1980-1989 | Backing Apartheid

22 OCTOBER

34 CONSERVATIVE MPS HOLD INVESTMENTS IN APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA

Dennis and Margaret Thatcher (White House Photo Office via Wikimedia) and a boycott apartheid stick-on label (Djembayz – CC BY-SA 3.0 – via Wikimedia.)

[ 22 0ctober 1985 ]

On this day in 1985, a Labour Party press release revealed that 34 Conservative MPs held investments in apartheid South Africa and that the previous year at least nine had visited South Africa as guests of the South African government. The prime minister’s husband, Dennis Thatcher, also held substantial investments in South Africa and was profiting from the business as usual approach. Anti-apartheid activists suggested that this direct financial dependency, as well as the powerful influence of big business, was the real reason that Britain remained the only Commonwealth nation which still remained opposed to widening the range of economic sanctions on the racist regime.1

FOOTNOTE

  1. Elizabeth M. Williams, The Politics of Race in Britain and South Africa: Black British Solidarity and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle, I.B. Tauris, London and New York, 2015, p. 59.

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