TransAfrica News

(Vol. 9, No. 1)
by TransAfrica
Washington, DC, United States
Winter 1990
6 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage in Africa: Angola, Namibia, South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents: PRESIDENT DOS SANTOS' VISIT CALLED OFF • NELSON MANDELA RELEASED AFTER 27 YEARS • Statement by Randall Robinson upon the release of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela • CHAPTER NEWS • For Your Information • Namibia Road to Independence • SANCTIONS • FINANCIAL SANCTIONS • ANGOLA • Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos called off his visit to the United States a few days before he was due to arrive for a four-city tour sponsored by TransAfrica. TransAfrica believes the cancellation was largely due to intense pressure by the Bush administration which had become increasingly concerned by the extent of support for the visit by civil rights and business groups. The planned visit was part of an initiative to force a re-examination of U.S. policy toward Angola. At present, the U.S. provides about $80 million to the South African-backed UNITA rebel group that is committed to overthrowing the Dos Santos government. The U.S. and South Africa are the only two industrialized countries that do not recognize the Angolan government. Few Americans know of the devastation caused by U.S.-supplied weapons to Angola or the gross human rights abuses by UNITA, headed by Jonas Savimbi. President F.W. de Klerk, on February 2, 1990, announced his National Party reform platform in the South African Parliament. This platform included: 1) The unconditional release of Nelson Mandela. 2) Reduction in pre-trial detention to no more than 6 months with the right to an attorney and a doctor of the detainees choice. 3) The unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC), Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), South African Communist Party (SACP), and other opposition groups. A week later, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison. It was a joyous occasion; celebration occurred all over the world. Since his release, Mandela has addressed crowds of hundreds of thousands in South Africa with a message of unity, an end to the violence between black groups, and increased pressure on the South African regime. The ANC announced that several of its exiled leaders would be sent home to open an office under the guidance of Walter Sisulu, and it is forming a delegation that will begin negotiations with the South African government. TransAfrica's Annual Chapter meeting was hosted by the Detroit, Michigan chapter on October 28, 1989, organized by chapter President Margaret Baylor and Vice-president Akua Budu-Watkins. The Cincinnati, Ohio chapter is working with its city council to implement a pension fund divestment measure. The election for the Namibian Constituent Assembly charged with drafting the independence constitution was completed with no major incidences of violence or ballot tampering; the United Nations quickly declared the process 'free and fair.' The newsletter includes information on curriculum guide, “Apartheid is Wrong,” published by Educators Against Apartheid. Executive Director Randall Robinson is appearing on the weekly television show “South Africa Now” with commentary on recent events and how the U.S. can make a difference in the region. The newsletter mentions Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), Sam Nujoma, DTA (Democratic Turnhalle Alliance), Walvis Bay, H.R. 21/S. 507 (Anti-Apartheid Act Amendments of 1989), H.R. 3458 (Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, Amendment), H.C.R. 203 (Resolution Concerning Relations Between the United States and the Government of Angola), S.R. 196 (Resolution Regarding the Peace Process in Angola), Lisa Alfred, Ibrahim Gassama, foreign aid, P.L. 101-167, SADCC (Southern African Development Coordination Council), David Obey, and Patrick Leahy.

Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root