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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Sanctions Seminar, November 1974 Amsterdam

Sanctions against Rhodesia:  Diplomatic Farce, or Economic and Legal Means to raise moral and material support for the Southern African Liberation Movements

    Papers delivered at the seminar on Sanctions on Rhodesia held in Amsterdam 29th and 30th November 1974 at the Municipal University o f Amsterdam. The report contains all the papers presented for discussion by the liberation movements of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), Anti Apartheid and other experts, with summaries, discussion of papers presented and conclusions  for a way forward during a final plenary session.  

Table of Contents

1.      Opening Welcome and Introductory Remarks by the Seminar Chairperson,       
Berend Schuitema, General Secretary of the Dutch AAM                                                          2
2.      The Significance of the Sanctions Campaign for the Liberation Movement       
By Philemon Makonese, ZAPU                                                                                                4
3.      Armed Struggle of the People of Zimbabwe                                                       
By TJP Jokonya, (ZANU)                                                                                                        9
4.      Recent Developments in Mozambique and South Africa and their implications for the struggle of the Zimbabwe People,
By John Sprack and Mike Terry, British AAM.                                                                        14
5.      The United Nations and Sanctions Policy on Rhodesia,
By Abdul Minty, Honorary Secretary of the British AAM.                                                        21
6.      The Significance and Legal Implications of the Sanctions Campaign for Progressive Movements in Western Countries,
By Annemieke Gerritsma, Sanctions Task Team Dutch Anti apartheid Movement.                                                                                                          25
7.      ICFTU Involvement with Sanctions and Trade Union Rights in Rhodesia
By Mr. Andrew M. Kailembo                                                                                35
8.      Final Plenary Session                                                                                             38
9.      Press Release - Joint Statement by ZANU and ZAPU                                            42
10.  Closing speech by Mr. Relus ter Beek (MP) Dutch Labour Party.                            43

A.      United Nations Security Council Resolution 217 (1965)
B.     United Nations Security Council Resolution 253 (1968)
C.     United Nations Security Council Resolution 333 (1973)

Organized jointly by the Dutch AAM and the Transnational Institute

1.      Opening, Welcome and Introductory Remarks

     A good cold morning to all of you!

     Welcome and thank you for having made yourselves available for these two days to participate in this seminal event on Sanctions against Rhodesia. A special welcome to our honorary Chairperson, Mr. Relus Ter Beek, MP in the Dutch Parliament who has been a pillar of support in our campaigns work on Rhodesia in particular, and Southern Africa solidarity movements in general.

     And a special and warm comradely welcome is extended to the representatives of the Zimbabwe Liberation Movements. They will be present for both days and we thank them for the honour of hosting them. Comrade T.J.P Jokonya of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) is the Chairman of ZANU and main representative in the UK and Europe. Philemon T Makonese of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) is a Member of ZAPU’s Revolutionary Council and Representative in Zambia.

     For brevity sake I will not do the roll call on the attendance register as you are 200 plus who have registered for this seminal event. Thank you to each and every one of you present.  All in your own ways have made significant contributions in solidarity with the peoples of Southern Africa. Please feel free to share your experiences during this seminar. There will be ample opportunity to do this as after each speech sessions will be open for questions, comments and debate for as long as it takes to hear all who need or wish to contribute.

     I wish to be short and to the point in these introductory remarks. The contribution from the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement will be done by Advocate Annemieke Gerritsma. Her paper is comprehensive and well thought out and however I may feel tempted to blow the horn on our achievements in the Netherlands I will resist this urge and leave matters over to Annemieke and others of the Dutch movement in the audience. Annemieke is part of our Sanctions Task Team and jointly her colleague, Advocate Herman v.d Schaar; they not only did sterling research work, but also gave super guidance to Task Team members who were sometimes involved with unorthodox means of detection work.  

     A special word of thanks goes to the staffs of the Transnational Institute and Dutch Anti Apartheid movement who have been working tirelessly for months in preparing this seminar.

     Finally, we have received a list of letters of support. In the interests of saving time I will not read them out. They are available to all who wish to read them. Copies are with the organisers and free for any one to copy or peruse.

     Letters of support
P    Prime Minister Den Uyl of the Netherlands
-          President Nyerere of the United Republic of Tanzania
-          Mrs. Hart, Labour MP Ministry of Overseas Development, Great Britain.
-          Mr. Edwin Ogbu, Chairman of the Special Committee on Apartheid, United Nations.
-          L.H. Horace Perera, Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Geneva.
-          A.N. Chimuka, Head of the Political Department of the Organization of African Unity, Addis Ababa.
-          Mr. Tang Ming-Chao, Under Secretary General, Department of Political Affairs Trusteeship and Decolonisation, New York.
-          The International Labour Organization, Geneva.
-          Mr. E.S. Reddy, Chief Section for African Questions, United Nations, New York.
-          Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Peoples and Countries, United Nations, New York.
-          J.L. Jones, General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, Great Britain
-          R.W. Right, Executive Councillor of the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, Great Britain.
-          Mr. L. Murray, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Great Britain.
-          Mr. R. Meis, General Secretary of the Confederation Generale du Travail du Luxembourg.
-          Swedish Social Democratic Parry.
-          Communist Party of Great Britain.
-          World Union of Students, Praag.
-          Mr. Knud Kristensen, Vice President of the Landorganisationen, Danmark
-          Institutt for Fredsforskning / International Peace Research, Oslo.
-          Mr. B Sjollema, Program to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches
-          Committee for the Freedom of Mozambique, Angola and Guine, London
-          Anti Apartheid Movement Ireland.               

     I want to say a few words on process to encourage you for your full participation. The papers presented are rather academic and most of our speakers are not stand up comedians. So do not feel shy to ask if you need any clarification at any time. If you wish you can ask for hard copies of the papers. Please make your contributions at any time you feel appropriate. Ample time to do that will be available between speakers.  I will also keep watch on time to ensure that there is maximum opportunity for the final plenary session where everything spoken about during these two days must come together in a comprehensive programme of action.       

     Without further ado, I call on our first speaker, Comrade Philemon Makonese of ZAPU.

Berend Schuitema / Conference Chairperson
General Secretary
Dutch Anti apartheid Movements

2.      The Significance of the Sanctions Campaigns for the
          Zimbabwe Liberation Movement

     Mr Chairman, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen,

          We as ZAPU extend out thanks to the Dutch Anti Apartheid movement in partnership with the Transnational Institute for their tireless efforts in organizing this Seminar, for inviting us to participate in its proceedings and to present a paper on the “Significance of the Sanctions Campaign for the Zimbabwe Liberation Movement”.

     We further express our appreciation to the people and government of this country who have made the holding of this Seminar possible.

     Our paper is a rundown on Sanctions against Southern Rhodesia as mandated by the Security Council of the United Nations, as a result of the so-called ‘unilateral declaration of independence’ by Ian Douglas Smith on the 11th of November 1965. The then British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson gave the assurance to the Rhodesian regime that no military intervention would be taken by the British government, in the event of Ian Smith declaring the so-called ‘UDI’.

      Soon after the declaration was made, Britain started running around, appearing to be serious and appealing to the international community to impose “voluntary” economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. The false prediction Britain gave was that the Rhodesian regime would fall in “a matter of weeks”. At that time already, we pointed out that Britain was bent on deceiving and misdirecting the world. Of course, Britain was doing all that in order to give time to her Rhodesian agents to consolidate.

     The 1965 economic sanctions appeal was not binding on any one nation since they were voluntary. Only those nations that remain reliable allies of the national liberation movement of Zimbabwe complied with the call and imposed sanctions against Southern Rhodesia.

     After a year of voluntary sanctions, the Rhodesian regime showed no sign that it had been seriously affected. Again, Britain tossed its busy body to impress the world and sought U.N. support to strengthen sanctions and bring down the so-called ‘rebel regime’. Thus, at her initiative and request, a United Nations Security Council resolution imposing selective economic sanctions on Southern Rhodesia was adopted in December 1966. This had been preceded by a summit meeting between the British Prime Minister Wilson and Ian Smith on board a British warship the “Tiger” in the Mediterranean Sea, off the British colony of Gibraltar. Wilson and Smith produced the “Tiger Proposals”. As a point of emphasis here, a year had passed rather than weeks and there was no sign that the Rhodesian economy was grinding to a halt.

     We are now in the 9th year of Rhodesia’s so-called ‘UDI’ with UN-backed sanctions on Rhodesia adopted by the UN Council in May 1963. Are there signs that the economy of Southern Rhodesia is torn or dwindling as a result of the application of sanctions?

     Assessing the strength of the Rhodesian currency in his budget speech, the regime’s Minister of Finance, John Wrathal, repudiated calls from Rhodesian industrialists to devalue the Rhodesian $ because of their claims that they had been “hard hit by two US devaluations and subsequent depreciation of the Rhodesian currency”.  He pointed out, “there is no evidence that Rhodesian exports are over priced and, if anything – on the basis of relative rated inflation – there is a case for Rhodesian revaluation rather then devaluation”. He went on to emphasise, “in fact, of course, the Rhodesian currency unit has retained an unchanged gold parity now for nearly a quarter of a century since Rhodesia devalued with the Sterling in 1949”.

     This was in his budget statement for the 1973/74 fiscal year when Rhodesia was benefitting from the world commodity boom. Its important commodities for export remain gold, copper, chrome, nickel, lithium, cotton, sugar, tobacco and beef, amongst a number of other commodities.

     The question arises: since sanctions against Rhodesia are UN-based and are now comprehensive, how does it happen that Rhodesia still succeeds to export its wares, to which countries, by which manner and means?

     As we move to show some of the ways used to defeat sanctions against Rhodesia, we would like to make certain positions clear. For good or for bad reasons, the aim of enforcing sanctions is to bring about elimination of an unwanted development. Sanctions can be a variation, or a combination of political, legal, diplomatic, economic and military components. In the case of Rhodesia, sanctions are mainly economic and politico-diplomatic as instituted by the United Nations.

     In addition to this, the political behaviour of every country is governed by its socio-economic foundations. Capitalist countries do not abandon business from areas where they have been making super-profits because that is the inherent character of the capitalist system. Capitalists will seek all possible ways to retain control of business rather than being replaced by others.

     From the very beginning when Britain enticed the world by toying with the economic sanctions idea, the Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union stated in no uncertain terms that alone, un-backed by military action, and without including South Africa and Portugal, the proposed sanctions would not bring the Rhodesian regime to its knees. We still stand by our word; sanctions can only be of substantial significance if they used as supplementary and not as the main weapon as has been the case on the Rhodesian issue.

     Our political deductions of the British approach to the application of sanctions against Southern Rhodesia remain valid; Britain chooses to consolidate the position of her own kith and kin in order to cling to power and exploit the African people. She made sure that she led the bandwagon of sanctions on Rhodesia in three stages – voluntary, selective and comprehensive saw to it that the military aspect was completely excluded from all quarters.

     Why are sanctions raised as most important? Every move by Britain on sanctions against Rhodesia was preceded by advance preparations in Rhodesia against those sanctions. As such, the Rhodesians did not lose time. They opened sanctions-busting officers in Europe, America, Asia (Japan) and, of course, Africa whose task was to provide new avenues for carrying out trade with the outside world since the known routes would be affected by the UN move to isolate Rhodesia.

     Offices were opened up in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban Lorenzo Marques, Beira, London, Bonn, Munich, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Basel (Switzerland), New York, Washington, Sydney, Tokyo, and possibly in many other centres.

     A good number of them, especially in Europe and America, appear under innocent-looking names. In Paris, the offices bear the name of “The Rhodesian Information Office” whose address is 110 Rue Le Boetie 8e. In Basel it is the “Rhodesian Tourist Office” and the address is P.O. Box 561, Basel, 4001. The Washington Office is known as the “Rhodesian Information Office” and the New York one appears as the “Rhodesian National Tourist Board”. In Australia the front office is known as the Rhodesian Information Centre” under the management of local citizens in Sydney. The address of the agency in Brussels is No 50, Avenue Winston Churchill. Perhaps the most notorious one in London is known and appears under the name of the “Anglo-Rhodesian Society”.  Founded by the late Lord Salisbury, an arch British Imperialist who left vast interests in Rhodesia and said to be managed by local Britons, the Society engages in blatant political and economic undertakings in support of the so-called ‘rebel regime’ while the British government, initiator of the sanctions move, is looking on.

     In this country too, in the Netherlands, there are two especially notorious agencies working for Rhodesia. The “Netherlands Rhodesia Society” has gone to the extent of collecting money for the Rhodesian Army’s Welfare Fund. The other one, the “Rhodesian Promotion Council” engages in a variety of activities which are now being expanded to both the United States of America and France.

     Switzerland, with its prodigiously nauseating neutrality, identifies herself with the most obnoxious fascist regimes of the 20th Century. She stands on side of the oppressive regimes of Southern Africa thereby strengthening the financial and military machine that denies and frustrates the African peoples of the region from regaining their freedom. All other countries mentioned above are members of the United Nations and are part and parcel of its decisions on sanctions against Rhodesia.

