The AAM started in 1959 under the name The Boycott Movement Committee. It changed its name to AAM in 1960 after the Sharpeville massacre to become a permanent organisation. It grew into one of the biggest anti-apartheid organisations in the world with committees covering specific subjects and branches all over the UK. It was a member of the European Liaison Group. It was often the fore-runner and initiator of international campaigns and worked closely with the ANC and UN agencies. It dissolved itself in 1995 to continue as Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).
AAM London was the umbrella organisation for the 32 anti-apartheid groups in the Greater London area, and a regional committee of the national anti-apartheid movement. It took an active role in promoting the boycott movement, encouraging local groups to picket supermarkets, branches of Barclays Bank, Shell garages and other organisations supporting apartheid. It also encouraged involvement by the trade unions and churches, among many other organisations, in the anti-apartheid struggle.
The material includes fragments of the Rivonia Trial Transcript concerning the details of the charges; news sheets and press releases about the Rivonia Trial; a statement by Kellock on the Trial; information sheets on South African legislation; minutes and circulars from the World Campaign for the Release of South African Political Prisoners. Other material includes Anti-Apartheid Movement correspondence, and national and executive committee meeting minutes for 1965 - 1966; correspondence relating to the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee and its officials; and papers relating to the Nyasaland emergency of 1959.
Judge Kellock, (formerly Mr. Thomas Oslaf Kellock, Q.C.) was Chairman of the National Committee of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Britain from 1963-65. This group of papers is mostly concerned with the period when Mr. Kellock was sent to South Africa by Christian Action to act as an observer for the Defence and Aid Fund at the Rivonia Trial in 1964.
Transcripts of political cases. Peripherally related to the Rivonia Trial is File 4: Inquest to establish cause of death of Looksmart Ngudle. It contains: transcript of complete proceedings. Pretoria, 21st Oct. 1963 - 23rd Dec. 1963. Looksmart Ngudle, a ninety-day detainee held under the Sabotage Act, was found dead, hanging in his cell at Pretoria Central Police Station, on September 5th, after 16 days in detention. He had been arrested in Cape Town and was found in possession of a firearm and some African National Congress leaflets. The four witnesses, held at the same time as Ngudle, said when cross-examined by the Defence that they had been tortured with electric shocks and severe beatings. One said that he was forced to sign a statement claiming that Ngudle was an important Umkonto we Sizwe leader (Ngudle was named in the Rivonia Trial as a co-conspirator). Each of the witnesses stated that Ngudle had told them that he was being tortured. The state claimed that Ngudle hanged himself because he had betrayed his comrades and had been told that he was going to be sentenced to death anyway. Further evidence of torture was ruled irrelevant: the court refused to accept the Defence's contention that torture (which the police denied) was a contributing factor to Ngudle's suicide. The hearing was adjourned.