EUROPEAN
UNION
The role of the IN THE STRUGGLE
AGAINST APARTHEID

In August 1961

the South African Communist Party bought Liliesleaf, a farm at the time on the outskirts of Johannesburg, as a secret meeting place for its leadership. Liliesleaf was the birthplace of the ANC military wing uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), and evolved into the underground headquarters of its High Command and the leadership of the Congress Alliance.

It was at Liliesleaf that the overthrow of the apartheid regime was discussed, and where the leaders of the liberation movement took refuge in their struggle for a non-racial, just, united and democratic South Africa.

Today, it is a site of memory celebrating the long journey to democracy in South Africa, a journey that is still ongoing. For a key struggle today is the struggle against forgetting.

Why an exhibition on the role of the EU?
This exhibition on the European Union’s contribution to South Africa’s liberation forms part of a series of international solidarity exhibitions at Liliesleaf. These exhibitions are the expression of Liliesleaf’s commitment to ensuring that the role of international solidarity in the fight for freedom and justice is not forgotten.
liliesleaf

Group photo of the European Council Heads of State (or Government of the Twelve), convening on 9 and 10 December 1991 in Maastricht to reach an agreement on the Treaty on European Union. The Maastricht Treaty was signed by the leaders of the twelve Member States (Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal, and Spain) on 7 February 1992, and came into effect on 1 November 1993. © Presse - und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung

europe united "I think the experience we had with South Africa in its transition challenged our way of managing
development cooperation with
partner countries.

South Africa is a very unique case where the whole Special Programme, with huge resources, was set up in the 1980s outside the government machinery, entirely with civil society and churches. It is a strong lesson that South Africa gave us, that civil society is not just a beneficiary but a possible actor of change.

And this we learnt through the Special Programme."

Jean-Claude Boidin, Head, Task Force negotiations
with South Africa, EU DG Development
EUROPE UNITED,
SOUTH AFRICA DIVIDED


The European Union emerged following the end of World War II, with the aim of ending wars between neighbours; ensuring the economic integration of Member States; and uniting Europe.

In 1951, the Treaty of Paris established the European Coal and Steel Community to start building a common market for coal and steel. The six founding countries were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, joined in 1973 by Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

As of completion of this exhibition, the EU has 27 Member States, with the United Kingdom having ‘Brexited’ on 31 December 2020.

“European integration is a political project of peace, security and reconciliation. All the other things that go with it, the economy and even the common currency, are building blocks to this end.” Dieter Frisch, EC Director-General for Development, 1982-1993

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Robert Schuman,
French Foreign Minister,
signs the Treaty of Paris
establishing the
European Coal and Steel
Community (ECSC),
18 April 1951
EC – Audiovisual Service


Mass funeral for
the victims of the
Sharpeville Massacre,
March 1960

© Peter Magubane /
Drum Social Histories /
Baileys African History Archive /
Africa Media Online

EUROPE UNITED,
SOUTH AFRICA DIVIDED


The Sharpeville Massacre in March 1960, and the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Chief Albert Luthuli in December 1961, focused the attention of Western Europe on South Africa and gave impetus to anti-apartheid activism. For many people who had experienced the horrors of two world wars, the notion of apartheid – the oppression and brutalisation of the black majority by a white minority government – was difficult to comprehend.

Over the next three decades, Western European civil society actively opposed the apartheid regime in numerous ways. The global anti-apartheid movement was one of the biggest civil society movements in history. Ordinary people were mobilised to boycott South African products, join protest actions and get involved in fundraising efforts to support South African anti-apartheid activists and their families. Pressure was put on governments to impose economic and military sanctions and cultural and sports boycotts against South Africa.

“Anti-apartheid resistance was one of the largest, most resilient and arguably most influential global social movements in the late twentieth century.” Jan Aart Scholte, writer and professor in politics and international studies

The European Union played a significant role in mobilising broad-based opposition to apartheid in Western Europe, and financing humanitarian and development aid.