     Some of the Rhodesian personalities involved in the early stages of opening these offices and agencies for creating clandestine trade avenues are the following: Maltas, a Rhodesian of Greek origin and respected trouble shooter in Rhodesia. He was involved in the opening of trade routes from what we earlier referred to as the first stage when the British called for voluntary sanctions against Rhodesia. His main area of operation included Italy and Greece. He also touched, but frequently, London, Basel, and Munich. His travelling document is a South African passport. Then there is Oxley, another Rhodesian known to be efficient as he is shrewd who never loses in a business deal. He now manages the Rhodesian Agency in Brussels. Mervyn Eyett, a Rhodesian businessman based in Salisbury where he is deputy manager of Air Rhodesia. A frequent traveller to a number of European capitals, he is said to be Smith’s personal friend and acts as the latter’s able negotiator on sanctions-busting goals. His name features together with that of Hirschman (a Swiss millionaire banker with large interests in Africa, Europe and America) over the case of the three Boeings 720 that are now Air Rhodesia’s flag carriers on its continually shrinking international routes now that the one time Portuguese colonies are soon to be independent. There are many more such persons fielded by the Rhodesian regime for this kind of work.

     By the time the United Nations Security Council passed its resolution on selective sanctions against Southern Rhodesia in December 1966, Rhodesia had gone a long way in building the new trade routes. No scratch would be deep enough to cause a serious economic haemorrhage.

     Indeed, for a short time, a disturbing economic slump was felt in the car assembly industry. By mid 1967 the two car assembly plants in the country, Ford Motors in Salisbury and British Motor Corporation in Umtali had virtually come to a stand still. But Rhodesian car markets did not appear to run out of business. Though selling a bit more expensive new cars were just as plentiful as before. Besides, the traditional American and British cars were replaced by French, Japanese, West German and Japanese cars, namely: Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault, Isuzu, Toyota, Diahatsu, Romeo, etcetera. These vehicles came by way of Mozambique and South Africa where at least three pseudo companies importing cars had been established and operated from Lorenzo Marques, Beira and Johannesburg.

     By the end of 1967, the two car assembly plants mentioned above had started working at full swing and they remain so today. The majority of their outputs are Japanese, French, West German and Italian cars. Body kits and spare parts are supplied mainly from South Africa.

     Without oil, life is almost impossible in our time. Since oil was included in the list of commodities for sanctions against Southern Rhodesia by the UN Security Council resolution of December 1966, one might have justifiably concluded that the regime’s doom was nigh. This was not possible because the middlemen were themselves sanctions busters.

     The main suppliers of oil to Rhodesia remain Shell and BP, Dutch and British oil concerns respectively. It is as public a secret that British oil magnates are significant shareholders in Shell as the Dutch oil magnates are in BP.

     With the United Nations Security Council resolution in operation, oil could not reach Rhodesia through the old and known Beira-Umtali route. This caused stoppage of work at the Feruka Oil Refinery at Umtali. But by then, the Rhodesian regime had established an oil agency by the name of GENTA. The agency had already built a new Oil Refinery in the Midlands city of Gwelo. Processed oil products are distributed throughout the country by Shell, BP and Total. GENTA receives its raw oil from the Shell-BP owned Oil Refinery in Durban. It comes by road and by rail.

      Before removal of the fascist regime in Portugal, the Mozambique ports of Beira and Lorenzo Marques never really stopped passage of oil to Rhodesia. What was definitely stopped was pumping of oil into Rhodesia through the Beira-Umtali oil pipeline. Last year alone, 400.000 tons of oil was transported by rail from Lorenzo Marques into Rhodesia. Behind the manipulation of this business are British, US, Dutch, Portuguese and Italian oil companies acting through intermediaries. Last year, Lorenzo Marques handled cargoes that were transported into Rhodesia by rail which reached 2.122.083 tons while Beira handled 718.208 tons.

     Now that independence for Mozambique is in sight – 25th June 1975 – it surprises nobody that in the very short space of time track-laying has been completed on a new line linking Rhodesia with the South African Railway system at Beit Bridge. Yet another one from Gwande to South Africa’s Pietersburg is under consideration.

     One would imagine that since the imposition of sanctions, foreign investments into Rhodesia would be forthcoming or would be minimal. That would not present the true picture of the economic scene. The British, US, Canadians and Japanese mining companies have injected a lot of funds in the Rhodesian mining industry.

     The Anglo-American group has also increased its activity in prospecting for minerals in new areas. The expenditure of the group in prospecting has been steadily rising. Whereas in the year that preceded sanctions – 1964 – the group spent far below 100.000 British Pounds, in 1967 the expenditure on prospecting reached 500.000 British Pounds. And side by side with the opening up of new mines, old mines are being expanded.    

    Inyathi Copper and EII Mine are new mines owned by the Coronation Syndicate of the Lonrho Group. The Messina Group is also operating new mines, the Gwaai, Shakelton, Norah and Silverside.           

     Extraction of Nickel remains the province of Rio Tinto operating the Empress at Gatooma (the mine is undergoing expansion) and the British Nickel Corporation, a subsidiary of the Anglo-American which is pitching a big show at Trojan and Madziwa mines.  Blanket mine in the Gwanda area at which gold is extracted is one of Falconbridge’s operations in Rhodesia. Falconbridge is Canadian.  In 1972 Falconbridge entered into a joint venture with the Rhodesian regime’s parastatal mining development company, the Mining Promotion Corporation at Umvana and took option on the Athens mines. A Japanese group is involved at the Mangula copper mines.

     There is unprecedented intensification and expansion of mining activity. As a result, mineral production has reached record levels at the time when the Rhodesian economy is supposed to be throttled. In value, the 1972 mineral output reached R$ 105 which represented 64% above its pre-sanctions record. As a matter of fact, the Rhodesian mining industry suffered a slowdown in the years between 1958 and 1964 but increased mineral output since the imposition of sanctions. Turner and Newal is a British company with Head Quarters in Manchester. It has a subsidiary in Rhodesia – Turner and Newal Rhodesia – involved in the extraction of asbestos, not from Rhodesia though. It is from a fake company in Johannesburg bearing the name of Southern Asbestos. South Africa does not produce this type of Asbestos.

     There is not a sector in economic activity that suffered a real pinch uncommon to regimes and countries of the same social system. In real terms, the Rhodesian regime has managed to retain an average economic growth rate of 6, 5 % a year since the introduction of sanctions. Separately, some sectors have even higher growth rates. Agricultural production has risen by 60% and manufacturing by 67%. What makes this possible is that while Rhodesia is doing all it can, it also has friends that help and facilitate in the breaking of sanctions, especially in the field of international trade.

    The more than 300 million lbs of the Rhodesian Tobacco stockpile has now been disposed of. A French textile company was involved. Though West Germany stopped buying tobacco from Rhodesia, the commodity all of a sudden started appearing on the West German’s trade list with South Africa and represents 33% of its imports from South Africa.

     Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Marabeni are known big Japanese companies. Since UN-backed sanctions were introduced, they stopped importing chrome from Rhodesia. As a direct trade with Rhodesia fell, it rose with South Africa in the same commodity, at the same time and proportion.

     Exposure of a variety of networks working day and night to beat the sanctions warfare against Southern Rhodesia has been carried out far and wide. The Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement did wonderful work when it uncovered the Zephyr operations. Head Quartered in Amsterdam, its operational tentacles stretched as far afield as London, Lisbon, Bonn, Munich, Mozambique and almost every corner of the world, and finally Rhodesia. Another network of a similar nature is being run by Kolver, a South African operating from an office in Johannesburg’s Northcliff suburb. There are many more such organizations yet undiscovered.

     What the British sought by a sanctions programme was to set the world in pursuit of a mirage. The problem is British Colonialism. Sanctions are of a supplementary value if properly applied in support of the armed struggle. The Zimbabwe African Peoples Union took to the armed struggle in the Zimbabwe revolution as far back as the early 1960s to solve the colonial problem.  Today we stand by the pledge of the people never to lay down our arms. At the same time and at every turn of the struggle, we shall not fail to make it clear that sanctions can render some help but should not be taken as the main weapon.

     There is, of course, a current flurry of rumours and speculations about a possible constitutional solution of the Rhodesian problem. These speculations are inspired by the British government to lend credibility to its manoeuvres of diplomatic drafting of the Ian Smith and Vorster Regimes for direct dealings with independent African states and possibly with liberation movements.

     I must make it quite clear that in our view this is not the stage of talking about constitutional conferences. We are fighting for our liberation and we cannot sacrifice lives to achieve constitutional conferences. Unqualified majority rule and the independence for Zimbabwe cannot be subjects for negotiation. They must be conceded by both the settler regime and the British government as a prerequisite to the adjustment of government for conditions of freedom.

      The racist leader, Ian Smith, still speaks of the racist excuse to oppress us, the so-called “civilized standards” argument; our National Leader, Joshua Nkomo and hundreds of freedom fighters are in death cells, prisons and detention cells; South African troops are in Rhodesia. What talks can be held in an atmosphere of a police-state and war? 

     The current manoeuvres and speculations therefore have neither basis nor a prospect. Ours is to intensify our armed liberation struggle to liberate ourselves. Towards this, we appeal to all international supporters to focus their maximum moral, material and financial support!  

Philemon Makonese, Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union (ZAPU)
Representative in Zambia and Member of the ZAPU Revolutionary Council

3.      UN Sanctions and their Significance to Chimurenga – Revolutionary Armed Struggle                  

Mr. Chairman,

     I want to thank the organizers of this seminar, the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement in partnership with the Transnational Institute, on behalf of the Zimbabwe African National union (ZANU) and the ZANU cadres of the liberation army ZANLA, for asking us to come and share this platform with you. In the history of each struggle by people for self-determination there are important phases where every aspect of their struggle has to undergo thorough going revolutionary criticism and re-examination. In the Zimbabwe struggle we are going to a stage where we are feeling the full brunt of the siege by the capitalist and the imperialist world through their lackeys the fascists and racists in Salisbury. It is only proper that during this crucial period of our struggle we scrutinize every aspect of our problems.

     You have asked us to outline what we consider to be the implications of economic sanctions on the settlers’ ability to hold on to the last vestiges of a colonial heritage against the intensification of Chimurenga by the ZANLA (Zimbabwe African National Union Liberation Army) forces. We welcome this opportunity and hope that at the end of this seminar we shall have made significant contributions to the raising of your consciousness to our revolutionary armed struggle being waged in Zimbabwe.

     The Zimbabwe African National Union conceives our struggle as a global or international struggle against capitalism and imperialism and its concomitants, racism and fascism. The history of economic sanctions in our country really goes back to the 1890s, when a band of imperialist exploiters backed by such monopolistic companies as the British South Africa Company, established themselves north of the Limpopo River by trickery and force of arms. Since that time successive British governments have endeavoured to concoct sell-out solutions which would have legitimized the usurpation of Zimbabwe by their kith and kin. From 1923 right up to 1972 the British government has conspired with the settler minority regime to work out some opportunistic solutions with the help of the African bourgeois nationalist. The latest attempt was the so-called1972-Pearce proposals which were worked out between the fascist leader Ian Smith and none other than Alex Douglas-Home who in 1938 learnt the art of trading with fascists when he signed the so-called “peace with honour” deal with Adolf Hitler at Munich. Unfortunately for the British imperialists and their backers the people of Zimbabwe had long since known that there were no real interests in the imperialist world safe for their future except when these were associated with the white settlers and the exploitation of the African’s labour, land and resources.               

     The Declaration of Independence (UDI) by the imperialist lackeys therefore came as no surprise to us. It was a logical conclusion of attempts by successive British governments to secure a permanent foothold of economic exploitation through the intermediation of their fascist lackeys. The so-called “rebellion” against the Crown was a carefully conceived imperialist plot which was meant to provide the settlers with a chance of getting international recognition through the back door.

     The theatrical performance by Harold Wilson’s administration in seeking the imposition of economic sanctions and his denunciation of the illegal regime was hypocritical and spurious. It is a well known fact that from the very beginning the so-called economic sanctions were no more than a gesture in lieu of the action necessary to put down the rebellion. This explains why it took more than two years for Britain to introduce “comprehensive mandatory sanctions” by which time the settler regime had worked out a network of sanctions busting mechanisms with the help of the capitalist world. This charade on the part of the British government and their kith and kin was clearly demonstrated when they got together soon after the antics at the UN to try and iron out a settlement at the now infamous “Tiger Talks”

     The background to the imposition of sanctions brings us to an important issue of debate. The question before us is armed struggle. We have suggested so far that sanctions were part of an imperialist plot aimed at giving the lackeys in Salisbury time to consolidate their position. It is important at this juncture to make a brief survey of how the international community responded to this plot. It is not our intention to catalogue here every aspect of the capitalist western world’s response to UDI, and UN sanctions. We shall outline a few classical examples of these areas where the imperialist capitalist world came to the aid of their lackeys thus making null and void UN sanctions against the Smith regime.

