South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANC Statements

ANC Statement wishing Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte a speedy recovery

We forward herewith a statement of the African National Congress of South Africa on the announcement by the Tory Government of the United Kingdom that it would. resume arms sale to South Africa.

We sincerely urge the United Nations Assembly and the Security Council to take appropriate action against this move which would be contrary to the provision and spirit of resolutions S/5386, S/5471 and S/5775 of the Security Council.


The announcement by the Tory Government of the United Kingdom that it will resume its traffic and supply arms to the racist Government of South Africa will come as no surprise to those who know the history of the treachery of the British Government in matters which concern the destiny of the Africans and the peace and security of Africa and the world.

In this instance the Tory Government is guilty of the most despicable crime against international law and order.

There are three United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for arms boycott of South Africa.

On 7 August 1963 the following resolution was adopted by 9 votes to 0 with Britain and France abstaining:

The Security Council:

“3. Solemnly calls upon all States to cease forthwith the sale and shipment of arms, ammunition of all types and military vehicles to South Africa;”

On 4 December 1963 a second resolution was unanimously adopted, appealing to all Member States to comply with the first resolution and added that:

“5. Solemnly calls upon all States to cease forthwith the sale or shipment of equipment and materials for the manufacture and maintenance of arms and ammunition in South Africa;”

The third resolution adopted on 18 June 1964 stated that the Security Council:

“Reaffirms its call upon all States to cease forthwith the sale and shipment to South Africa of arms, ammunition of all types, military vehicles and equipment and material for the manufacture and maintenance of arms and ammunition in South Africa;”

These are the resolutions of the highest international body charged with the responsibility of maintaining world peace. The Tory Government which was then in power in Britain voted for these resolutions, fully aware that they were adopted to curb the growth of that monstrous fascist military machine in South Africa which pursues a policy of police and military terrorism against the majority of the people of the country and which constituted a grave threat to the sovereignty and security of Africa and to world peace.

In 1964, the Tory Government adopted an arms embargo against South Africa.

The complete somersault by the Tory Government is a gross violation of a fundamental decision of the Security Council to which it was a party and a total renunciation of its obligations to that council. It is the most outrageous and perfidious international crime committed by a State which calls itself “civilised” and demonstrates irresponsibility to obligations.

What is even more disgusting is that the Tory Government uses as an excuse for violating international law and agreements to which it is committed in the world forum the lame excuse that it has to honour the Simonstown Agreement which was entered into with the racist and fascist Government of South Africa. The Simonstown Agreemen [which] provides for military-naval co-operation between the United Kingdom and the racist South African Government is itself a violation of both the letter and spirit of the resolutions prohibiting military co-operation between Member States of the United Nations and the racist Government of South Africa. When the supply of arms was prohibited by the Security Council this obviously included military pacts, which is what the Simonstown Agreement is.

In February 1968, Sir Alec Douglas-Hume shortly after returning from Johannesburg stated that:

“A conservative Government would operate the same system as it always had with South Africa – selling arms to her for her defence. It would not be restricted by the United Nations.”

In 1967 the Minister of Defence, Mr. Botha stated clearly that:

“The British Government cannot continue to rely on our benevolent acquiescence to the use of our airfields, or the naval base at Simonstown, or any of our other harbour facilities, in peace or war, except if we deem it in the interest of South Africa to make them available.”

The United Kingdom Government prefers to violate its agreements with the nations of the world entered into in the Security Council and instead observe its so-called responsibilities to an international bandit.

The basic reasons for this are to be found in the fact that the United Kingdom Government is completely committed to the White racists of South Africa because of Britain`s huge stake in the plunder and exploitation of the people and wealth of South Africa.

On 19 December 1967, Mr. Heath advanced the following reasons for lifting the arms ban:

  1. “The arms required by South Africa were for external defence and not for dealing with civil disturbances;
  2. By refusing to supply the arms, Britain was preventing South Africa from carrying out her obligations under the Simonstown agreement;
  3. The British ban would enable France to become the permanent supplier of arms to South Africa and inevitably to take over the facilities at Simonstown;
  4. The United Nations resolutions of 1963 and 1964 were not mandatory, so any British Government were entitled not to follow them;
  5. Britain drew £57 million a year from South Africa in dividends from over £1,000 million investment;
  6. South Africa is Britain`s third largest customer, accounting for 5 per cent of British exports.”

The South African Government used the closure of the Suez Canal with good effect to achieve the resumption of the arms trade with Britain. But more than that the greed for profits through a trade in arms which would bring British industrialists contracts estimated between £200 million and £500 million was one of the main hails.

The Tory Government is committing a grave crime against international law, a crime against the people of South Africa, a crime against security and peace in Africa and the world.

We appeal to the O.A.U. to conduct the most vigorous campaign against the United Kingdom Government for its treacherous collusion with the South African fascists against the peace and security of African Independent States.

We call upon the Security Council to invoke the most drastic action against the United Kingdom Government under the Charter. Certainly the United Kindom Government no longer deserves a seat on that body.

We call upon the members of the Commonwealth whose very security is threatened by the British collaboration with South Africa to resign from that body.

We call upon the organizations and peoples of the whole world to protest against this act of international banditry.

Alfred NZO