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Slide SOCIAL JUSTICE Chief Albert Luthuli, ANC president 1952-67 In the UK, the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group maintained a Non-Stop Picket outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square from 1986 to 1990 © Jonathan Kempster, NUJ TAKING ACTION:
THE EC TWIN-TRACK POLICY
Many Western governments, uncomfortable with the idea of sanctions, preferred to pursue a policy of ‘constructive engagement’. Anti-apartheid activists saw this as being soft on the apartheid regime. In 1984, Archbishop Tutu declared constructive engagement ‘an abomination, an unmitigated disaster’.

However, by the mid-1980s, the global political order was starting to shift. In the USSR, Gorbachev was embarking on his policy of glasnost, and the end of the Cold War was in sight. In September 1985, EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, responded to the increasingly repressive situation in South Africa and sustained pressure from civic anti-apartheid movements by instituting a twin-track policy of restrictive and positive measures. Restrictive measures included an oil and arms embargo and an end to military cooperation with South Africa, while scientific, sporting and cultural ties were discouraged. Positive measures included support for southern African countries targeted by apartheid South Africa’s destabilisation policies.
Economic boycott is one way in which the world at large can bring home to the South African authorities that they must either mend their ways or suffer from them. In Ireland, Mary Manning, a young teller, sparked a two-year picket by Dunnes Stores workers against the sale of South African produce. From L to R: Mary Manning, Michelle Gavin, Sandra Griffin and Alma Russell, July 1984 Derek Speirs This iconic Sam Nzima image of the dead body of Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhuba alongside Hector’s sister, Antoinette Sithole, on the first day of the Soweto student protests, 16 June 1976, shocked the world and refocused attention on the horrors of apartheid " " © Sam Nzima / African Media Online / SAHA

Slide MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ACTIONS
AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA

1962
UN Resolution 1761:
Condemning apartheid and calling for a voluntary boycott
1963
UN calls for a voluntary arms embargo
OAU calls for economic sanctions
1964
UN Resolution 190:
Question relating to the policies of apartheid of the
Republic of South Africa
1973
OPEC countries institute an oil embargo
1977
EU imposes Code of Conduct for firms doing business in
South Africa.
UN imposes mandatory arms embargo
1982
The Hague Conference:
members of the European Parliament call for sanctions
1985
EU imposes limited trade and financial sanctions
1986
USA Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act bans new investments
EU economic sanctions extended
1987
UN introduces voluntary oil embargo
"I would often ask Cyril
Ramaphosa, secretary-general
of the miners’ union,
‘What do your people think?
Is it all right to have sanctions
against coal and iron?
Because almost all member
states said no, beware,
that will harm the people,
they will lose their work.’
But the answer was always
clear: ‘Our people want peace
and freedom, no matter
what happens now.’ So, this
convinced me that I had to
continue in favour of sanctions
in the Parliament."
Barbara Simons, EU parliamentarian

restrictive measures Peter Sluiter, first secretary-general, AWEPAA Towards the end of the 1980s, sanctions and boycotts had rendered the apartheid regime isolated, a pariah of the world. The liberation movements, on the other hand, became recognised as forces for change, with the international community providing essential political, material and moral support for their efforts. RESTRICTIVE MEASURES:
SANCTIONS, BOYCOTTS AND BANS
As international opposition to apartheid intensified, the European Commission came under increasing pressure to officially and explicitly condemn apartheid. In 1977, a voluntary Code of Conduct was drawn up for European businesses operating in South Africa, and in April 1985, partial trade sanctions were imposed. These sanctions were extended in 1986 to a ban on new investments, and imports of South African iron and steel products and gold coins. Sanctions were not primarily conceived as punishment or for satisfying one’s moral indignation, but as a potentially effective policy instrument against a regime whose internal or external policies were considered objectionable by the international community and a violation of international human rights laws and standards. Posters used by the Danish and Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movements to call for an end to economic links with South Africa, which included special campaigns against Outspan fruit and Shell. " " The Workers Museum, Denmark and Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archives