     The response of the international community, particularly the western world was revealing. While Britain paraded as her acquired weapon the Smith regime, British mass media and institutions were busy aiding the regime in its sanctions busting operations. British travel agents continue to advertise and recruit personnel for the “illegal regime”. Particularly active in this field were the Times and the Daily Telegraph. To such bodies as Econ Air International, London ECI, the regime receives effective support in its drive for manpower. Outside Britain the regime’s morale was boosted by acquiring of DC 8 jet airplanes from Europe as well as the services of trained European pilots amidst a charade of publicity. In 1971 the regime acquired 7 planes for its air force: the Aemachi built by an Italian company. Recently the American, British, French and Jordanian imperialists combined in a deal that provided 41 Centurion tanks to Smith. All governments denied any knowledge of this but the deal went through without a hitch.

     The early in 1972 Byrd Amendment which legalized the import of Rhodesian chrome and nickel to the arch imperialist state of the USA opened the floodgate for more violations. “Zephyr”, in conjunction with 16 other countries joined in February of 1974 to set up an international trading network for goods required by the Smith regime. Austria and West Germany were recently exposed by Kenneth McIntosh as great sanctions busters.

     Dr. Rolf Egli, a Zurich lawyer was recently tried for raising 12 million British Pounds as a foreign loan for the expansion of Rhodesia’s iron and steel industry. A Swiss firm sold three Boeing planes to Rhodesia in February 1974. The battle to save the minority regime by the Western powers has gathered such a momentum that Ian Smith has recently boasted that trade with some countries, the USA in particular, is three times the size of what it was in 1965. Comrades, all these details clearly show that sanctions against Rhodesia are an imperialist hoax.

     The effects of Sanctions

     Given the concerted effort by NATO and the western allies to sustain the settlers by hook or by crook, have sanctions been at all effective? The effect of sanctions on the Rhodesian economy has been insignificant but nevertheless politically important. Among other things sanctions have dealt a psychological blow to the Smith regime by denying him outright victory. They have ensured diplomatic isolation without which Rhodesia can never get fully-fledged support from her western allies. They have imposed a financial strain on the regime through the ever rising cost of sanctions busting operations particularly now that Mozambique is no longer a member of the axis powers. They have, moreover, maintained international focus on Rhodesia and exposed the hypocritical nature of British assertions of her custodianship of the oppressed peoples of Zimbabwe thus throwing the ball in the court of the people of Zimbabwe themselves.

     Positive Effects

     Having given the negative aspects, it is only fair to state that there have been positive factors in the UN sanctions. The Rhodesian tobacco plantations have suffered greatly through lack of markets. The scarcity of rolling-stock and the shortage of foreign currency have all resulted directly from the imposition of sanctions. Of late the closing of the border with Zambia has proved to be a self-inflicted wound to the regime. When these incidental effects of sanctions on Rhodesia are taken into consideration, it can be said with some justification that sanctions are an adjunct to armed struggle. They may not be effective but where they are applied they contribute towards aiding Chimurenga.

     Economic sanctions and the armed revolutionary struggle      

     The outline we have given of the effects of sanctions against the racist regime in Rhodesia is generally regarded by ZANU as an affair between the fascist lackeys of imperialism in our country and their backers in the western world. It is only significant to the struggle in so far as it places it in the international setting. ZANU accepts the premise that our struggle in Southern Africa as a whole is fundamentally between exploiters and the exploited. The exploiters who control political, economic and military power happen to be wholly white which brings in a racial dimension to our struggle. But we are aware that racism, like fascism, is the result of the irrationality of capitalism. That is why the capitalist world does not, and cannot see the validity of our struggle for self determination. Thus economic sanctions in themselves are irrelevant to our cause.

     We suggested earlier that the subject of economic sanctions and UDI dates back to the days of the partition of Africa. The Zimbabwe African National Union was aware of the historical developments which led to our receptiveness to colonization and was determined to put an end to the attitude of the masses that they were helpless and indifferent to the decades of humiliation and exploitation that has been going on in Zimbabwe. To this effect they launched the era of confrontation in Zimbabwe which has now developed into today’s armed struggle. During the nine years that we have been struggling against the fascists and their backers we have more or less put aside the idea of international aid through sanctions as a contribution to our struggle. We fully accepted the dictum of the ZANU President when he declared ten years ago:

     “Independence is not ours unless we liberate ourselves. There is no such thing as being liberated by others. Others can only help us to liberate ourselves but ultimately we are our own liberators”  

     This stand by ZANU, Mr. Chairman, suggests that economic sanctions are only relevant to our struggle if they are part of the world’s progressive forces contribution to our struggle. Now that Mozambique has finally taken her place among the nations of the world, it is possible for progressive movements to campaign and expose your governments in their daily sanctions-busting activities. Once more, a lifeline has been removed from the citadel of fascism and racism which linked her with her western backers. The struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe is only a part of a major struggle to free Azania and Namibia. Your support is going to be very crucial in the next difficult months ahead. Do not forget that sanctions in themselves are not important. We need immediate material support. ZANU and ZAPU have hundreds and thousands of people who have been thrown into concentration camps. We have to feed them educate them and protect them. We need money NOW. We need hard cash, Mr. Chairman. We need clothing and medical supplies. We need books, and every form of material help possible. If you couple all these things with your sanctions intensification campaign, we shall together soon be on the road to victory.

     Our contention that revolutionary armed struggle is the only method of achieving justice and humanity in Zimbabwe, is contested hotly by capitalists be they liberals or conservatives. But we know as well as you do that their contention is based on the full realization that through armed revolutionary struggle their lackeys stand no chance in Zimbabwe. It is appropriate perhaps to show how Chimurenga has been able to do in a short space of time what sanctions have not and cannot do.

     When Ian Smith declared UDI, ZANU answered the challenge by dealing telling blows at the enemy at Sinoia in April 1966. It was this battle, and many others that followed that brought Wilson and Smith together in the first attempt at a salvage operation during the “Tiger Talks”. In 1972 ZANU launched its current offensive in the north, north-eastern and eastern parts of Zimbabwe. In this offensive ZANU, using its forces, ZANLA, is dealing daily telling blows on the occupation forces. This has led to:

1.      Smith negotiating with right-wing opportunistic African petty bourgeois nationalists;
2.      Forced hundreds of white settlers to flee Zimbabwe;
3.      Forced Smith to mobilize all settlers into the army;
4.      Forced Smith to double his defence budget;
5.      Forced Smith to admit for the first time that there is uncertainty in the country and, so, call a snap election.

       This state of affairs was brought about by only 18 months of intensive war by ZANU, while ten years of sanctions have provided nothing but comfort for Smith. Be this as it may, we still feel that sanctions have a role to play in our struggle. They help to keep the Zimbabwe issue alive internationally. They keep the enemy occupied in his search for ways and means to evade sanctions. These are small but significant contributions. The contributions could be more if only the capitalist world would realise that their interests in Southern Africa can no longer be served by a corrupt fascist regime.

     Finally, we feel that armed struggle as a method provides for us conditions under which to rebuild Zimbabwe. Our problems are the product of years of capitalist oppression. The solution to these is the overthrow of capitalist rule, after the destruction of the bourgeois state. This can only be achieved through armed struggle and not by such capitalist devices as economic sanctions which seek only superfluous change. We put it to you, comrades, that given this premise, the commitment of the progressive forces of the world should be to Chimurenga and not to sanctions!

TJP Jokonya
Chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU)
Representative in the UK and Western Europe
Amsterdam 29th November 1974

4.      Recent developments in Mozambique and South Africa and implications for the struggle of the Zimbabwe people


     Mr. Terry gave a short survey of his paper outlining his main conclusions:

Conclusion 1: The sanctions campaign must be intensified and extended to the sanctions –breakers, i.e. South Africa.  

         It is clear that the Zimbabwe Liberation Movements see the sanctions campaign as ancillary to armed struggle to overthrow the Smith regime. For the Solidarity Movements sanctions are a political means to win support for the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe.

     In the West, the sanctions campaign is directed against the Western companies and governments. Mozambique stands out of this. It cannot be required of Mozambique to harm itself by cutting off completely her relations with South Africa and Rhodesia. Mozambique is clamped in an historic pattern of relations forced upon it by the imperialist countries.

Conclusion II: Material support for the liberation movements is very much needed
     The discussion aggravates mainly on the support for FRELIMO. Just now Mozambique stands at the beginning of the struggle for real independence or a neo-colonial ‘solution’. As a means of support development aid is being propagated, although many are suspicious of this instrument. It is becoming clear that Frelimo itself has to decide what it wants and the progressive groups in the Western countries cannot manage the liberation movements, nor can they take initiatives on their own. Only when the liberation movements themselves are asking for development aid can action be taken to organize any support. Much more the tasks of action groups are to clarify the fraudulent nature of this aid to the people in the Western countries.   

Conclusion 111: To prevent a “sell-out” of Rhodesia by means of a constitutional conference.    
     Especially in Britain this point draws attention. Action groups there cannot do much against the powerful lobby of the industry for a constitutional conference as soon as possible. Support from abroad is necessary. An agreement based on the six points of Douglas Hume is unacceptable for the liberation movements. The only solution is the transfer of power to the liberation movements.  


     Nine years has now passed since the white minority regime in Rhodesia illegally declared its “independence” from Great Britain. Recent political developments both within Rhodesia and in Southern Africa as a whole have revealed as never before the essential vulnerability of the regime and the interests it represents.

     In particular, the balance of forces within Southern Africa has altered radically as a result of the overthrow of fascism in Portugal. The liberation movement in Mozambique, FRELIMO, now has within its grasp the fruits of victory over Portuguese colonialism. In Angola, although the situation is more complex, there is a clear prospect of independence, despite the efforts of the West to promote division amongst the liberation forces. These developments, together with the achievement of independent statehood by Guinea-Bissau, are in themselves of tremendous importance. What further significances do they have for the position of the Smith regime, and the struggle of the people of Zimbabwe?

     The internal situation

     In order to make an accurate assessment, an analysis of events within Rhodesia itself is necessary. The most significant development is the growing success of the liberation struggle. The recent advances, particularly since the latter half of 1972, following as they do on the overwhelming rejection by the African people of the 1971 settlement proposal, are an indication of the desire of the African people to achieve majority rule. The decision to wage armed struggle, which began in 1966, was taken in the recognition that the legal struggle was no longer possible. The Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) had been banned in 1962 and 1964 respectively, and previously both the African National Congress in 1959 and the National Democratic Party in 1961 had also been banned. Additionally, many nationalist leaders, including Joshua Nkomo, President of ZAPU and Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, President of ZANU, had been and still are being detained.

     Details of the development of the liberation struggle have been reported in United Nations publications (Objective Justice Vol. 6, Nr. 2) and also a recent study produced by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (London). In March 1973 under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity an agreement was signed between ZAPU and ZANU providing for the creation of a joint political council and military command. The signing of this agreement coincided with a period of escalation of the armed struggle, which has continued unabated.

     The extent of guerrilla activities can be crudely measured from the figures issued by the Smith regime itself. They admit to the loss of 49 members of their security forces and 134 civilians, and they also claim to have killed 430 guerrillas. In addition, it appears that some 13 members of the South African security forces have been killed.

     The response of the white minority to the successes of the liberation struggle has been to intensify the oppression of the African majority. Since January 1973 this intensification has involved the introduction of collective fines (January 1973); the closure of schools, businesses, etcetera (February 1973); the creation of prohibited areas on the border with Mozambique (May 1973); the forced removal of over 8.000 Africans to “protected villages” (Autumn 1973); the introduction of the death penalty for those found guilty of “failing” to report terrorists (September 1973); the introduction of new passes (with photographs) for Africans living in eight districts in North East Rhodesia (November 1973); the provision of summary powers to the District Commissioners enabling them to fine and whip (February 1974); the introduction of forced labour for Africans aged 12 – 60 (February 1974); the destruction of kraals and detention of rural Africans (February 1974); and the removal of rural Africans from the North East border areas to Beit Bridge on the border with South Africa (April 1974). Other measures were introduced including the destruction of crops, widespread detentions and brutality.

      In July 1974, in response to growing popular support for the liberation struggle, the regime launched Operation Overlord I. This entailed the forced removal of almost 50.000 Africans in the Chiwese Tribal Trust Land, just 70 miles from Salisbury, into 21 “protected villages”. These villages, which have been likened to the strategic hamlets of Vietnam and the aldeamentos of Mozambique, are virtually rural concentration camps. In September, a further 16.500 inhabitants of the Madziwa Tribal Trust Land were moved into “protected villages”, in Operation Overlord II.

      The Smith regime has admitted publicly to having executed 24 liberation fighters since January 1973, and has imprisoned over 95 for offences under the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act.

     Attempts by the Rhodesian security forces to maintain “Law and Order” have led to a critical situation within their own ranks. Expenditure has been increased dramatically. The defence estimate for the current year is 17 percent greater than last year’s budget, and this figure has more than trebled since 1965. In addition, the vote for internal affairs has been increased by 46% over the last year, and the roads estimate by 55%. These latter figures are a direct reflection of security demands for better roads in the operational area, new protective fences, warning systems, and the resettlement programme referred to earlier.

