Amnesty International South Africa was founded in 1990 and grew from modest beginnings to become a key player in South Africa's transition to democracy and an important part of Amnesty's international movement, hosting the Amnesty International ICM in 1997. Today Amnesty International South Africa continues to campaign on multiple fronts including human rights education, women's rights, arms control and Zimbabwe.
Amnesty International did not have a group presence in South Africa up to the end of the 1980s because mixed race meeting were not allowed under the apartheid regime. However there were individual members linked to London. It was only in 1990 when the local situation improved with a reduction in repression and the unbanning of the ANC and its allied organisations, that the International Secretariat allowed the formation of groups in the country.
In 1990-92, four groups started around the country - Port Elizabeth was the first group, followed by Durban, Pietermartizburg and Pretoria. Members from these groups met in 1993 to form a national coordinating committee (some representatives Piotr Nowosad and Linda Stiebel). By that time there were additional groups in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Grahamstown. A national office was opened in Cape Town in 1995 and this moved to Pretoria in 1998. By that... Read More