Campaign for Sanctions and Divestment against apartheid South Africa

This is just a beginning.  I hope to compile a more complete list of references for future researchers.  Some of the following links are also available from my bibliography page. Be sure to scroll though to the end of this page.

If you got to this web page directly from a search engine, be sure to go to my home page. There you will find a lot of other information on apartheid as well as democratic South Africa.  There is also current and historical information on other African countries.  There is also information on how to contact me. 

Additional information is available at the web site of the African Activist Archive Project. This web site is in formation and additional information will be added in the future.  The African Activist Archive Project, directed by Richard Knight, is working to preserve for history the record of activities of U.S. organizations and individuals that supported African struggles for freedom and had significant collective impact on U.S. policy during the period 1960-1994.  The movement included it included community activists, students, faculty, churches, unions, city and county councils, state governments, and others.  Much of the focus was sanctions and divestment from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. This democratization of foreign policy was unprecedented, and it is important that the lessons learned be documented for the benefit of continuing social justice activism.

A conference on International Anti-Apartheid Movements in South Africa's Freedom Struggle: Lessons for Today was held in Durban, South Africa from October 10 - 13, 2004.  I prepared a paper for the conference:
Documenting the U.S. Solidarity Movement With reflections on the sanctions and divestment campaigns
.  The conference papers are also available on the ANC website.

For information since the end of apartheid see my South Africa Today page.

Richard Knight, page updated November 19, 2006

The Aftermath
On November 11, 2002, a lawsuit was filed against twenty-two U.S. and European companies on behalf of victims of apartheid.  The lawsuit, Khulumani et al v. Barclays et al., was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.  U.S. defendant companies include ChevronTexaco, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, Fluor, Ford, General Motor, IBM and J.P. Morgan Chase.  The suit is based on common law principles of liability and on the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §1350, which grants U.S. courts jurisdiction over certain violations of international law, regardless of where they occur. The complaint contains a significant amount of information on the collaboration of the companies with apartheid.  The Khulumani Support Group, established in 1995 by survivers and families of political conflict of South Africa's apartheid past, has served as a voice for the victims and survivors.  A copy of the complaint and related material is available on the web site of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.  There is also information on the Khulumani web site.

Documenting the U.S. Solidarity Movement - With reflections on the sanctions and divestment campaigns by Richard Knight, Project Director, African Activist Archive Project.  This paper was prepared for a conference
International Anti-Apartheid Movements in South Africa's Freedom Struggle: Lessons for Today
held in Durban, South Africa, 10-13 October 2004. The paper includes information on U.S. campaigns.

Lifting Sanctions
U.S. Leaders Applaud End of South Africa Sanctions  Call for Socially Responsible Investment, Black Empowerment, September 24, 1993. The Africa Fund coordinated a Statement on the Announcement of Elections and the Call for End of Sanctions.  Over forty leaders of the U.S. movement to support democracy in South welcomed the call by African National Congress President Nelson Mandela for the lifting of sanctions.

To help prepare people to move quickly to lift sanctions, Jennifer Davis sent a letter to thousands of U.S. anti-apartheid activists and state and municipal officials.  Enclosed with her letter was a letter from Nelson Mandela to Jennifer Davis asking her to prepare for the lifting of sanctions by states and cities across the U.S.

The Campaign for Sanctions and Divestment
Reagan's Legacy  Constructive Engagement with apartheid South Africa - a letter to the editor of the New Yor Times (not published) by Richard Knight, June 11, 2004.

Statement of Ambassador Dumisani S. Kumalo on the death of Paul Irish - Ambassador Kumalo and Paul Irish worked together against colonialism and apartheid at the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund, April 2, 2004.

U.S. Economic Involvement with Apartheid South Africa, compiled by Richard Knight.  This table outlines U.S. economic involvement with South Africa from 1977 through 1993.  It includes figures for the value of U.S. direct investment, bank loans and trade (merchandise exports and imports).  It also includes the number of U.S. parent companies with South African affiliates, the number of South African affiliates of U.S. companies and the number of employees at the South African affiliates of U.S. companies.

Testimony of Richard Knight on the proposed Rules for Anti-Apartheid Classification of Banks and South African Activity of Particular Banks before the New York City Department of Finance (American Committee on Africa, December 19, 1991).

