AA News highlighted attacks by a ZAPU-ANC guerrilla group against forces of the white minority regime inside Zimbabwe and featured an interview by British journalist Gus Macdonald with ZAPU President James Chikerema. It reported on the gaoling of two witnesses in the trial of Winnie Mandela and 21 others because they refused to give evidence. A centrespread featured the Cabora Bassa dam project in Mozambique. Under the headline ‘Goodbye Springboks’, the newspaper reported on the mass demonstrations at the final games of the Springbok rugby tour of Britain and Ireland. 

The AAM marked the tenth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre with a re-enactment in Trafalgar Square and a programme of music and drama at the Lyceum Theatre. This issue publicised anniversary events in London and other centres. It reported on the Terrorism Act trial of Winnie Mandela and 21 others in Pretoria and on the campaign to force Barclays Bank to withdraw from South Africa. A centrespread exposed Prime Minister’s Vorster drive to suborn independent African states. Under the slogan ‘It’s not cricket’ the newspaper launched the AAM’s campaign for the cancellation of the all-white Springbok cricket tour scheduled for the summer of 1970.

This issue led on the murder of Imam Haroun by security police while he was held in detention under the South African Terrorism Act. In a round-up of nationwide actions, AA News reported on a protest at Edgbaston cricket ground against the 1970 Springbok cricket tour and advertised a demonstration at the first game in June. A centrespread focused on the below subsistence wages paid to black South African workers and the complicity of British companies. Former prisoner David Evans exposed the terrible conditions endured by long-term political prisoners in South African gaols.

The May issue headlined reports that the British company GKN was considering a bid to supply equipment for the Cabora Bassa dam project. A special feature on Barclays Bank explained why the bank had been singled out for anti-apartheid action and reported on a nationwide day of action calling on it to pull out of South Africa. AA News exposed the loopholes in the Labour government’s arms embargo and reported on the massive buildup of South Africa’s arms industry. It heralded advances by MPLA guerrilla fighters in Angola and exposed the involvement of expatriate British police officers in the coup in Lesotho.

An editorial welcomed the cancellation of the all-white Springbok cricket tour but argued that the crux of British backing for apartheid was Britain’s huge investment and trade with South Africa. AA News exposed how British aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley was evading the South African arms embargo. A centrespread set out the basic facts of apartheid. Peter Sinclair reported on the closing of the last mixed race jazz venues in South Africa and how musicians like Dudu Pukwana had been forced into exile. A back page feature called for a stepping up of the campaign against British economic links with South Africa.

One of the first acts of the Conservative government after its June 1970 general election victory was to lift the South African arms embargo. AA News featured the arrest of protesters at South African Foreign Minister Hilgard Muller’s visit to the British Foreign Office and carried a map showing the location of British arms suppliers. It reported on the trial of ANC supporters, including Winnie Mandela, under the Terrorism Act, and on the apartheid government’s refusal of an exit permit to PAC leader Robert Sobukwe. It featured the conference in Rome organised by the liberation movements in Portugal’s African colonies, exposing NATO support for Portugal.

Under the headline ‘Leaflet bombs rock 5 cities’, AA News reported on the distribution of ANC pamphlets in urban centres all over South Africa. It again featured the Terrorism Act trial of ANC supporters, exposing the torture of the No. 1 accused Benjamin Ramotse. AA News announced plans by the AAM to intensify its work in the British labour movement to stop arms sales to South Africa. South African detainee John Schlapobersky described his torture by the South African security police. In an special interview, SWAPO Secretary Moses Garoeb emphasised the central role of armed struggle in Namibia’s fight for independence.

AA News exposed a proposal under which the Conservative government would retain the South African arms embargo in return for African Commonwealth countries agreement to a deal with the Smith regime in Zimbabwe. It reviewed moves at the Labour Party conference to support the arms embargo. Former NUSAS president elect John Sprack welcomed the setting up of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) by black students. A centrespread set out the facts about British economic involvement in apartheid. AA News reported on the decision of the World Council of Churches to give grants to the Southern African liberation movements.