     There have been manpower shortages in both the military and police sectors which have forced the regime to provide substantial increases in pay. This situation has arisen despite compulsory military services for all whites between the ages of 18 – 22, the removal of exemption for students, and general liability to recall for reserve duties up to the age of 38.

      The Rhodesian Air Force has experienced some losses: two aircraft were apparently shot down within a fortnight. There have been growing signs of unrest amongst the Africans in the forces. In the autumn 1973 five soldiers were court-martialled and it has been reported that a number have deserted the army to join the liberation struggle.

     Meanwhile, the Sunday Tribune (Durban) reported on October 13, 1974, that “some senior military men and special branch officers are increasingly dissatisfied with the role they have to play”, and quoted one of them saying:

     “They know we aren’t winning any hearts and minds in our campaign, because the Government simply won’t shift an inch on the political front. So they’re just being asked to play the bully boy”.

     The Rhodesian security forces rely for assistance on their counterparts in South Africa. A large contingent of several thousand South African paramilitary police operated in Rhodesia since 1967. Estimates vary but it is widely assured that the number has increased significantly during the past two years. But the crisis of the white settler community is not restricted to the security situation.  Trends in white immigration are both an indicator of the morale of the settler population, and a factor which will affect the future strength of the Rhodesian security forces. Latest figures show a net emigration of 290 whites in April 1974, compared with a net immigration of 100 in April 1973, and 1.020 in April 1972. This decline has taken place despite the regime’s massive Settler ’74 campaign, which was designed to recruit a million settlers.   

     In addition tourism is suffering, both because of guerrilla activity and as a result of oil sanctions. The reintroduction of oil rationing in February 1974 following the decision of the Arab states to ban the supply of oil to South Africa, Portugal and Rhodesia, is creating economic problems for many sectors of industry and commerce. Despite the continual claims by regime spokesmen that the economy is strong and healthy it is very different. Lack of foreign exchange has meant that capital equipment improvements have not occurred and there are many shortages. Invisible earnings have been badly hit by the drop in income from rail transport following the border closure with Zambia. During 1973 the Rhodesian economy was only kept in the black through a massive inflow of foreign investment. It is against this background of an increasingly critical internal situation that the impact of events in the former Portuguese colonies must be viewed. This section will concentrate on the significance of events in Mozambique, both because the situation there is clearer, and because of its closer relationship to future developments in Rhodesia. Because of South Africa’s dominant role in the region (and its grip upon Rhodesia) its links with Mozambique will be dealt with at the same time.

     On the surface, both Smith and Vorster have been at pains to declare an attitude of equanimity towards events in Mozambique. The reality has been more sinister. In July, the Officer Commanding the Rhodesian Army opened a new barracks at Inyanga, on the Mozambique border, costing 340.000 British Pounds. They were an indication, he said, of how Rhodesia “plans long before it is necessary”, for the deployment and operations of the army and other security forces in defence of the country.

     “In this respect, I would like to mention now that further plans are being made, and in some cases executed, to provide for other deployments on the eastern edge of the country, as and when these become necessary”.           

     South Africa adopted a similar stance. At the very time that the Mozambique provisional government, with a majority of FRELIMO appointees, was taking office, the South African army was being mobilized along the border of Mozambique. Throughout the period since the overthrow of fascism in Portugal the torturers of the Portuguese secret police formerly based in Angola and Mozambique have been given refuge within “South Africa and Rhodesia”. The mass panic exodus of white settlers from the previous Portuguese territories has been encouraged by both white regimes, in South Africa’s case by a waiving of the normal immigration regulations. The attitudes of the South African government has also been displayed by the banning of pro-FRELIMO rallies, and the arrest of 14 of their organizers under the Terrorism Act, while the green light has been given for large rallies by racist Portuguese refugees in Salisbury, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.  

     The economic relationship between Mozambique, on the one hand, and South Africa and Rhodesia on the other is clearly of the utmost importance for the future of Southern Africa, worth looking at in a little detail. There are three major factors involved:

1.           A large part of the migrant labour force on the gold and coal mines of the Transvaal comes from Mozambique.  This means that at any one time some100.000 Africans are working in South Africa. Payments received by the Mozambique administration in lieu of a tax on the labour of Mozambique workers has hitherto been in gold at the official price, which can then be sold at the free market price for considerably more.  For a country with a substantial trade deficit (3.000 million escudos in 1972), this is an important consideration. On the other hand, the extent of South Africa’s dependence must be recognized. It obtains one-third of the labour force for the Transvaal mines in this way, at a time when Africans from South Africa, Malawi and Lesotho are increasingly reluctant to work in sub-human conditions for the pittance which they receive. (3 British Pounds per week in 1972). The gold which is produced by the Transvaal mines is absolutely vital to the South African economy.        

2.           South Africa and Rhodesia between them account for 95% percent of the traffic through the southern Mozambique port of Lorenzo Marques. Together with Beira, whose importance has diminished because of FRELIMO actions, this is a valuable source of foreign exchange bringing in 2.000 million escudos in 1972. Once again, however, the South African and Rhodesians are also in a situation of dependence. South Africa’s ports are suffering a chronic overloading, and they need Lorenzo Marques to take their own traffic and a substantial portion of that needed by Rhodesia, in order to avoid intolerable congestion.

3.           The Cobora Bassa dam, which has been built, with the aid of South African finance in the Tete province of Mozambique, will require customers for its hydro-electric power. South Africa’s industrial development makes it the only obvious candidate at present, and this monopoly position gives it the opportunity to lever the price down. At the same time, it depends on the power from the dam to some considerable degree, as demand for electric power within South Africa increases at about ten percent per annum. Based upon this brief survey of the economic relationship between Mozambique and the white south, it is possible to draw certain conclusions:

A.          Their degree of interdependence will make it impossible for Mozambique to cut links overnight.

B.          But as long as the links remain, there is the constant danger that South Africa and, to a much lesser extent, Rhodesia will use their positions of strength to disrupt the newly independent state.

C.          It would be a mistake, however, to assume that the power lies completely with the white regimes. In the last analysis, the links are at least as economically important to Rhodesia and South Africa as they are to Mozambique. This is particularly true in the case of Rhodesia, due to the arbitrary closure of the border with Zambia, and its consequent isolation when Zambia refused to reopen the border. Rhodesia’s isolation may be further increased if pressure grows within Malawi for a reassessment of its relationship with the racist regimes, in the light of the changed position in the sub-continent.

D.          The ability of Mozambique to break with Rhodesia will depend in large measure on the help which is forthcoming from the international community. Britain has a particular responsibility in this regard, both because of the support which it gave to Portuguese colonialism, and because of the need to increase the effectiveness of sanctions.        

      In addition to the economic factors involved, there is the immensely significant fact, in military and political terms that Rhodesia now has black-rule states - either hostile or potentially hostile - on 92 % of its borders. Moreover successes of the liberation movements particularly in Mozambique have heightened the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe and have provided them with a new sense of militancy.

     Increased Reliance on South Africa

     The white minorities of South Africa and Rhodesia have been closely linked ever since the latter country was colonized by the Anglo-South African capitalist and politician , Cecil John Rhodes, under the auspices of his company, the British South Africa Company. The dependence of Rhodesia upon South Africa was increased in the period after UDI, and will clearly extend even further with the changed situation in Mozambique.

     In addition to their fundamental similarities, the regimes are linked to each other by a network of coordination in the economic, military and political spheres. The most spectacular field of cooperation as far as the mass media in this country are concerned, has been trade. By persuading a policy euphemistically labelled “business as usual”, South Africa has become Rhodesia’s main intermediary with the outside world. The UN Secretariat concluded: “During 1969 – 1971 exporters in South Africa and Mozambique handled merchandise of Southern Rhodesia at a level of over 200 million tons annually”. Less obvious has been growing South African penetration of investment within Rhodesia. The top three and five of the top ten companies operating in Rhodesia are wholly or partly South African owned. It is certain that South African traders and investors have not been operating north of the border out of altruism. Their services have been amply rewarded with the super-profits of the middleman in the black market situation.

     South Africa’s help to the illegal regime has not been limited to the economic sphere. South African paramilitary police operate in the border areas assisting Rhodesian security forces. South African ministers make regular visits to Rhodesia. In July 1973 Mr. Vorster himself visited the border areas. South African visitors play a major role in assisting the tourist industry. Rhodesia, although not having diplomatic relations with South Africa, does have a diplomatic representation in Pretoria.

     In March this year press reports indicated that South Africa was contributing direct financial aid to Rhodesia for security measures designed to combat the liberation struggle. The relationship appears to have become even closer since April.

     An indication of the dependence Rhodesia now has on South Africa was the visit at the end of the May by Mr. Smith to South Africa to meet Mr. Vorster in the wake of events in Portugal. This should be contrasted with Mr. Smith’s unilateral action in 1973 when he closed the border with Zambia which met with the obvious disapproval of South Africa. South Africa appears to be quite determined, however, to assist in the maintenance of white supremacy in Rhodesia. In this context the rapid completion of the construction of the direct rail link with South Africa shows that they wish to be able to maintain this support whatever developments take place in Mozambique.

     The danger of sell-out             

     An article in the Financial Times (12th August 1974) pinpoints the danger of a deal between Britain and the Smith regime, as once again imminent. The article is worth quoting at some length because of the insight that it gives into the thinking of the British Government:

“MR. JAMES CALLAGHAN, the Foreign Minister, now believes that a new British initiative on Rhodesia could best coincide with the granting of independence to Mozambique. This is one of the results of the new review of British policy in southern Africa which has been underway almost since the Labour Government took office in March and which, officially, is still continuing. No official announcement of its completion is expected. Mr. Callaghan has concluded that an independent Mozambique could create new problems for the Rhodesian economy, especially if supplies were cut off from the Mozambique port of Beira. Politically, the independence of the Portuguese territory would also increase Rhodesia’s isolation. The time would then be ripe for a new attempt at a Rhodesian settlement, though the precise form it would take would depend on circumstances at the time.”  

     A settlement, then, is the British government’s aim. As far as the method is concerned, they are now apparently involved in intensive diplomatic activity in an attempt to get some sort of round-table conference off the ground. The chances of any such conference being acceptable to the majority of the African people are remote in view of the regime’s refusal even to contemplate talks with ZANU and ZAPU. (This effectively excludes the African National Council, whose present stance is that a conference would be unacceptable without the presence of detained liberation movement leaders). 


     Recent events within Mozambique, and Rhodesia itself, open the new prospects for the liberation of Zimbabwe. They also place an increased burden of responsibility upon the international solidarity movement. The ability of the independent state of Mozambique to implement sanctions against the Smith regime will depend in large measure upon the extent of help given to her economy by the international community. Her ability to extend more direct aid to the people of Zimbabwe will depend on the extent to which she has the full-hearted backing of the outside world. It appears probable that the South African help will continue to intensify, and this means that international pressure must be built up for “sanctions against the sanctions breakers”. Help for the liberation movements fighting the regime must also increase. Finally, in the near future there is likely to be another concerted attempt by Britain to reach a settlement with the regime. For all these reasons, a stepping up of work done in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe is more urgent than ever before.


1.      Insurgency in Rhodesia, 1957 – 1973: An Account and Assessment, by A.R. Wilkinson. The International Institute of Strategic Studies, London

2.      Objective: Justice: Vol. 6, Nr. 2, UN Unit on Apartheid, New York

3.      Rhodesia: South Africa’s Sixth Province, by John Sprack, International Defence and Aid Fund, London
4.      The Struggle for a Birthright, by E Klambo, C. Hurst & Co., London 

5.      Southern Africa Information Service, Vol. 3, 1973 International Defence and Aid Fund

6.      UDI, by Robert C. Good, Faber and Faber, London

J.M. Sprack & M.D. Terry
British Anti Apartheid Movement
 November 1974

5.      The United Nations and International Sanctions Policy on Rhodesia

     In order to understand the international policy of economic sanctions against Rhodesia and to consider the manner in which it has been operated by the world community it is important to understand the background to the dispute which led to adopting the sanctions policy. By looking at the response of the British government to the UDI of November 1965 it is possible to relate the true purpose of sanctions policy whereas the resolutions of the Security Council only serve to provide a partial picture.

     Before the Smith regime seized independence illegally in 1965 the British Government issued clear warnings of the type of action which would follow any rebellion by the colony against the administration authority: notification was given publicly in advance that force would not be used but a programme of sanctions applied instead. As a result of this warning Ian Smith held urgent consultations with the Pretoria regime and made extensive trade and financial arrangements with South Africa to counteract sanctions. Measures were taken within Rhodesia included mining of the Kariba Dam with explosives and printing rationing coupons in advance of UDI. Thus, Rhodesia and South Africa were fully aware prepared to defeat the sanctions which followed the formal seizure of independence.

