UK activists to revive sanctions

London veteran international Anti-Apartheid Movement plan to reactivate their campaign for world sanctions against South Africa as a means of forcing changes in government policies. Announcing this yesterday, Mike Terry, secretary of Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement, said he was calling key figures in the global anti-apartheid movement to a strategy conference in London in mid-July. "The purpose is to back up international the protests and demonstration which have been launched in South Africa,"

Terry said. "(President FW) de Klerk's policies have brought the Republic to the brink or disaster and anarchy and only mass action, with support from abroad, can change the situation." and in a parallel development. Archbishop Trevor Huddleston confirmed that most South African church leaders had agreed to lead a new campaign of civil defiance against the government this month.

At an emergency meeting in the wake of the Boipatong killings last week English- speaking church leaders- including those from the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference  – decided that if the government had not responded    adequately to demands for an end to violence and serious negotiations by July 15, it would launch a defiance campaign.

Huddleston, the president of Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement, also said that co-operation with the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid he was convening a two-day international hearing on violence and the implementation of the National Peace Accord". Funded by the UN Committee, it will take place in London on July 14 and 15.

Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who chairs the UN Special Committee, is due to deliver one of the opening keynote addresses along with SACC general sec­retary Frank Chikane. The international hearing, functioning like a court of law, will:

  • Take evidence on political violence in South Africa.
  • Assess moves taken to stop the killings, woundings and destruction of homes. 
  • Examine the results of the National Peace Accord and consider the contribution that the international community may be able to make towards a peaceful resolution of the obstacles to democratic settlement.
  • Alert public opinion to the issues at stake. 

Among the authorities invited to present papers are John Hall, chairman of the National Peace Committee, and Mr Justice Richard Goldstone. Organisations which will be presenting evidence include Amnesty International and South Africa's Human Rights Commission and Lawyers for Human Rights.

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.

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