AA News warned that the unbanning of the ANC and PAC, and imminent release of Nelson Mandela, did not guarantee the end of apartheid. The AAM launched its South Africa: Freedom Now! campaign, calling for the maintenance of international pressure for the establishment of a united, non-racial democracy. COSATU General Secretary Jay Naidoo told of increasing repression of South African trade unionists. AA News reported on the constitution drafted by Namibia’s newly elected Constituent Assembly and on prospects for peace in Mozambique. A special report highlighted apartheid’s environmental impact.

AA News pictured Nelson Mandela walking out of Victor Verster Prison, and reprinted his speech from Cape Town town hall. It reported on the worldwide celebrations of his release. It called for support for the AAM demo planned for 25 March under the slogan ‘Tell Mrs Thatcher to Stop Supporting Apartheid’. In an article heralding Namibia’s independence celebrations planned for 21 March, AA News highlighted Namibia’s abolition of the death penalty. In the first of a series on the ‘Pillars of Apartheid’ AA News featured the Banstustan policy. It reported on the Malibongwe conference on women under apartheid held in Amsterdam.

This issue led on Namibia’s independence, declared on 20 March. It asked the British Government to press South Africa to end its occupation of Walvis Bay. It highlighted continuing repression in South Africa and the ANC’s attempts to resolve violent clashes in Natal. It reported on the Southern Africa Coalition’s lobby of parliament calling for the maintenance of international sanctions. A picture spread featured celebrations all over Britain of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

The May issue featured Nelson Mandela’s speech at the Wembley concert held on 16 April. It highlighted the AAM’s ‘South Africa Freedom Now’ campaign, culminating in a Trafalgar Square rally addressed by Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni on 25 March. It reported that formal talks between the South African government and the ANC were forecast to start in May. The issue also featured a visit to Britain by the South African Unemployed Workers Coordinating Committee and SACTU’s merger with COSATU.

The June issue led on the spread of attacks by white vigilante groups in South Africa. It protested against the EU’s welcome for South African President de Klerk on his ‘victory tour’ of Europe and announced an AAM Day of Action on 16 June on the theme ‘Boycott Apartheid – Sanctions Now!' It reported on the talks between the South African Government and the ANC, stressing that their aim was a united, non-racial democracy. Chitra Karve reported back from the AAM’s Black Solidarity Conference in Brixton, London on 3 March. Jean Middleton analysed a South African commission’s report on Inkatha violence in Natal.

Nelson Mandela’s appeal to the European Parliament not to lift European Community sanctions was this issue’s front page story. AA News highlighted Mandela’s call for a democratically elected assembly to draw up a new constitution for South Africa. The AAM announced a September month of action against tourism in South Africa. A centre spread featured the 1990 Glasgow Sechaba Festival of Cultural Resistance to Apartheid, to be held in September, and the Zabalaza festival planned in London’s ICA. AA News warned about far-right white groups in South Africa and of SADF complicity in Inkatha violence in Natal.

The September issue led on the Pretoria Minute, under which political prisoners would be released and the ANC would suspend armed struggle. ANC representative Mendi Msimang told AA News that sanctions must be maintained and that the KwaZulu police should be disbanded to stop violence in Natal. A special correspondent celebrated the relaunch of the South African Communist Party in Johannesburg. A centre spread profiled South Africa’s trade union movement. Vivien McMenamin analysed the key issues facing the post-apartheid economy.

‘Peace process in distress’ headlined this issue, quoting Mandela’s accusation that apartheid security forces were fomenting ‘black on black’ violence. It reported on TUC support for the AAM’s ‘Call to Freedom’ campaign and on the relaunch of the ANC Women’s League in South Africa. Namibian trade union leader Ben Ulenga described the role of the National Union of Namibian Workers. The first in a new series of articles on the future South Africa argued that the goal of the Mass Democratic Movement was a grassroots democracy, led by workers and street level organisations.