Overview of Events Leading to the Harare Declaration

by Miloanne Hecathorn, WITNESS for South Africa
Oakland, California, United States
Undated, May 1986?
Publisher: WITNESS for South Africa
4 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Language: English
Contents:  U.S. Action Against Apartheid • "With One Voice" • "Whose Side Are You On?" • The report says South Africa has entered an unprecedented crisis; its black population has been in rebellion for the last 21 months, and uprisings have spread throughout the country. The government initially responded by banning all public meetings; rather than negotiate, it arrested key community leaders. South African troops were permanently stationed in black townships, and the government prohibited reporting of the rebellion, trying to prevent an international audience from learning about the turmoil and protests. South African church leaders became increasingly involved in anti-apartheid organizing. The religious community--black and white, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist--was forced into tremendous reflection on what God required in this time of crisis. The Kairos Document began to galvanize South Africa's religious community, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) asked the World Council of Churches (WCC) to convene the emergency consultation with Western church leaders held in Harare, Zimbabwe for three days in December 1985. The refusal of U.S. banks to roll over their South African loans precipitated the economic crisis in South Africa. The response by U.S. companies to conditions in South Africa and to public pressure in the U.S. has been dramatic. To date, at least 66 companies (48 in 1985) have sold, closed or scaled back their operations in South Africa. With the Harare Declaration, the formation of the Churches' Emergency Committee on Southern Africa in January 1986, and the NCCC's "South Africa Agenda '86" campaign, a broadly representative voice is being heard. The report also mentions support for the banned liberation movements, violence, injustice, suffering, funeral marchers shot in the back by police in armored trucks, infants slain by random bullets, children rounded up for mass arrest, religious leaders detained without trial, anti-apartheid activists charged with treason, political detainees tortured in prison, Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress (ANC), local and national divestment activism, boycott campaigns, anti-apartheid educational projects, the drive for comprehensive Congressional and administrative economic sanctions, Northern California Ecumenical Council, the Winn-Dixie chain, Bank of America, Security Pacific, trade-related loans, Barclays Bank, CA-NV ICCR (California Nevada Interfaith Committee on Corporate Responsibility), GE (General Electric), Motorola, disinvestment, Solomon Brothers, Apple Computer, GM (General Motors), sales to the South African police and military, vehicles, the Washington Office on Africa (WOA), black majority rule, and universal suffrage in a unitary state.

Collection: Miloanne Hecathorn papers