     The Labour Government in 1965 had a small Parliamentary majority and this was often given as the reason for trying to adopt policies with regard to Rhodesia which would be supported by the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Wilson repeatedly stressed the importance of establishing an inter-party consensus towards Rhodesia. The major point made at the time by British Ministers was that there was no need for Conservatives to oppose the sanctions policy since British policy was to impose only ‘non punitive’ sanctions against the Smith regime. The argument was that firm and sharp sanctions would only turn the Smith regime away from any reasonable behaviour. The first stage of sanctions policy against Rhodesia was based on not punishing the rebels but merely conveying British displeasure at the rebellion against the Crown. Even those token sanctions were sabotaged in advance by Britain declaring that it would not expect South Africa to comply with them!

     United Nations Resolutions

     At the United Nations Britain first took up the matter by asking all states not to recognize the illegal regime and refrain from rendering any assistance to it. (Resolution S/216, of 12th November 1965.) This was followed by a second appeal to desist from supplying arms and other supplies to Rhodesia and preventing it from receiving oil supplies. (Resolution S/217 of 20th November 1965.) Two major attempts at reaching a settlement between the Smith regime and Britain failed and were followed by resolutions S/232 of 16th December 1966 which imposed selective mandatory sanctions. Resolution S/253 of 29th May 1968 introduced comprehensive mandatory sanctions with certain specific goods exempted on humanitarian grounds.

     During the various debates in the Security Council on these Resolutions the Afro-Asian countries regularly pointed to the futility of a mandatory programme of UN sanctions which were specifically intended to exclude South Africa and Portugal, Britain maintained in the words of the then Foreign Secretary, George Brown, that “sanctions must not be allowed to escalate into economic confrontation with third countries”. (UN Security Council debate, December 1966).

     The consistent theme in British policy over Rhodesia is that she wants “no economic confrontation with South Africa” When this policy was first attacked the explanation provided was that nothing must be done to damage relations with South Africa because its help will be needed to settle the Rhodesian problem. At other times Britain pointed out that it has substantial investments in the Republic which is also an important trading partner so there must be no question of enforcing sanctions against South Africa. This meant of course that South Africa could break sanctions against Rhodesia at will, and at the same time provide all forms of direct support for the illegal regime.

     It is clearly in the interests of South Africa not only to preserve the Smith regime but also to discredit the instrument of economic sanctions as a method of international action. The sanctions policy initiated by Britain can be seen in its true perspective when we consider why the alternative of force was not used in this case. In virtually every other colonial rebellion the British Government has used force almost as a matter of routine. But in the case of Rhodesia the minority regime racist regime was assured in advance of UDI that force would not be used. One argument against the use of force was that Britain would have been involved in fighting against “kith and kin”. This was a prospect which the Conservative Party and racist sections of the British public with racist loyalties would not accept. There was also a larger question that if force was in fact used then the outcome would be unpredictable because not only would the oppressed African people of Zimbabwe also join in the fighting against the Smith regime but could lead to a serious disturbance of the racial power situation in Rhodesia and could very easily ignite the whole region of Southern Africa. Britain certainly did not want to do anything to create a wider conflict involving the entire white power system in the region. Here lies the major reason for the “no confrontation with South Africa” policy. The over riding consideration over policy towards Rhodesia is that nothing should be done which would harm South Africa or help create instability in the region.

     But the rebellion was in open defiance of the authority of the colonial power and an insult to the Crown. Britain had to do something at least to allay domestic and international protests but had to make sure that it did not do too much to upset the situation in Rhodesia or Southern Africa. Thus the policy of sanctions was adopted as an ad hoc decision aimed at taking the heat out of a tense situation as an alternative to using force. Opinion in Britain was assured that the sanctions policy against Rhodesia would not be punitive whereas the Commonwealth Prime Ministers in Lagos were told that it would have the effect of ousting the Smith regime within three weeks.

     Over the years the African people of Zimbabwe have realized that they cannot expect the British government or the world community to act decisively against Rhodesia and that it is they who have to bring about their own liberation. As a result the liberation struggle has been stepped up and countered with increasing repression on the part of the racist regime and a higher level of military involvement by South Africa.

     Rhodesia is today a virtual colony of South Africa and dependent on South Africa armed support for its survival. The operation of the international programme of economic sanctions against Rhodesia has been effectively sabotaged by South Africa and Portugal and most Western countries show little interest or concern for compliance – by their nationals or by their companies – when cases of violation of sanctions are made known they are slow to prosecute and penalties are low. Often inadequate national legislation is indicated as the reason for no action being taken against those who continue to have dealings with Rhodesia. The remedy of course lies in the hands of these Governments which can introduce comprehensive legislation to cover all loopholes. But the political will to do so is been lacking.

     Sanctions and Liberation                

     The problem has to be faced as to what should be done about sanctions by those who support the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe. Even though sanctions are not operated efficiently they do deny to the Smith regime a series of benefits and increases the cost of maintaining international dealings. It is an effective international legal tool which can do considerable harm to the racist regime. For this reason it ought to be maintained and utilized in every way possible. However, it is absolutely crucial that these sanctions are not seen as the means of bringing the downfall of the Smith regime or white domination in Rhodesia. Sanctions, as operated internationally were never intended for that purpose by Britain and other Western powers. In working for the tighter application of sanctions sight must not be lost on the need to provide support for the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe so that the campaign to intensify sanctions does not become – as it has often in the past – an alternative to the African liberation struggle. In the campaign for increasing the effectiveness of sanctions against Rhodesia it is crucial that special attention is paid to two areas: the role of the Western Countries including members of the EEC, Switzerland, the United States of America and Japan which continue to be lax in implementing sanctions; the role of South Africa as their major sanctions buster and to a lesser extent that of Portugal.

     With regard to the first category considerable work can be done to secure support for the extension of sanctions to other areas such as tourism and immigration to Rhodesia and this type of action will need the United Nations as well as domestic legislation. The same countries must also be pressed to take direct action against South Africa as the major sanctions buster. Of course the appropriate action would be to extend mandatory sanctions against South Africa through the United Nations but in the meanwhile countries can at least limit their trade with South Africa to the levels of 1965. This can only be used as a tactical move within certain countries as a basis for obtaining wider support but it is important to point out that all economic relations with South Africa directly benefits the Rhodesian regime as well.

     The major feature of a new initiative on sanctions should therefore rest on the central role of South Africa and the demand for sanctions against the Apartheid regime must be clearly stated under the slogan of “sanctions against the sanctions busters”

     The Security Council has determined that the situation in Rhodesia “constitutes a threat to international peace and security” and has taken mandatory decisions under articles 39 and 41 of the Charter. South Africa, as a member of the United Nations is obliged under the charter to implement mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia and if it refuses to do so should be subjected to the same action and suspended from membership of the United Nations.                    

     In the recent move to expel South Africa from the UN the Western powers used their triple veto to protect the Apartheid regime and stated that they were concerned with preserving the universality of the UN. Often in the past when effective action against South Africa has been suggested at the UN over the question of Apartheid or Namibia the Western Governments have blocked all action by claiming that it would harm the UN to adopt policies which it could not implement. If these Western nations are genuinely concerned about the authority and value of the United Nations then they ought to at least ensure that the first mandatory programme it has adopted, on the question of Rhodesia and that the request of Britain should not be undermined by member states which openly defy the authority of the Security Council.

     Future policy

     The fact that the Smith regime is now under serious pressure is due to the changed situation in Mozambique and the growing resistance of the African context is valuable and important and needs to be extended and intensified.

     Therefore, what is required now is the following:

1.      Increased compliance by nations which are at present lax in implementing UN decisions on sanctions ;

2.      New decisions by the Security Council to make sanctions more comprehensive;

3.      Representations to the Portuguese Government to forthwith enforce sanctions against Rhodesia;

4.      Action by states to reduce their economic links with South Africa since these serve to counteract sanctions against Rhodesia;

5.      Action under Chapter VII of the Charter to secure South Africa’s compliance.  

     For a sanctions policy to be really effective the first pre-condition is to secure compliance of every state – it is for this reason that the United Nations Charter specifically provides for mandatory action. But South Africa is permitted to deliberately violate the decisions of the Security Council which are legally binding on all member states.  There are more legal grounds to provide the basis for international economic sanctions to be enforced against South Africa.

     All these efforts however must be seen in the context of supporting the African liberation struggle rather than in isolation from it. It is that struggle which will ultimately destroy the system of white domination and exploitation of Africa.

Abdul S. Minty
Honorary Secretary
British Anti Apartheid Movement
November 1974

6.      The Significance and Legal Implications Of the Sanctions Campaign for the Progressive Movements in Western Europe

SSanctions Campaign: Principles

B.     Sanctions Campaign: Practice
1.      Security Council Resolutions
2.      Legislation in Member States
3.      Enforcement of National Law in Western Europe

C.    Conclusions


I.                    The main content and conclusions in this paper are:

-          A review of United Nations Resolutions and amendments regarding Southern Rhodesia.
-          A review of EC legislation relating to economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia;
-          The Sanctions Campaign is only useful when it serves the interests of the liberation movements;
-          It is necessary to extend the sanctions campaign to South Africa because:

a)      South Africa continuously breaks sanctions against Rhodesia;
b)      The interests of the people of Zimbabwe and their liberation movements are of paramount     importance;
 It             It is necessary to strengthen  sanctions legislation in EC countries and to improve on their implementation;
-          In propagation and implementation of the sanctions campaign there is a clear task for all progressive movements and individuals;
             It is necessary to introduce a penal code that is universally accepted as mandatory under the Security Council of the United Nations;
It    It is necessary to broaden the boycott into the financial and services area (insurance, transport etc.)

II.                 Experiences of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement with its sanctions campaign during the past years.
     Achievements of our sanctions work

-          With our work public awareness of the situation of not only Apartheid, but that of the racial system of the Smith rebe1 regime became well publicised.
-          Improved contacts were laid with political parties who all got a better understanding and needs of the Southern African liberation movements.
            Relations with the Trade Unions were made and maintained with their active participation in many publicity and public demonstration activities;
B    Because of the pressure mounted through the consistent work of the Dutch AAM the Dutch Government instituted an inter-ministerial committee to look into our findings and make suggestions on how to follow up with investigations and prosecution of sanctions busters.

    The Dutch AAM is a strong proponent to extend the boycott to South Africa, whether by UN Security Council or through intensification of our own sanction campaigns work. With the law as aback up on sanctions busting the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement explored and exploited considerable scope for informal detection wok to drive such an approach.      

     This approach has been highly successful in the Netherlands. We need to share with groups and individuals 
from other countries to replicate what we have done while at the same time learning from their own situations and challenges. Ultimately we feel that we should strive for a uniform EC approach and laws on sanctions against Rhodesia.

     We do not have answers to many of the questions we ask of ourselves. As an extension to diplomatic means, sanctions are always a double-edged sword. As the Zimbabwe liberation movements point out, British imperialist interests are embedded in UN-driven economic sanctions. However while they may be marginal to the armed struggle of the liberation movements, they do form a valuable ancillary means for developing solidarity while at the same time inflict real damage on the white rebel regime.

     So while we are pleading for more coordination, deepening and broadening of the campaign we must be aware of the potential that the sanctions policy can also be swung around at the expense of the liberation movements.

     Thus the following questions need to be discussed:

     What should be our basic strategy to support the liberation movements in Southern Africa? Are we limited by weak political will of government policies? Is it necessary to have one strategy for all countries, or different strategies for different countries?

     With these questions in mind let me expand on them:

S        Sanctions Campaign – Principles

     After the refusal of Great Britain to put an end to the Rhodesian rebellion with all the power at her disposal, she was successful in getting the member states of the United Nations to participate in an economic embargo of the rebel colony. Security Council Resolution 217 (November 20, 1965) considered the United Kingdom as the administrative power and called on her to put an end to the rebellion. Later resolutions of the Security Council (No. 253, May 29, 1968 and No. 333, May 22, 1973) introduced two important legal principles into the UN sanctions campaign against Southern Rhodesia:

1.      Change the objective of the sanctions campaign; and
2.      An extension of existing provisions of the UN Security Council Sanctions Resolutions against Rhodesia to apply to South Africa.
1.      A change in the objective of the sanctions campaign     

     Although Resolution 253 affirmed that the primary responsibility for enabling the people of Rhodesia to achieve self-determination and independence lay with the Government of the United Kingdom, and in particular noted that the United Kingdom was responsible for dealing with the prevailing situation, it did nevertheless recognize the legitimacy of the struggle of the people of Southern Rhodesia to secure their own rights. Furthermore, although the resolution considered that the U.K. as administering power should ensure that no settlement be reached without taking into account the views of the people of Southern Rhodesia, it went further and urged all member states of the United Nations to render moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia in their struggle to achieve freedom and independence.

     Thus the resolution both acknowledged the responsibility of the United Kingdom and avowed the rights of the people of Southern Rhodesia to seek their independence. Given the de facto situation - - dim prospects for the United Kingdom ever presiding over a settlement of the Rhodesia situation, and the strong, military challenge by the authentic organizations of the people (NANU and ZAPU) to the presence of the rebel regime - - Resolution 253 should now be interpreted unambiguously as a statements that sanctions must serve as an aid to the struggle of the liberation movements. In fact, the relevant sections calling for support for the people of Zimbabwe, introduced under pressure of the Afro-Asian countries, have made it plain that the central objective of the sanctions campaign is not the return to legality under the British Constitution, but is support for the liberation movements in their quest for self determination.

