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National Library of Wales
Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WAAM

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement Papers

Short Title: Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement

Creation date(s): 1963-2012

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.357 cubic metres (31 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement; Hanef (Hanif) Bhamjee


Administrative/Biographical history: The Welsh Committee of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) was established in 1981 and adopted the name 'The Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement' (WAAM). Local groups and branches supporting the AAM had been active in Wales prior to this, based in cities such as Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, but they realised that they could achieve a greater level of support if they operated as a national movement in Wales, with a clear Welsh identity. The newly-formed Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement's aims and objectives were to inform the people of Wales and elsewhere about apartheid; to campaign for international action to help bring the system of apartheid to an end; to co-operate with and support Southern African organisations campaigning against apartheid; to promote the exchange of information and ideas between anti-apartheid groups and to co-ordinate activities; and to further the work of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Wales in general. Its chief officers included an Honorary President, Vice-President, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The National and Executive Committees were the main management committees of WAAM, with the formation of several other committees and sub-committees - such as the Trade Union Committee, and Sport and Health Sub-committees - to work on specific issues. WAAM's campaigning work covered a wide range of areas including sports, cultural and consumer boycotts, and campaigns against investment in South Africa by British and international companies and banks, against nuclear and military collaboration, loans to South Africa and oil sanctions. WAAM also supported international campaigns for the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners and detainees, organised mainly through SATIS (Southern Africa: the Imprisoned Society). In addition, the organisation was actively involved in promoting independence for countries in the wider Southern Africa region, particularly Namibia, Zimbabwe, and the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. WAAM was supported by a network of local anti-apartheid groups, individual members, student groups and affiliated organisations such as trade unions and constituency political parties. Anti-apartheid momentum in Wales increased steadily during the 1980s, due in no small part to the tireless efforts of a core group of dedicated officers including Christopher Short, Mick Antoniw and Hanef (Hanif) Bhamjee. Hanef Bhamjee (Secretary 1981-1994) is widely considered to be a key motivating figure in WAAM. He was born in South Africa and was involved with the South African Youth Congress from a young age. He came to Britain in 1965 to avoid detention when that involvement posed a threat to his safety, and was living in Wales by the early 1970s. He was one of the founding members of the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement and served as Secretary throughout its existence. Hanef Bhamjee also served as Secretary of the Wales Anti-Racist Alliance and Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Wales, the successor body to WAAM. In 2003 he was awarded the OBE for services to race relations, the charity and voluntary sector, and for founding the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement. WAAM was dissolved in 1994 following the first democratic elections in South Africa and its assets were transferred to ACTSA Wales, which continues to campaign and work for peace and democracy in Southern Africa.


Scope and content/abstract: Records, 1963-2012, of the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement (WAAM) including Executive Committee papers, 1982-1993; National Committee papers, 1981-1990; Trade Union Committee papers, 1982-1989; Officers' meeting papers, 1981-1984; Annual General Meeting papers, 1981-1994; minutes and papers of several British Anti-Apartheid Movement committees, 1981-1995; regional group committee papers, 1971-1993; joint and ad-hoc committee papers, 1968-1991; membership lists and correspondence, 1980-1992; financial records, 1983-1992; files relating to specific campaigns and boycotts, 1967-2001; correspondence, 1965-1994; printed newsletters and bulletins, 1965-1994; press cuttings and releases, 1963-2009; publicity material, 1978-1994; conference materials, 1970-1994; reports, 1963-1994; printed items (including journals, pamphlets and periodicals) and ephemera, 1966-1994; records of Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) Wales, 1994-2012; and records of the Wales Anti-Racist Alliance (Wales ARA), 1991-1995.


Language/scripts of material: Mostly English, with some material in Welsh. A small number of printed items are in other languages (see appropriate file level descriptions).

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW according to provenance into 3 sections: Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement (WAAM); Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA Wales); Wales Anti-Racist Alliance (Wales ARA).

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: The catalogue can be accessed online.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been appraised according to the Library's modern records appraisal guidelines.

Accruals: Accruals to the collection are possible.

Archival history: The Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement Papers were held by Hanef Bhamjee, WAAM Secretary, prior to their transfer to NLW.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Related material: The archive of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (based in London) is held at the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, University of Oxford.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. Original file titles, where present, have been retained. Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement (WAAM) committee minutes extend until 1995, one year after the winding up of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). The archive contains some printed material pre-dating the establishment of the Wales branch of the AAM. Publications which are relevant to items contained in the collection, such as those used as references for campaign and/or marketing material for WAAM, have been retained as part of the archive.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Lorena Troughton, assisted by Robert Evans and Leonore Gonzales. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, University of Oxford website, viewed 1 February and 30 July 2013; Glasgow Caledonian University Archives website, viewed 1 February and 31 July 2013; an article by David Dixon in the August 2003 issue of "Legal News" and material within the archive itself.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed., AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: September 2013

Anti-apartheid activists | Archives
Anti-apartheid movements | Great Britain
Anti-apartheid movements | Wales
Apartheid | Africa, Southern
Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement | Archives

Personal names
Bhamjee , Hanef , 1946-

Corporate names
African National Congress
Anti-apartheid Movement
Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement


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