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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

South African Freedom Association (SAFA)

By the mid-1950s it had become clear to the ANC* that the liberation struggle would have to be extended to the international arena. The UN's Special Committee on Apartheid became an important organ through which the ANC could publicize its activities and gain international support for the liberation struggle, but it also had to walk the delicate line between aligning itself with the Soviet Union for aid while recognizing the economic and strategic influence of the superpowers in Africa, particularly Britain and America. The ANC's links with Russia were certainly expedited by its close connection with the SACP.* In fact the ANC, by virtue of its close communist links, received far more in the way of financial assistance than other African liberation movements. The three South Africans who arrived in London in 1959 to further the liberation struggle were Tennyson Makiwane, Vella Pillay and Abdul Minty. They began to work closely with the South African Freedom Association, an anti-apartheid umbrella body based in London that was shortly thereafter re-named the Boycott Movement. This organization in turn became was the precursor of the Anti-Apartheid Movement* (AAM), formed in 1960, that embraced a number of organization across the political spectrum and set its sights on boycotting South Africa not only economically, by means of sanctions, but also culturally and in the sporting arena.

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.