About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM)

Formed in Britain in 1960 with the re-naming of the earlier Boycott Movement, the AAM was an umbrella organisation that took a strong moral stand against apartheid and white supremacy in South Africa, operating as an instrument of solidarity with the liberation struggle. It embraced a network of organisations including student bodies, trade unions, the Communist Party and sections of the British Labour Party. After the banning of the ANC* in 1960 and the reconstruction of its mission in exile, the ANC formed a strategy of establishing productive working relationships with organisations in the West such as the AAM. Its activities included vigils and rallies outside South Africa House on Trafalgar Square, where prominent speakers addressed the crowds; marches and anti-apartheid conferences were also held, boycott committees set up and leaflets circulated. Demonstrations were held in other major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool and a strong call went out for economic sanctions against South Africa. Stalwarts like Tennyson Makiwane, Vella Pillay, Abdul Minty, Mazisi Kunene and others of the ANC's London office worked closely with the AAM and successes included the expulsion of South Africa from the Olympic Games and cancelling of sports tours. In 1965 a conference was held to consolidate strategy on the arms sanction campaign, aroused by the British sale of Buccaneer aircraft to South Africa in 1964. ANC–AAM cooperation led to the proliferation of other anti-apartheid movements worldwide.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.