Positive Measures read more Chief Albert Luthuli, ANC president 1952-67 "The idea came up of a programme to support victims of apartheid. Now, if the Commission had proposed to create a budget line in support of victims of apartheid, it is almost sure that the Council of Ministers would have said you are proposing political things, that’s not your business. So, Wim Blonk and others went to the European Parliament, and Social Democrat Parliamentarian Barbara Simons proposed a new budget line and it was approved by the majority of the Parliament. The Council did not dare to reject a political initiative of the Parliament.” POSITIVE MEASURES:
THE SPECIAL PROGRAMME
FOR THE VICTIMS OF APARTHEID
In 1985, the European Parliament proposed and approved the implementation of a special programme to assist victims of apartheid. The European Commission made contact with South African church leaders to explore the idea, and after extensive consultations, the Special Programme for the Victims of Apartheid was launched. Dieter Frisch, Brussels, 1982 EC - Audio Visual Service
read more close Achmat Dangor, Founding Executive Director, Kagiso Trust "The impact was what I would call bottom up. The support to communities empowered them to become far more responsive and oppose the apartheid government. That was what the government really feared and disliked about NGOs like the Kagiso Trust and others.” POSITIVE MEASURES:
THE SPECIAL PROGRAMME
FOR THE VICTIMS OF APARTHEID
The Special Programme was run by the European Commission and funds were channeled through the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), trade unions, and the Kagiso Trust.

Kagiso Trust, the churches, and European NGOs with South African experience identified projects and submitted them to the European Commission for approval. In the case of trade union projects, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) would do the same. The NGOs in Europe formed an NGO liaison committee to get money from the EU to distribute to various projects in South Africa.

During the first phase of the Special Programme, three broad areas of assistance were targeted: education and training (receiving around 50% of the funding), humanitarian and social projects (40%), and legal aid (10%).
Dieter Frisch, Brussels, 1982 EC - Audio Visual Service

kagiso KAGISO TRUST

The Kagiso Trust was established to channel EU funding that would uplift and empower disadvantaged communities.The founding trustees of Kagiso Trust were all deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid: Rev. Beyers Naudé, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Eric Molobi, Rev. Frank Chikane, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Yunus Mohamed, Dr. Abe Nkomo, Dr. Max Coleman, Prof. Jakes Gerwel and Rev. Allan Boesak.

“ The EU had visited South Africa several times to look for a credible structure to channel funding through. They didn’t only want to rely on churches, and they didn’t consider the ANC a feasible structure. So, thank goodness, we had a UDF voice, and the UDF voice had underneath it a structure that could spend development money and that was the Kagiso Trust.” Horst Kleinschmidt, Executive Director, Kagiso Trust, 1996-98
The relationship between the European Commission and Kagiso Trust was not always easy. But such was the commitment that differences and disagreements were addressed, discussed and resolved.

At the end of 1993, when the EU opened its Delegation office in Pretoria, the focus of support rapidly shifted away from the Special Programme to development. Inevitably, the relationship between the EU and Kagiso Trust also had to change.

This changing relationship eventually gave impetus to the establishment of Kagiso Trust Investments (KTI), established by Eric Molobi as an investment company to generate sustainable, long-term financial support for the Trust.

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LOBBYING AND MOBILISATION:
A COORDINATED APPROACH

In the 1980s, West European anti-apartheid movements agreed that they should coordinate their activities at the level of the European institutions: the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of Ministers. In 1984 the Association of West European Parliamentarians for Action against Apartheid (AWEPAA) was founded to mobilise European parliamentarians to end apartheid. AWEPAA grew quickly from a small group of members in 16 national parliaments and the European Parliament, to some 1 000 members by the early 1990s. Parliamentarians lobbied for effective sanction policies and monitored the implementation of sanctions laws.

