister Thatcher’s meeting with South African President F W de Klerk in June. A feature article by Mary Turok told the history of South Africa Women’s Day, 9 August. AA News sent 60th birthday greetings to Rivonia trialist Ahmed Kathrada, serving a life sentence on Robben Island. It condemned the harassment of South African trade unionists and advertised the AAM’s new campaign video Fruits of Fear.

AA News September 1989

AA News headlined UDF leader Murphy Morobe’s appeal for support for the new defiance campaign rocking South Africa. Its editorial condemned the planned cricket tour of South Africa by a team led by England cricketer Mike Gatting and welcomed the ‘Conference for a Democratic Future’ bringing together a wide range of anti-apartheid organisations in South Africa. It reported on a meeting between a delegation from the UDF with Prime Minister Thatcher and on COSATU’s support for the Mass Democratic Movement. On Namibia, it carried a special report of a visit by Glenys Kinnock to monitor preparations for the country’s independence elections.

AA News October 1989

Namibia’s November election was a historic milestone in the Southern African freedom struggle, proclaimed AA News. The newspaper’s editorial called for pressure on British banks to refuse to reschedule South Africa’s debt. It hailed the launch of the Southern African Coalition in September as the largest ever grouping of British organisations opposed to apartheid. It reported that South Africa’s two-day stay away to protest against the whites-only elections was the most widely supported in the country’s history. In a special feature, Delmas treason trialist Tseko Simon Nkoli described his experiences as a gay anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner in South Africa.

AA News November 1989

The November issue hailed the release of Walter Sisulu and seven other long-term political prisoners from Robben Island in October 1989. It condemned the decision by international banks to issue a new loan to South Africa and reported on a meeting between South African church leaders and President de Klerk. The Wales Rugby Union finally severed its links with the South African Rugby Board after a 30-year campaign by Welsh anti-apartheid activists. On Angola, AA News deplored Prime Minister John Major's meeting with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. It featured the case of the Upington 14, sentenced to death for their presence at a demonstration when a policeman was killed.  

AA News December 1989–January 1990

AA News hailed SWAPO’s election victory in Namibia as the dawning of a new phase in the anti-apartheid struggle. It again exposed Israeli-South African collaboration in developing nuclear missiles. It condemned the new deal by international banks to continue lending to South Africa. In an exclusive interview with AA News, Walter Sisulu thanked supporters of the international solidarity movement for campaigning for the release of South African political prisoners. The newspaper exposed the Thatcher government’s refusal to back the sanctions measures imposed by the Commonwealth at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur. A report by Ian Bray featured South Africa’s proxy war in Mozambique.