A tribute to Mandela from Trafalgar Square to Houghton

When the members of the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group stood for four years outside South Africa House in the 1980s communications with South Africa could be tricky. The South African government’s censorship meant that news of anti-apartheid protests in Britain was seldom reported in South Africa. Before the internet, most communication with anti-apartheid activists inside South Africa had to be conducted by (carefully worded) letters.

In the days after Nelson Mandela’s death, one South African friend of the Non-Stop Picket enabled former City Group members to show their respects to Madiba in South Africa.  As a child, in the ’80s, Razia stayed in South Africa while her father spent a year in London associated with the Non-Stop Picket. She was excited to receive letters from London with news about the Picket and its many characters. A quarter of a century later, and with the aid of the internet, she helped print a poster designed by former Non-Stop Picketers, and leave it among the piles of tributes outside Mandela’s Houghton home.

A tribute from the Non-Stop Picket placed at Mandela's home (Source: Razia Meer)

A tribute from the Non-Stop Picket placed at Mandela’s home (Source: Razia Meer)

Copies of the same image were also placed on the gates of the South African Embassy in London and at the foot of Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square. A tangible memory of the Non-Stop Picket and a tangible link between London and Johannesburg.

About Gavin Brown

Professor of Political Geography and Sexualities University of Leicester
This entry was posted in Archival research, Interview material and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A tribute to Mandela from Trafalgar Square to Houghton

  1. Pingback: A parcel from Cape Town (and a letter from Robben Island) | Non-Stop Against Apartheid

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