“It was politically very broad. Broad in a regional sense, and broad in a political sense. There were social democrats and communists but also Christian democrats, liberals with a small l, with a big L, Greens in Germany and in the end, it ranged from Iceland to Malta. The aim was to organise people from all relevant democratic countries in Europe and different political strands to see where they could cooperate and what they could do in common.” Peter Sluiter, first secretary-general, AWEPAA
In 1988, solidarity organisations in Western Europe formed the Liaison Group of National Anti-Apartheid Movements in the European Community in order to lobby the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. The Liaison Group aimed to push through sanctions policies by bringing public pressure to bear on their governments as well as on the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. It also offered support to South African liberation organisations.
support2 SUPPORT IN NUMBERS

The first phase of the Special Programme ran between 1985 and 1991, and a total of 402 projects were sponsored to the tune of €130.7m. The Special Programme was the largest programmable development initiative ever implemented in a single country by the EU.

In 1987, a second ‘positive measure’ was instituted: a special budget to counter the effects of South African destabilisation in the SADC region.


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Apartheid and Southern Africa Conference, organised by AWEPAA in Amsterdam in September 1985. In picture are Johnny Makathini (ANC), Jan Nico Scholten (AWEPAA) and Sam Nujoma (SWAPO)

Rob Bogaerts, National Archives of the Netherlands / Anefo
Eric Molobi, Kagiso Trust founder, 1992

© Gisele Wulfsohn / South Photos / Africa Media Online
Visit of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, with Jan Nico Scholten,
Barbara Simons and Ernest Glinne, 1990
Multimedia Centre / European Parliament

Reverend Beyers Naudé, 1987

© Eric Miller / Independent Contributors / Africa Media Online
Reverend Frank Chikane speaks while Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa and Nyami Booi listen, funeral in Alexandra, 1986

© Gille de Vlieg / South Photos / Africa Media Online

Slide THE SAKHAROV PRIZE In 1988 the European Parliament established the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to honour individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought, named after Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

The first Sakharov Prize was awarded jointly in 1988 to Nelson Mandela (at that time still in prison) and Russian Anatoly Marchenko. Mandela’s prize was received by his 14-year old grandson, Mandla Mandela. On 13 June 1990, mere months after his release, Mandela addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg and thanked them for awarding him the Prize:
We take this as a challenge that we should remain true to the vision we all share of a world free of war and free of poverty and suffering. We take it as a challenge above all to have the courage to fight for justice and peace. Nelson Mandela Mandla Mandela receiving
the 1988 Sakharov Prize
on behalf of his incarcerated
grandfather, Nelson Mandela
" " Multimedia Centre / European Parliament

MAY 1945
EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE THE JOURNEY End of World War II
1948 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE THE JOURNEY National Party comes to power,
apartheid formally instituted
1950 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) is banned 1951 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Treaty of Paris, establishing European Coal
and Steel Community, is signed.
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and
the Netherlands are the founding members of the EU
1955 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Freedom Charter is signed at Kliptown 1957 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Treaty of Rome establishes European Economic Community (EEC) 1960 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Sharpeville Massacre, banning of the ANC, PAC and other organisations 1961 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Formation of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, at Liliesleaf Farm 1964 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Mandela and others sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia Trial 1973 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Denmark, Ireland and the
United Kingdom join the EU
1976 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Soweto student uprisings 1981 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Greece becomes the 10th EU Member State 1986 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Portugal and Spain join the EU 1989 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of Communist states 1990 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY ANC, SACP, PAC and other organisations unbanned,
release of Nelson Mandela
1991 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1993 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY With the Maastricht Treaty the
EEC evolves into the European Union
1994 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY First democratic elections,
ANC comes to power
1995 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Austria, Finland and Sweden
join the EU
2004 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland,
Slovakia, Slovenia join the EU
2007 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Treaty of Lisbon, forming the constitutional base of the EU,
signed by Member States
2007 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Bulgaria and Romania join the EU 2013 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY Croatia joins the EU 2020 EU TREATIES AND KEY EVENTS IN EUROPE AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY The United Kingdom leaves the EU