2.      Extension to the provision of the sanctions campaign to cover South Africa

     Recognizing that South Africa was the main culprit in giving economic and military support to the rebel regime, thereby effectively sabotaging the U.N. sanctions campaign, the Security Council considered a resolution calling for direct United Nations action against South Africa. The resolution, however, was vetoed by the United Kingdom. Instead Resolution 333 was adopted calling upon member states to stop all direct and indirect methods to evade the provisions of Security Council Resolution 253. The principle to extend national sanctions measures against Rhodesia to South Africa was established.

     Underlying Security Council Resolution 253 and 333 which call for sanctions against Rhodesia are the principles of support for the liberation movements and the efficacy of action against South Africa in order to destroy its vassal state, Rhodesia. Successive governments in the United Kingdom have however vigorously opposed these principles, and other Western governments have not yet brought their own legislation sufficiently into line with the principles of Security Council Resolution 253 and 333. It therefore becomes imperative for progressive parliamentarians, trade unions and movements to strive to ensure that these principles are put into practice.

     Two other Security Council resolutions give force to the efforts of progressive parliamentarians and movements to get a blanket extension of Rhodesian sanctions to South Africa. One is the resolution condemning the illegal occupation of Namibia by South Africa. The other is the resolution calling for an embargo on the sale of arms, munitions and military vehicles to South Africa, or any supplies that would serve to keep the present armaments industry of South Africa intact. Thus there are at present sufficient legal provisions to extend sanctions to South Africa, even though it may be necessary to institute either an individual or group system of exemptions for types of trade and economic links not yet affected by Security Council resolutions.

     The issue of Rhodesian sanctions and Southern Africa is becoming vitally important to the trade unions. In June 1973 the Trade Union Group of the International Labour Organization (ILO) called on member trade unions to institute and report back on programmes to isolate South Africa economically and to give support to the authentic organizations of the people. On the basis of present resolutions of the United Nations and also international organizations there are sufficient grounds for accepting the principle of sanctions against Rhodesia as support for the liberation movements, and for viewing present resolutions and national legislation as a precedent for extending sanctions to South Africa in order to assist the liberation struggle in Namibia and South Africa.         

T      The Sanctions Campaign in Practice

     With respect to the sanctions campaign as it has been executed up to the present one can raise the following questions:

1.      Are the Security Council themselves watertight in a formal sense?
2.      Have member states introduced the essence of resolutions into their own laws?
3.      Is there effective enforcement of and compliance with national sanctions legislation?        

1.      The Security Council Resolutions

     The boycott measures of the United Nations Security Council have not had satisfactory results. One of the main reasons (in a legal sense) lies in the chosen system whereby each member state is asked to close its borders against goods destined for or originating in Rhodesia. As soon as one or more countries do not comply, in varying degrees, with the resolutions, this system loses its effectiveness.

     Moreover one must admit that there are countries where the political will to rigorously apply the sanctions is absent. To make the boycott effective one is therefore compelled to abandon the principle of limited responsibility on the part of each member state for its own territory. That means that the principles on which present sanctions laws are based - - the criminal principles of territoriality (criminal liability only when crime takes place in the country itself) and nationality (criminal liability limited to own nationals) - - should be substituted by the principle of universality. Universality means that the trespassing of the norm - - or attempt to do so, or participate or encourage doing so - - by anyone, anywhere in the world is punishable in any country where the person may be. This is the same principle which is applied to piracy and which lies behind the recent treaty on aircraft hijacking.

     To make this possible it will be necessary to amend the Security Council resolutions in the following way. They should be defined from the borders of each member state to the borders of Rhodesia itself. This means that not only the import into and the export from the member state is punishable, but also the import into and the export from Rhodesia. In addition to the import and export of goods and services themselves, it is necessary to include all ancillary services in the prohibition, such as insurance, transit and promotion practices.

     Multinational corporations are able to undermine sanctions against Rhodesia by means of a series of internal accounts manipulations affecting various branches throughout the world. To prevent this practice any interest in a Rhodesian affiliate must also be prohibited as well as those interests of any corporation which possesses interests in Rhodesia. The complexity of international bank capital makes prohibition of direct payments traffic with Rhodesia ridiculous; indirect payments and credits must therefore also be prohibited.

     In resolution 333 (1973), the Security Council opened up the possibility of extending boycott measures to South Africa. The relevant text reads:

“Calls upon states (to punish persons) . . . . . continuing to deal with clients in South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Namibia after it has become known that the clients are re-exporting the goods or components thereof to Southern Rhodesia, or that the goods received from such clients are of Southern Rhodesian origin. . . . ”. 
     The resolution is not practical in this form. Due to the fact that South African goods at borders are not easily determined bona fide by customs officials as to stated origin, it is impossible to detect Rhodesian origin. Even so, if it is discovered that a South African intermediary is being used, then it is always possible to continue the trade by instituting a new intermediary, or simply changing the legal personality of the detected intermediary. Therefore the above boycott measures must be rewritten in such a way that in general prohibition is effective for all of South Africa with, if needs be a possibility of individual or categorical exemptions. Taken together with the Security Council-instituted prohibitions in 1963 against all trade in munitions, armaments, participation in South African armaments and military vehicles industry, such an improved measure can be a stepping stone to further action. The same principles and objectives pertaining to Rhodesian sanctions should apply to the boycott against South Africa, i.e. the boycott must be seen as a supportive measure for the liberation struggle.
            Have member states incorporated the Security Council resolutions into their own laws?

     The answer to this question is a clear “no”. To a greater or lesser extent the essence of the resolutions calling for support for the liberation struggle in Southern Africa has been completely submerged by half-hearted measures. Besides, the execution of these half-hearted measures has been ineffective due to a lack of political will. A brief rundown is made of the present state of sanctions legislation in a number of Western European member states:


     The Security Council resolutions have not yet led to a legal prohibition of trade with Rhodesia. It is not known to us at present whether the bill of September25, 1969 has become law. The bill provides for stricter execution of the present Belgian law and prohibits all import and export, any commercial act connected with the import and export, payments, the exploitation (or promotion for exploitation) of sea or air transport from or to Southern Rhodesia, and also emigration to Southern Rhodesia. In order to comply with the resolutions three measures have been taken governing trade with Rhodesia specifically. These are the Ministerial Decisions of December 29, 1965, and April 22, 1969 whereby the import and export from and to Rhodesia is subjected to a licensing system. This includes transit trade of goods originating in or destined for Rhodesia. Prohibition of trade with Rhodesia in principle therefore does not exist, and the execution of the licensing system is left over entirely to the Belgian Government. In 1963 in answer to questions in Parliament from the Socialists, the Belgian Government stated that no licences would be given for armaments exports nor for sugar and tobacco imports and that no transactions with Rhodesia would be financed or guaranteed by the Government.

     It is clear that the Belgian measures do not reflect in any way the scope of the Security Council resolutions. Trade with Rhodesia is not forbidden in principle although it must be conceded that this trade can be drastically limited with a vigorous licensing policy. The promotion of trade with Rhodesia is not prohibited, and tourism, emigration and payments are totally unrestricted.

     Federal Republic of Germany           

    West Germany, like Belgium, does not prohibit trade with Southern Rhodesia. Restrictions are placed on Rhodesia trade by subjecting it to a licensing system. As in Belgium, it is Government policy which determines the extent to which the trade embargo will be effective. This licensing system is based on the so-called “Aussenwirthshaftsverordiningen”, which is based on the “Answirtsschaftsgezetz of 1961. On grounds of such regulations it is possible for the Federal Government to refuse permits and this appears already to have been done for the import of sugar and other Rhodesian products. Certain trading transactions can be condemned while payments traffic can be controlled. The Federal Republic of Germany does not have a general prohibition on trade and payments transfers with Southern Rhodesia, and the licensing system in compliance with the Security Council resolutions is a question of government policy rather than autonomous juridical process.


     The Danish law of May 10, 1967 is a so-called “frame law”, i.e. one law which makes it possible that whatsoever a resolution of the Security Council calls for sanctions, these can simply be fitted into Danish law. This is done by proclamation and therefore Security Council resolutions calling for tightening up of sanctions do not require lengthy procedural delays.

     This frame law is “filled out” by two proclamations which forbid the export and import of Rhodesian goods, or the transport thereof, the sale of munitions and armaments or oil including petroleum products, the participation in manufacture or assembly of aircraft of vehicles in Southern Rhodesia, the storage in Danish bonded warehouses of Rhodesian goods, the sale of goods to Southern Rhodesia or any form of payments traffic.

     The Security Council resolutions appear to have been translated comprehensively into Danish law. Despite this entrenchment in the law, a regulation forbidding immigration, tourism, and transit trade through Rhodesia is still lacking, and the determination of origin of as consignment of goods, e.g. tobacco is not clear.


     France scarcely has any significant legal regulations to execute the resolutions of the Security Council. The most important legal measure is the decree of August 23, 1968, which forbids import and export to Rhodesia with the exception of a large number of goods which are summarised in an appendix. It is not clear whether contraventions of the decree are punishable by methods other than extant custom measures carrying a maximum fine of three times the value of the goods. Further, by ministerial directive of December 24, 1965, the export of oil (products) and air communications with Rhodesia are forbidden. It is clear that France has not complied by a far way with the obligations imposed by the Security Council resolutions regarding Rhodesia. Only the import and the export of certain goods are forbidden and contraventions are punishable by very small fines. In principal, all trade is allowed. 


     The first indications of the way in which Ireland was to execute sanctions against Rhodesia came in a letter from the Irish permanent representative to the United Nations to the Secretary General, after Resolution 232 was accepted. This letter stated that all imports from Southern Rhodesia were prohibited and that all financial transactions with the country came under “exchange control”. Export to Rhodesia of arms, war material, aircraft, vehicles, oil and oil products were forbidden. Transporting the listed goods in aircraft or ships of Irish registration was also prohibited. Export insurance with state guarantee would not be possible for goods going to Rhodesia. The Government had no intention of giving financial or economic help to Rhodesia.

     In order to execute Security Council Resolution 253 the control over exports had to be intensified. This was accomplished by the Statutory Instruments of May and June, 1969, more than a year after the passing of Resolution 253.The Statutory Instruments made it possible to subject the export of industrial, agricultural and fishing products to a prohibition, barring exemptions. In a later Statutory Instrument, the applicability of the first two instruments was extended to Shannon Airport, which is outside the Irish customs regime. It is not known whether there are sanctions on contravention of these measures. The Irish case is also an example of fairly comprehensive and watertight measures but enforcement procedures are neglected. Also, the way in which triangular transit trade can be prohibited remains unclear.

     The bill of October 3, 1968 which became law six weeks later nullified previous measures against trade with Rhodesia. The Italian law took over the wording of operational parts of Resolution 253. The law is applicable to Italians at home and abroad, and states that goods coming out of free ports must be cleared to determine that they are not of Rhodesian origin. Contracts with respect to deals which are prohibited by law (and these are all deals mentioned in Resolution 253) are declared null and void. Contravention of the law is punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment and a maximum fine of four times the value of the goods in question. It appears that the Italian sanctions law is exemplary in a formal sense.


     The Norwegian law of June 7, 1968, which was enacted in response to the boycott resolutions, has the peculiarity that the word “Rhodesia” does not appear in its wording. Thus, should the Security Council extend the boycott to South Africa then the Norwegian law will be applicable automatically. The law states no more than that the government can issue proclamations to execute Security Council resolutions which by definition are binding in Norwegian law. The law is similar in its “frame law” construction to the Danish law. The actual or attempted importation and exportation of those goods mentioned in royal decrees is forbidden as are payments traffic specified in the decrees under pain of six months’ imprisonment, a fine, and confiscation of goods.

     The Norwegian law is “filled out” by additional royal decree of June 26, 1968. Any act facilitating exportation of any product or any goods from Southern Rhodesia is forbidden; this includes the transportation of goods or products from Southern Rhodesia on Norwegian territory, trade and delivery of any product from Norway or Norwegian citizen, the transportation of goods destined for Southern Rhodesia with Norwegian vessels, financial aid or investment. Southern Rhodesians or any person having encouraged the illegal regime, are not admitted on Norwegian territory. What are lacking here also are a prohibition of transport of goods by Norwegian shippers and a specific prohibition on emigration and tourism. 

     The Netherlands

     Dutch legislation on Southern Rhodesia is particularly deficient and confused. In 1966 an import and export prohibition was proclaimed by a general government decree. Subsequently it appeared that most trade with Rhodesia continued unabated because of a major loophole existed, i.e. the 1966 proclamation did not include trade through bonded ware houses (Rotterdam harbour handles enormous quantities of international transit trade). Therefore in 1968 an improvement was made by another proclamation based on a completely antiquated pre-war law.