State & Municipal Governments Take Aim at Apartheid by Richard Knight (American Committee on Africa, 1991).  This article includes a comprehensive list of states, counties and cities that took economic action against apartheid.

"Sanctions, Disinvestment, and U.S. Corporations in South Africa" by Richard Knight, Sanctioning Apartheid, Ed. Robert Edgar (Africa World Press, 1990)

Testimony of Jennifer Davis, Executive Director, American Committee on Africa, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, July 8, 1987.  In the early 1980s U.S. companies paid over a quarter of a billion dollars a year in tax to the apartheid regime in South Africa.  In 1987 Congress adopted the Rangel Amendment to the Budget Reconciliation Act that eliminated the ability of U.S. companies to claim tax credits in the U.S. for taxes paid in South Africa.

Divestment Actions Must Target Franchise and Licensing Agreements As Well as Direct Investment, Public Investment and South Africa, American Committee on Africa, February 1987.  As companies withdrew from South Africa, many continued to do business in South Africa through various non-equity ties such as licensing and franchising.  In response five national organizations issued Guidelines for Divestment.  On behalf of the American Committee on Africa I helped draft and coordinate the Guidelines.

U.S. Computers in South Africa by Richard Knight (Africa Fund, 1986)

Citibank and South Africa, The Africa Fund, September 1986.  Citibank was the largest U.S. lender to apartheid South Africa.  At the time this article was written it had about $800 million in loans outstanding to South Africa, about a quarter of the $3.2 billion in outstanding U.S. bank loans to that country.  Citibank was the only U.S. bank that operated as a commercial bank inside South Africa.

U.S. Banks and South Africa, IBCASA Newsletter No. 2 (International Bank Campaign Against South Africa, Winter 1986/7)

Eastman Kodak withdraws from Apartheid South Africa.  Eastman Kodak announced its withdraw from South Africa in November 1986.  Kodak's withdrawal was important for several reasons.  First, unlike many companies that continued doing business in South Africa through licensing and franchising agreements, Kodak announced it was ending all sales to the country.  Second, it was clear that its withdrawal was directly related to the threat of loss of business from U.S. state and city governments.  This case also touched on the arms embargo.

U.S. Banks Cut Loans Sharply to South Africa by Nicholas D. Kristoff, New York Times, August 3, 1985.

U.S. Banking on South Africa Apartheid by Richard Knight, Liberation News Service, #831, November 20, 1976.

Suggested books
To order from Amazon, click on the title link.  These links open another browser window.  For a more extensive list of books, many of which can be ordered online,  see Books on Africa and the International Solidarity Movement.

Santioning Apartheid edited by Robert E. Edgar (Africa World Press, 1990).  Includes an introduction and 18 articles, including one by Richard Knight (see above).

Economic Sanctions: Panacea or or Peacebuilding in a Post-Cold War World? by David Cortright (Editor), George A.  Lopez (Editor), Ronald V. Dellums (Introduction).  (Westview Press, 1995)  This book has a useful chapter by Jennifer Davis on South Africa.  It reviews the use of sactions around the world.

No One Can Stop the Rain: Glimpses of Africa's Liberation Struggle by George M. Houser (The Pilgrim Press, 1989)  Foreword by Julius Nyerere.  George helped found the American Committee on Africa and was its executive director from 1955 to 1981.

There were three editions of the Unified List.  They contain a lot of information about U.S. corporate involvement in apartheid South Africa.  The are available in some libraries.

Unified List of United States Companies Doing Business in South Africa [Third Edition] by Richard Knight, 90pp., (Africa Fund 1990) 

Unified List of United States Companies with Investments or Loans in South Africa and Namibia [Second Edition]  by Richard Knight and Roger Walke, 85pp.,  (New York: Africa Fund 1988)

Unified List of United States Companies with Investments or Loans in South Africa and Namibia by Richard Knight and Roger Walke, 99pp.,  (New York: Africa Fund 1985)

Archives of the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund
The archives of the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund are located at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hopefully sometime all the publications if these two organizations will be microfilmed.  I have some of these publications in my personal collection. 

"... the tragedy of South Africa is not simply in its own policy; it is the fact that the racist government of South Africa is virtually made possible by the economic policies of the United States and Great Britain..."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967

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