PEACE Archbishop Desmond Tutu says a prayer during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, 10 December 1984 © FellesRadet

CEO OF LILIESLEAF TRUST

NICHOLAS

WOLPE

Liliesleaf is committed to ensuring that the support of the international community for the liberation struggle in South Africa is never forgotten.
We are concerned that today this history has faded from our collective consciousness and holds little meaning, in particular for younger generations.
Gandhi remarked that humanity is an ocean, and that we collectively share the same sea and all that is contained within it. However, this sentiment seems to have little traction today, as our current geopolitical order is characterised not by the ideals that define and shape solidarity, but by an inward-looking, protectionist view, expressed as “I” rather than “we”.

This shift in sentiment away from “we” has in recent years seen a rise in global tensions, with nations seemingly unwilling and unable to collectively address and solve international and inter-regional conflicts.
This exhibition looks specifically at the role of the EU as an institution. Whilst we acknowledge and appreciate the contribution of Member States in ending apartheid, the focus here is not to reflect on the activities of these individual states. Rather, the exhibition focuses on the actions taken within and by the EU from 1985 to 1994 that contributed to the defeat of apartheid, the liberation of South Africa, and the emergence of a new democratic dispensation.

EU AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

RIINA

KIONKA

Every once in a while an inspired and unforgettable initiative comes along. In this case, it comes packaged as an exhibition entitled “The EU’s role in overcoming Apartheid”. Following World War II European governments concluded that pooling coal and steel production would make war between historic rivals France and Germany “not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible”. It was also thought, correctly, that merging of economic interests would help raise standards of living and be the first step towards a more united Europe. EU values have been central to its evolution and include human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. These values were also what motivated the EU’s decision in 1985 to institute its €450 million Special Programme for the Victims of Apartheid. While the narrative of this exhibition ends in 1994, it should be noted that the EU not only provided support to democratic forces in the lead-up to South Africa’s momentous transition, but then supported the process of democratic transition. Following the transition, the EU continued to be deeply committed to, and is a close partner of, democratic South Africa.

But back to this exhibition: initial discussions commenced in 2013 between Nic Wolpe (CEO, Liliesleaf Trust) and the EU Delegation. While it took some time to put all the required elements in place, I am delighted that many key players, despite being in retirement and out of public life, were able and willing to assist in capturing the active role the European Union played at the time. Designed as both a permanent and a mobile showcase of the EU’s commitment to the achievement of a democratic South Africa, this exhibition will in time travel to various locations. I take this opportunity to not only record my gratitude to the Liliesleaf team but to express my delight with a project well done: a public record of difficult times that has been compiled with accuracy, simplicity and clarity, and most importantly with understanding. Please engage with the exhibition and allow me to invite you, should you be able to further contribute to the Liliesleaf archive on the EU’s role in overcoming Apartheid, to directly contact the Liliesleaf team in this regard.

Slide The EU support gave respectability
and legitimacy to the struggle,
so Oliver Tambo could actually go
to any of these countries or even
outside the EU and say, we are
not just a bunch of irresponsible
hawkers who don’t know what
they are doing. Look, the EU
supports us, in other words, we
have credibility. Now that was
very important.
Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa,
South African Catholic Bishops Conference and Kagiso Trustee
" "

We thank the following individuals who gave so generously of their time and knowledge in developing this exhibition:

Produced by the Liliesleaf Trust and Totem Media.

In Europe:

Wim Blonk
Jean-Claude Boidin
Dieter Frisch
Seamus Jeffreson
Lindsay Jones
Mary Manning
Barbara Simons
Peter Sluiter
Erkki Tuomioja

In South Africa:

Achmat Dangor
Horst Kleinschmidt
Pinky Mashigo
Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa
Paul Zille

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