     At the end of 1973 a law was made forbidding payments traffic with Rhodesia. A novelty in this law was the prohibition of indirect transactions, an amendment successfully made by Mr. Relus ter Beek M.P. (Dutch Labour Party). Besides these measures the Dutch Government has various gentleman’s agreements with Dutch business interests to refrain from all business connections with Rhodesia which fall under U.N. resolutions, but not under the Dutch criminal code. Exposures by the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement on sanctions breaking highlighted the farcical nature of voluntary agreements between state and business. The exposures also revealed the deficiency of the law in coping with proved smugglers and the virtual powerlessness of the investigating authorities. As a result of these exposures the Dutch Government has instituted an investigation of its laws on sanctions-breaking by an interdepartmental commission, the “Kooijmans Commission”.

3.      Enforcement of National Sanctions Law in Western Europe    

     How effective is the enforcement of sanctions laws? Investigations of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement (Zephyr Report, Tobacco Report, KLM among the more important) have made it apparent that not only is smuggling prevalent but that it has assumed An international character of its own. Moreover, it is difficult to eliminate the smugglers by legal means.

     The following are the main problems:

-          Generally speaking adequate prohibition is lacking.
-          Authorities do not sufficiently have investigative power.
-          The burden of proof presses heavily on the prosecuting authority: in fact so heavy
-          That successful prosecution is more the exception than the rule.
-          Coordination of investigation of smuggling should be explored.

          Some countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland have come to gentleman’s agreements between business and the state. It has been demonstrated in practice that these agreements are meaningless, to say the least. (cf. The Dutch AAM exposures on KLM).

     A necessary pre-condition to serious execution of a boycott is sharply defined criminal clauses prohibiting Rhodesian trade. When these are missing there is no possibility of a successful legal action to crack down on contraventions. The opinion of the Dutch AAM is that criminal sanctions are absolutely necessary. The alternative to these would be administrative or economic-political measures, the execution of which is completely a matter of government policy and discretion. Criminal sanctions are less dependent on the executive power of states, which, given the Dutch experience for one, generally lack the political will to seriously challenge industrial and commercial interests.

     The Dutch AAM position does not imply that administrative or economic-political measures are not useful. On the contrary they can play a valuable secondary role in supporting criminal, legislative measures.

     If one lesson was clearly demonstrated by the Zephyr exposure, it was that one cannot rely on the political will of western states to do the very necessary detection work. If a small group of Dutch activists could expose an international smuggling network, what could western state intelligence services have been able to do in comparison, given their enormous resources? The unavoidable conclusion is that there is a complete lack of political will to authorize serious investigations.

     It is part of the task of the seminar to investigate:  (1) How the political will can be strengthened by mobilizing progressive political elements in governments, and (2) How political pressures can be built up outside parliament by the trade union movement and by the work of extra-parliamentary groups along the lines of the Dutch AAM experience.

C.  Conclusions

1.                Sanctions campaigns in western countries make sense only if they are mounted as support for the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia.

2.                The United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution on Rhodesia should be extended as a matter of principle to South Africa not only because South Africa is subverting sanctions against Rhodesia, but because in principle sanctions are in support of the Zimbabwe liberation movement (Resolution 253). Therefore in principle sanctions should similarly be applied to South Africa as support for the liberation struggle in South Africa and Namibia.

3.                Sanctions laws must be strengthened in the western member states. They should primarily be part of the criminal codes of laws of the various member states and be backed by administrative measures. In this way there is maximum room for progressive movements within western countries to provoke and, if needs be, embarrass governments into severing economic ties with white-ruled Southern Africa.

4.                The scope of the sanctions campaign must be broadened. The application of the principal of universality of the crime of sanctions breaking should be demanded by the Security Council.

5.                The depth of the campaign must be increased to reach all indirect links, especially in the financial and equity-participation spheres and ancillary services such as insurance, brokerage, transport and transit trade.

Advocate Annemieke Gerritsma
Sanctions Task Team, Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement

7.      ICFTU Involvement with Sanctions and Trade Union Rights in Rhodesia

      The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has throughout its history championed the cause of human freedom, as we believe that democracy is the first prerequisite for free trade unionism. The situation in Southern Africa where the most basic human and trade union rights and freedom are being consistently denied or violated has therefore been and shall continue to be one of our major preoccupations.

      In this framework the ICFTU has been very much concerned over the deteriorating situation in Rhodesia. Having expressed profound shock at the Universal Declaration of Independence and later the Declaration of a Rhodesian Republic, we have time and again pleaded for comprehensive and mandatory sanctions and other measures to put an end to the minority racist regime and to establish human and trade union rights in that country. Complaints to the ILO against the regime’s violation of human and trade union rights, as well as testimonies to the United Nations, have been submitted on various occasions.

     We have opposed all negotiations for independence before majority rule and statements to this effect have been sent to the British Government and the United Nations. The 54th meeting of the ICFTU Executive Board adopted a resolution expressing profound concern at the agreement between the Rhodesian minority regime and the British Government, which “takes no account of the view and wishes of the African peoples in that country. . . .” The resolution also called on the British Government to refuse to grant independence to Rhodesia before majority rule and before human and trade union rights have been established and guaranteed.

     In January 1972, a copy of this resolution was sent to the British Prime Minister with a letter in which we also expressed concern of the ICFTU over the use of tear gas and shooting by Rhodesian police at African workers on strike at the Shabani Asbestos Mine.

     After the results of the Pearce Commission were made known, the ICFTU issued a statement on May 24 1972 reiterating that the African Rhodesians ought to be given opportunities, deliberately withheld from them by the oppressor, to prepare themselves for the responsibilities of government.

     The ICFTU 10th World Congress (London 10-14 July 1972) adopted a resolution appealing to the British Government to refrain from any negotiations with the minority regime of Rhodesia and to call a constitutional conference with the full participation of the representatives of the African majority to establish democratic rule based on one man one vote.

     The ICFTU wrote on the 27 July to the Olympic Committee conveying dismay at the decision taken by the Committee to invite Rhodesian athletes to the Olympic Games, pointing out that such an invitation was against the letter and spirit of the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions of 1968 and 1970.

     Deeply disturbed by the decision of the British Government to make certain concessions in sanctions against Rhodesia, the ICFTU General Secretary cabled the United Nations on 14th November 1972 stressing that such concessions would compromise international efforts aimed at ending the illegal regime and restoration of human and trade union rights.

     The importance of maintaining strictest application of sanctions was again emphasised when the Smith regime began introducing, in November1972, South African-type pass laws and promoting racial job reservation through legislative proposals.

     The international free trade union movement is equally very much concerned over the conditions in Rhodesian mines. At the time of the Wankie Mine disaster in June 1972 in which 500 miners were feared dead, the ICFTU conveyed its deep shock and distress. Relief assistance was given to the families of the victims.

     Following the arrests of a number of leading trade unionists and members of the Zimbabwe liberation movements in August 1973, the ICFTU sent a cable to the British Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Ministers’ meeting in Ottawa expressing its dismay at the arrests and detentions without trial, and called upon the British government to take the strongest measures which would force the Rhodesians to return to legality with a view to ensuring that human and trade union rights be established. The British Government replied that although “British constitutional responsibility for Rhodesia is not matched in present circumstances by a corresponding power to control events there” they are continuing to “urge upon the Rhodesians of all shades of view that they should discuss among themselves proposals for a settlement that will allow Rhodesia to return to constitutional legality”. 

     The ICFTU General Secretary appeared before the UN Special Political Committee in October 1973 on which occasion he submitted list of 65 African trade union detainees in Rhodesia appealing for appropriate action to be taken to ensure their release. The ICFTU gives legal and relief assistance to African trade union detainees and their families.

     We are also in regular contact with the African trade union movement in Rhodesia giving assistance where necessary. Currently, there are 22 African trade unions in Rhodesia. There is indeed a great need for a strong and viable African trade union movement in that country, for the minority racist regime does not even hesitate to introduce forced labour to promote its ends. The ICFTU protested in strongest terms against the introduction of this practice and other measures on South African Apartheid lines. In our letter of 12 February 1974 addressed to the United Nations we once again appealed for “sanctions against Rhodesia must be fully implemented and that the strongest measures be taken to establish human and trade union rights in Rhodesia”.

     A further letter concerning forced labour was addressed to the British Government.

     Why are sanctions against Rhodesia breached time and again? It is mainly because Rhodesia’s main export products such as tobacco are cheap. They are cheap because of the blatant exploitation of African labour. In the agricultural sector, such exploitation has been legalized through the Masters’ and Servants’ Act on the same lines as the same act in South Africa, which has recently been revoked because of world pressure. In Rhodesia, it still is very much in force. When the General Secretary of the Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union, P.J. Mpofu, submitted a memorandum on the need for a rationalisation of industrial regulation governing the agricultural industry in Rhodesia to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare in 1973,he was subsequently detained and is still in prison. He is receiving relief assistance from the international labour movement.

     The Rhodesian Financial Gazette reported in October 1974 on the basis of a study into the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) and wage levels in Rhodesia that over 90% of all African employees outside the European agricultural sector receive less that $70 cash wages a month which is considerably less than the PDL relevant to their family size. Yet, the study admits that a family unit will, in fact, require income greater than its PDL before it can actually purchase all the items listed as essential in the minimum quantities stated.
     As in South Africa, Rhodesian Government authorities and employers are reluctant to see African workers properly trained or promoted. In order to obtain the required skilled and semi-skilled labour, they resort to recruitment campaigns in Europe. Significantly, the influx of blue collar workers to Rhodesia – particularly in the engineering industry – is gathering momentum with a net gain so far this year of 545. It has been revealed that the South Africa Embassy in London is actively helping to recruit immigrants for Rhodesia in clear defiance of British sanctions laws. The Embassy is giving prospective immigrants printed slips containing the name and address of the “voluntary” Rhodesian Information and Publicity Service, which then advises them on how to reach Rhodesia.

     In January this year, the ICFTU sent out a circular to all affiliated organizations in industrialised countries and to the International Trade Secretariat appealing to them to impress upon their membership the implications of immigration to Rhodesia and to bring the matter to the attention of their governments pointing out that immigration to Rhodesia constitutes a violation of the UN-imposed mandatory sanctions. A letter was also addressed to the United Nations and to the British Government.

     In February this year, following reports of sanctions-busting in Switzerland, the ICFTU requested its Swiss affiliate to bring every pressure to bear on its government to ensure that United Nations Sanctions be fully implemented.

     It is clear that the order to obtain the desired result from sanctions – and it is generally accepted that they are indeed the best weapon, if properly implemented, to bring the illegal Rhodesian regime to heel – concerted action at international level is necessary. It is well known that cigarettes, such as Rothmans, are made with Rhodesian tobacco; that Rhodesian meat finds its way to Europe; that some UN-member states allow Rhodesian aircraft to unload goods which make their way to European markets. This situation can be arrested only if all institutions, international organizations and their bodies believing in democracy take it upon themselves to act as a watchdog taking immediate action whenever sanctions-busting – in any form – has been discovered.

     The ICFTU shall, of course, continue with its action until such time as human and trade union rights have been fully established in Rhodesia.

Andrew M. Kailembo
ICFTU Representative

8.      Final Plenary Session
     In winding up the proceedings of the morning, participants discussed in depth the problems and dangers of a sanctions campaign and the experience of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement as platform for continuing support for the liberation movements. In the final session delegations from a number of countries wished to put proposals before the conference as way forward.

     Anti Imperialist Solidarity Committee Berlin / Pieter Dietzel

     The West German Anti Imperialist Solidarity Committee regards this conference of major importance and puts it to the house that more such meetings should be held on a more regular basis. More frequent exchanges of international experiences and meanings are of key importance for an overall understanding particularly with regard to the imperialist motifs that the British government has embedded in the United Nations Security Council-driven sanction campaign. The experience of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement is an ideal for an international tribunal against colonialism and racism in Southern Africa.

     Such a tribunal is being planned to be held in West Germany in February 1975 addressing solidarity for the Third World more generally. At this tribunal information will be given on the role of West German capital in Southern Africa. This will be done on the basis of concrete examples. Also the supporting role of the West German Government will be outlined.

     Through this tribunal we aim to bring local activities in West Germany to a higher political level and lay the basis for a mass movement for political and material support for the liberation movements. The support of trade unions will be of essential significance. At this seminar we are once more made aware that the West German exploiters are the same as in their own country.      

     Information Centre Southern Africa, Bonn / Christa Brandt

     In West Germany there is no group that has a similar level of experience and research capacity as the Dutch Anti apartheid Movement. She supported the proposal of the previous speaker that the Dutch movement act in future as a coordinating body for developing a deeper understanding and practical engagement to support liberation in Southern Africa. All information regarding sanctions busting should be regularly relayed to Amsterdam and from there coordinated and prepared for more seminars of this nature. Information work, both in terms of detection of sanctions busting and dissemination of knowledge on Southern Africa to the general public needs to be done at the local level. But it remains important to get a broader understanding by looking at our challenges from an EC perspective.

     Dutch Labour Party / Mr. Relus ter Beek

   Mr. Relus ter Beek M.P. supports the idea for international coordination.  By means of the cooperation between politicians and action groups in the Netherlands he explains that an internationally coordinated cooperation model between progressive politicians and extra parliamentary movements in different countries can become immensely influential.

