THATCHER REFUSES TO DISCUSS NELSON MANDELA’S RELEASE
[ 15 July 1988 ]
On this day in 1988, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher replied to Bishop Trevor Huddleston, who was asking her to pressure the South African government to release Nelson Mandela. He had requested that she might meet himself and 25 activists who were marching 600 miles from Glasgow to London to raise public consciousness about the murderous apartheid regime. Her response was polite but firm: “I am afraid that I shall not be able to meet the marchers and you to discuss Mr. Mandela’s release.”(1)
- Margaret Thatcher quoted in Elizabeth M. Williams (2015), “The Politics of Race in Britain and South Africa: Black British Solidarity and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle,” I.B. Tauris, London and New York, p71.