In 1993 it became clear that the African National Congress (ANC) was going to call for the lifting of economic sanctions. We had always based our sanctions campaigns on the call for sanctions by the liberation movement, especially the ANC. On behalf of The Africa Fund, Dumisani Kumalo and I coordinated this statement. It was released on September 24, 1993, the day of ANC President Nelson Mandela’s address to the United Nations calling for the lifting of economic sanctions.
We also organized a series of meeting for ANC officials who had come to the New York with Mandela. Among those who addressed these meetings were Trevor Manual, then Head of the ANC Department of Economic Planning and now Minister of Finance.
Richard Knight, posted January 2003
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The Africa Fund
198 Broadway • New York, N.Y. 10038 • (212) 962-1210
Tilden J LeMelle, Chairman
Jennifer Davis, Executive Director
EMBARGOED UNTIL 1PM EST. September 24. 1993
Contact: Richard Knight
September 24, 1993
U.S. ANTI-APARTHEID LEADERS APPLAUD END OF SOUTH AFRICA SANCTIONS
CALL FOR SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT, BLACK EMPOWERMENT
Over 40 leaders of the U.S. movement to support democracy in South Africa today welcomed the call by African National Congress President Nelson Mandela for the end of remaining sanctions against apartheid. The statement, signed by a group of prominent Americans that includes Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins, United Auto Workers President Owen Bieber, NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Chavis, United Mine Workers President Richard Trumka, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Edmond L. Browning, Africa Fund Executive Director Jennifer Davis and TransAfrica Executive Director Randall Robinson, said that agreement on a multi-racial interim government to conduct South Africa's first ever democratic elections was “an important milestone on the road to democracy,” and urged returning U.S. corporations to help redress the economic and social legacy of apartheid.
“Agreement on a transitional government has shattered forever the white monopoly over political power in South Africa,” said Africa Fund Director Jennifer Davis. “It is an historic victory for the people of South Africa and for countless Americans, Black and white, who have supported their struggle for freedom. The challenge ahead is to ensure that next year's elections are genuinely free and fair, and that new investment empowers the Black majority.”
Over $300 billion in public and private funds have been barred from investment in U.S. companies operating in South Africa. In the wake of Mandela's announcement, pension fund managers and local officials are expected to move quickly to end the investment ban.
Although Federal sanctions against South Africa were lifted by President Bush in 1991, about 100 cities and 27 states have maintained their own financial measures against the apartheid system of legalized racial discrimination. Some of the largest states in the country, including California, Massachusetts, Illinois and Florida have sanctions measures, while the list of cities with sanctions ordinances include New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. African National Congress President Nelson Mandela recognized the importance of these local measures in a July 27 letter to The Africa Fund: “We hope that the cities and states that were the firm backbone of the anti-apartheid movement in the United States will commit themselves to actively supporting re-investment in the South African economy in a socially responsible manner which will help address the devastating legacy of apartheid.”
Many of the signatories to today's statement played a major role in passage of local sanctions laws, and they pledged to promote responsible business practices by returning U.S. companies. The end of sanctions, the statement reads, “will not bring an end to our concern for the people of South Africa.... As sanctions are lifted we will urge corporations to uphold the standards set by the democratic forces in South Africa for socially responsible investment that will promote equal opportunity, workers' rights, environmental protection and community development.” The sign-on statement was initiated by The Africa Fund, The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the Washington Office on Africa, the United Mine Workers of America and the United Auto Workers.
“People of conscience throughout America can take great pride in the fact that we helped to make this historic victory possible,” the statement concludes. “We launched a successful drive to use our investment funds and our purchasing power to combat the evil of apartheid. Now we must strengthen our partnership with the people of South Africa to eradicate the legacy of apartheid and build an equitable society in which all can enjoy the fruits of democracy.”
— ends —
Established by The American Committee on Africa. 1966 • Contributions are tax-deductible
STATEMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTIONS AND THE CALL FOR END OF SANCTIONS
The South African government has finally agreed to hold free and democratic elections in which Nelson Mandela and the Black majority will vote for the first time. This is an important milestone on the road to democracy for the people of South Africa.
