Collection 017 - South Africa: The Making of US Policy: 1962-1989

Identity area

Reference code

US MR-RT-017

Title

South Africa: The Making of US Policy: 1962-1989

Date(s)

  • 1962 - 1989 (Accumulation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

2500 items. It is unclear how many items relate directly to the Rivonia Trial ; Microfiche, Text-based documents

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Scope and content

This collection provides primary source documents describing U.S. relationships to apartheid including implementation, enforcement, and violations of the U.N-sponsored sanctions against South Africa. Including the following that relate to the Rivonia Trial:
-United States Embassy (South Africa) reports that the African National Congress (ANC) was created to carry out sabotage, stating that the arrest of Nelson Mandela occurred after he planned subversive activities (1962).
-A memorandum issued by the Summit Conference of Independent African States held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1963), agreeing to provide funding to help South African liberation movements and calling for the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, Robert Sobukwe and all other political prisoners.
-A memorandum on the Rivonia Trial providing biographical information on the Rivonia Trialists, and in which Nelson Mandela argues that opposition groups resorted to armed struggle only after avenues for peaceful change were blocked (1964).
-A report in which ANC and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Michael Harmel and Walter Sisulu are described as Communists, and documents presented during the Rivonia Trial are cited as evidence of the contacts between the ANC, PAC, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China (1964).
-A memorandum of conversation in which Cecil Eprile characterises black leaders like Nelson Mandela as careless and prone to bad judgment (1965).
-A cable relating to Resolution 473 of the United Nations Security Council urging South Africa to release all political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela (1980).
-Biographic sketch information on Nelson Mandela provided by the US Department of State (1983).
-A cable on the awarding of the international Simon Bolivar prize to Nelson Mandela by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (1983).
-Correspondence to the South African Ambassador to the United States, calling for the release of Nelson Mandela (1984).
- A cable about the Johannesburg Star Newspaper reports that the arrest of Nelson Mandela 25 years ago occurred after he was betrayed by a US Central Intelligence Agency agent posing as a diplomat of the United States Consulate General in Durban (1986).
- A statement in which Chester A. Crocker calls for the release of Nelson Mandela (1986).
- A report in which the US Department of State Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa asserts that the first steps taken by South Africa must be the release of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and all other political prisoners (1987).

The National Security Archive is a non-profit research institute and library providing public access to declassified government documents obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These are then published as declassified document sets (as this one on South Africa), are produced in microfiche, and digitised to become part of the Digital National Security Archive database which some universities subscribe to (Monash University in South Africa).

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Unrestricted. Subscription required for online database.

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Finding aids

Overview of microfiche collection available online - https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//nsa/publications/s_africa/s_africa.html

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Database of documents available on subscription basis - http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com/marketing/index.jsp

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