     Centre for Social Action, New York / Don Morton

    Don Morton considered a coordinator for the whole sanctions campaign internationally of the greatest possible importance and wholeheartedly supports previous speakers making the proposal.

     He gave a description of the work being done regarding Southern Africa and the close relations of the Centre for Social Action with the National Council of Churches in New York, and the World Council of Churches in Geneva. The CSA was also closely involved with the Gulf Oil Boycott Coalition regarding the involvement of this corporation in Cabinda. On the sanction campaigning front there was ongoing confrontation with the US Government regarding the soc-called Byrd Amendment exempting the importation of chrome from Rhodesia. This action also involved solidarity with the International Longshoremen (harbour workers) who refused to offload a ship in New York harbour carrying Rhodesian chrome.

     There was already a strong bilateral relationship with the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement. The KLM exposures was initiated in the United States and shared with the Dutch Movement. On both asides of the Atlantic a further 22 airlines and a host of travel agencies were exposed in one hub of conspiracy in organising tourism to Rhodesia. Involved in this conspiracy were auto hire businesses and hotels (Hertz, Avis and the Holiday Inn). This action was decentralized and led to a large number of protest actions, some in the form of direct actions, against offices in more than 20 cities across the United States. There was an enormous amount of publicity over a number of months as the exposures were made piecemeal and after preparation with local groups.

     The CSA is regularly involved in shareholder actions which provide ongoing pinpricks and media coverage on the role US corporations supporting the white minority regimes in Southern Africa. The Churches, student movement as well as cooperation with some Black Panther groups are the main planks in a platform for a nascent Anti Apartheid Movement USA (AAMUSA). Located in New York there are also many meetings of a formal and informal nature with the Sanctions Committee, Special Committee on Apartheid, Decolonisation Committees and meetings with leaders of the liberation movements based or visiting New York for work at the United Nations.

     Besides having a central point for coordination, which he concurs should be in Amsterdam, he believes that local groups, especially in New York, should act as independent nodal points doing what they can do best. A central point should involve communications and all country groups should have maximum opportunity to concentrate on their own situations without being dependent on a “centre”. Much more important than having a fixed centre doing everything we should strive to develop a flexible programme of action.  We could use the telex of the World Council of Churches as dissemination point.

     He also suggested that a close watch be kept by each group on shipping and cargo agencies.

     Danish Anti Apartheid Movement 

     The Danish Movement has it easy and not much work to do beyond public teach-ins, information dissemination and public education on the situation in Southern Africa. Since 1965 the Danish Government has sentenced 41 companies to fines totalling about f 750.000. So the sanctions legislation is being observed and offenders prosecuted. Besides, there is very little trade between Denmark and Rhodesia. The Danish AAM also supports the idea of a regular seminar of this nature organized and centralized with by the Dutch Anti apartheid Movement.

     British Anti Apartheid Movement / Mr. Mike Terry             

     Mike Terry explained that the work of the British AAM concentrates mainly on exposing the weaknesses of sanctions. The approach is different from the Dutch and only occasionally are blatant exposures of sanctions-busting done in England. These involve mainly media activities carrying advertisements for immigration to Rhodesia and British Airways which has an office in Rhodesia.

     He supports the proposal of Christa Brandt that the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement should carry out the international coordination and wishes to specify this on two points:

1.           Some cases have been put before the court whereby experience shows that the fines were small in relation to the profits made. Many companies have not been fined at all because of the authorities concerned did not take any action. Besides the tendency appears to blame the African countries. All this information has to be put together and passed on to organizations in the various countries.

2.           At first sight this research work is not popular and it requires special experience and motivation. The Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement could give bilateral support for starting and operating of small national groups for detection of sanctions busting. In this connection he thought also of Japan, where very much interest for this type of work exists.

     British Labour Party / Mr. James Christie

     Mr. Christie felt that it is of major importance that there is coordination of all activities whoever the coordinator will be. This should be the group with the most experience, which has contacts with the action groups and the relevant political parties and/or politicians.     

     British Anti Apartheid Movement / Abdul Minty

     Abdul Minty considered reports like those from the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement to be necessary and to be emulated in other countries as well. There needs to be more information on the nature of sanctions and how they are applied at a country-by-country level. This is important not only to increase the efficacy of Anti Apartheid Movements in their own countries, but also for distribution of information to international organizations like the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. These organizations normally get their information solely through official channels permitted by individual governments. International organizations can hardly attack national governments and institutions. Whereas supplementary information like that of the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement can play a vital role. Also the African states must have information from the action groups to make their accusations more concrete.

     He warns for not being willing to cooperate with the African states because this can easily be used by industrialized countries with the argument that if African states break sanctions why should the industrialized states not do so? It is important to clarify the position of African states on the same basis as this is being done with the western countries regarding sanctions busting.

     In his view the conclusion of the seminar is that much more work needs to be done in the field of exposing sanctions busters and ensuring that legal systems are in place to prosecute on the basis of Mandatory UN Security Council resolutions. Sanctions taken up in this way are a very valuable means for disseminating information and building moral and material support for the liberation movements. Also exposing sanctions as effectively as done in the Netherlands can embarrass countries into taking action.

     The Dutch AAM could do very useful work in coordinating and replicating its own methods among other country AAMs. But he wishes to go a step further by involving the international diplomatic level where we have a strong majority to work with. The Organization of African Unity plays a vital role in this. In consultation with the liberation movements and the Dutch AAM it might be possible to establish a comprehensive programme for action for the various groups concerning sanctions and sanctions busting. This cooperation is important to prove offences and to check on consistent implementation at the country level. Mr. Minty’s final conclusions are that it is important to realise that there is a lot of work to be done on sanctions. The most constructive part of the seminar was the proposal that the Anti Apartheid Movement in the Netherlands will try to take on the international coordination of the sanctions campaign. There will be talks with the liberation movements on this matter. Bi-lateral contacts, as proposed already is a process that has started with the holding of this seminar and will be extended.   

     ICFTU, Mr. Kailembo

     Mr Kailembo regrets that the seminar abandoned its academic character only towards the final session. The ICFTU has a coordination commission for Southern Africa, in which representatives of the trade unions in the industrialized countries take part. In this commission also the liberation of Rhodesia is discussed and whatever the ICFTU can contribute to this end. By means of two examples:

     1) An anti immigration to Rhodesia action against the South African Embassy in London in Britain itself. This is being undertaken by a number of trade unions. 

     2) An investment boycott action in which a number of corporations are being targeted.

     Mr. Kailembo draws the conclusion that the ICFTU through its relations can contribute to the support of the struggle in Southern Africa and the awakening of the workers in the industrialized countries. He underlines the significance of cooperation with the Anti Apartheid Movements in this field. Mr. Kailembo feels that it is possible through the coordination commission of the ICFTU to exert all forms of pressure on governments of the industrialized countries to effectuate the sanctions campaign against the illegal minority regime in Rhodesia.      


      The people of Zimbabwe have been highly honoured by the organization and holding of this seminar on sanctions against the British colonial regime of Southern Rhodesia.

     We take this opportunity to salute the Anti Apartheid Movement of the Netherlands whose tireless work in exposing sanctions-busting has embarrassed many governments. In addition, its multi-sided activities in collaboration with the Transnational Institute have resulted in this very important undertaking in the history of the liberation struggle of the people of Zimbabwe to regain their usurped freedom, land and rights.
     We also extend a hand of comradeship to the participants in this seminar with the conviction that their contributions will seek adoption of decisions leading to implementation of relevant appropriate measures to support methods that will effectively deal paralyzing blows to the British settler regime of Rhodesia.

     Available information shows blatant sanctions-busting by practically all imperialist countries whose insatiable capitalist appetite drives them to overlook clandestine networks operating before their noses, breaking sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This only affirms that the nature of capitalism will never allow the UN-backed sanctions to cripple the British colonial regime in Rhodesia. We therefore, restate to the international community that the imposition of sanctions against Rhodesia, an act initiated by the British government, was and is an outrageous British imperialist trick aimed at deceiving, misdirecting and misleading the world. It is a plot by which the world has been set on a wild goose-chase turning it away from the real issue. The problem is British colonialism in Zimbabwe. Its elimination will guarantee peace and normal intercourse, in all aspects of international relations, with the people of Zimbabwe under conditions of national independence.

     To remove the political impasse in Rhodesia, the people of Zimbabwe have long embarked on a people’s war. That is the method, appropriate and practicable to bring down the British colonial regime in our motherland. It is toward the support of this aspect of the struggle that we appeal to you to direct all your efforts.

     Already, many of our compatriots have died others are in death cells, prisons, detention and concentration camps. We are under national obligation to appeal to you all for material and financial assistance. This will enable us to carry out the revolution with accelerated tempo and shorten the period of oppression and exploitation of the black people of Zimbabwe.

     We also appeal for humanitarian assistance to deal with mounting welfare cases. Dependents of our comrades in death-cells, prisons, detention and concentration camps and those that have fallen in battle need food, clothing, shelter and education.

     We also want to benefit by this occasion and express our standpoint in relation to rumours being circulated by the British government about the possibility of a constitutional conference to settle the Rhodesian problem. This is not the stage of talking about constitutional conferences. We are fighting a people’s war for our liberation. We cannot sacrifice lives to achieve constitutional conferences. Ours is a revolutionary onslaught to eradicate the British colonial regime from Zimbabwe.

     In conclusion, we express hope that the decisions and conclusions of this very historic seminar will take continuation of sanctions against Rhodesia as an expression of solidarity and with support of the people of Zimbabwe in the struggle for total eradication of the British colonial set-up in our country. Let it be a pace-setter to embark on relevant and effective programmes to support the armed struggle in Zimbabwe.

     Thank you,

Statement by:
Philemon T. Makonese, Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) Representative in Zambia and Member of the Revolutionary Council & T.J.P. Jokonya,, Chairman of Zimbabwe African National Union and Representative in the UK and Western Europe, On the occasion of the Rhodesian Sanctions Seminar organised by the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement (AABN) and the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, November 29 & 30 November 1974.   

           Concluding Speech by Relus ter Beek (MP) Dutch Labour Party.      

     Mr. Chairman,

     When we started this seminar almost 30 hours ago on Sanctions against Sothern Rhodesia it was already clear from the beginning that we should not deal with this topic in isolation but we have to look at Southern Africa as a whole. One cannot isolate Namibia from South Africa or Rhodesia from Mozambique. The developments in Southern Africa are interrelated and our analysis of the situation in Southern Africa should be based on this interrelationship. So also our strategy, our means to change that situation in the direction we want. We did not make this mistake at this seminar to overlook this interrelationship.  

     We also discussed sometimes more, sometimes less in detail this situation in Southern Africa. We also did not make the other mistake of concentrating ourselves only on the question of sanctions. But by avoiding these mistakes I sometimes got the feeling that we were creating unnecessary confusion amongst ourselves about the meaning of the sanctions campaign by making some remarks which could only be interpreted as a taking a minimal meaning of sanctions. Therefore allow me to end this seminar by stating what I think should now be done.

     Firstly, sanctions against Southern Rhodesia are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. This is the view also of the liberation movement of Zimbabwe. And taking into consideration the already changed and still changing situation in Southern Africa our first priority as activists, trade unions and progressive political parties our first priorities are the interests of the liberation movements. We give them our full support, in fact to ZANU and ZAPU!

     We have to support ZANU and ZAPU in their struggles, a struggle which should also be ours. That is why the need for a standing communication between the liberation movements in Southern Africa and we in Western Europe is important to follow through.

     I said sanctions are not an end in themselves. Sanctions are an instrument to utilise in building solidarity in as far as they contribute to the liberation struggle. And I think it is true that a sanctions campaign focussing on improving their efficacy do contribute to the struggle because, as has been shown during this conference, these campaigns give us enormous opportunities to make clear what the nature of the problem is. The Smith regime is not just an illegal regime. It is an oppressive racist regime. And Smith’s regime should be brought down and replaced by a democratic government of the people.

     So it is towards this end that we have the means with the implementation of the sanctions campaign to contribute to this aim. It’s the way we have to look upon the nature of oppression and domination in Rhodesia, through the views offered by sanctions campaigning.

     That is why I was most satisfied and happy with the discussion this afternoon when all these concrete proposals came up. And I think that is also another reason why we all have to thank the Anti Apartheid Movement here in the Netherlands of which I am a proud and enthusiastic about its high level of activities here in the Netherlands.  That is why we have to thank the Movement for organizing this seminar, this conference; a seminar of international standing. And this is just the beginning. We have greater achievements to look forward to!

     The beginning of international cooperation among action groups, trade unions and political parties started at this conference. All are fighting for the same aim which is the liberation of Zimbabwe!

     And that is why I think we cannot finish this seminar in another way than pledging our full support for the people of Zimbabwe for their outstanding representatives of ZANU and ZAPU. We pledge out full support to the movements they represent!

Thank you!

Relus ter Beek (MP), Dutch Labour Party
November 1974

(Minutes prepared by Helen Hopps, TNI)