The African National Congress and the democratic movement in South Africa have told us that they hope these elections will be free and fair. Nevertheless, they have asked us to be on guard for violations of this historic agreement and we intend to honor that request.
Today those of us who have worked long and hard to end apartheid are pleased to be able to join Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, the trade unions and the democratic movement in calling for an end to economic sanctions.
This will not bring an end to our concern for the people of South Africa. Apartheid will leave a terrible and bitter legacy of inequality, injustice and poverty. We believe that Americans can contribute to overcoming that legacy. As sanctions are lifted we will urge corporations to uphold the standards set by the democratic forces in South Africa for socially responsible investment that will promote equal opportunity, workers' rights, environmental protection and community development.
People of conscience throughout America can take great pride in the fact that we helped to make this historic victory possible. We launched a successful drive to use our investment funds and our purchasing power to combat the evil of apartheid. Now we must strengthen our partnership with the people of South Africa to eradicate the legacy of apartheid and build an equitable and peaceful society in which all can enjoy the fruits of democracy.
For more information contact: The Africa Fund Phone: 212-962-1210 Fax: 212-964-8570
SIGNERS OF STATEMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTIONS AND THE CALL FOR END OF SANCTIONS
Jerry E. Abramson, Mayor, City of Louisville, KY and President, U.S. Conference of Mayors
Owen Bieber, President, United Auto Workers Union
Julian Bond, civil rights activist
William Booth, President, American Committee on Africa
Mark Brooks, President, Professional & Technical Employees Union
Edmond L. Browning, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
Paul J. Brownridge, City Treasurer, City of Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Joan B. Campbell, General Secretary, The National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Ernie Chambers, State Senator, Nebraska Legislature
Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Executive Director, NAACP
Sophia Collier, President, Working Assets Common Holdings
Imani Countess, Executive Director, Washington Office on Africa
Mario M. Cuomo, Governor. New York State
Jennifer Davis, Executive Director, The Africa Fund.
Wilhemina Deico, Representative, Texas State Legislature and Chair, South Africa
Task Force, National Conference of State Legislatures
David N. Dinkins, Mayor, City of New York
Donald Fraser, Mayor, City of Minneapolis, MD
Wayne E. Glenn, President, United Paperworkers International Union
Avel L. Gordly, State Representative, Oregon State Legislature
John C. Harrington, Harrington Investments
Elihu Harris, Mayor, City of Oakland
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, New York, NY
Amy Isaacs, National Director, Americans for Democratic Action, Washington DC
Sharpe James, Mayor, City of Newark, NJ
Lynn H. Jondahl, State Representative, Michigan State Legislature
Susan Katz, National President, National Council of Jewish Women
Anita de Luna, MCDP, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Carol Moseley-Braun, Senator, U.S. Senate
Joseph M. Neal, Senator, Nevada State Legislature
John F. Peterson, Chairman and CEO, Chartwell Surety
John Ray, Councilman, City of Washington, DC
Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilman, City of Los Angeles, CA
Randall Robinson, Executive Director, TransAfrica
Byron Rushing, Representative, Massachusetts State Legislature
James Scheibel, Mayor, City of St. Paul, MN
David Scondras, Councilman, City of Boston, MA
Wayne D. Silby, Chairman, Calvert Social Investment Fund, Washington DC
Virgil dark Smith, Senator, Michigan State Legislature.
Joyce Sohl, D.eputy General Secretary, Women's Division, United Methodist Church
Joan Specter, Councilwoman, City of Philadelphia, PA
Richard Trumka, President, United Mine Workers of America
Donald Tucker, Councilman, City of Newark and Chairman, New Jersey Black Issues Convention
Albert Vann, Assemblyman, New York State Legislature
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Richard Zeiik, for the Steering Committee, National Catholic Coalition for Responsible Investment, Charleston, WV
Robert Zevin, United States Trust Company Boston