Anti-apartheid campaigners staged a demonstration outside the South African embassy in London on Thursday (27 November) demanding reprieve for three black members of the African National Congress sentenced to death in Pretoria.
GV South Africa House in London, with demonstrators outside.
SV Demonstrators with anti-apartheid posters outside South Africa House. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Demonstrators with banners confronting police on pavement. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN Woman demonstrator Mrs Norma Kitson being arrested and carried off by police.
SV South African ambassador arrives by coach and enters building.
SV Demonstrators lining pavement.
CU ZOOM SV Demonstrator speaking in English, holding letter to South African ambassador.
SV Letter being delivered to South Africa House.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 7: PROTEST SPOKESMAN: "I've got a letter here which we're handing in to the South African ambassador, signed by several Labour MPs in which we express our profound shock at the sentences of death passed yesterday on African national Congress members. The only crime they have committed is to fight against apartheid, which is itself, a crime against humanity."
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Background: Anti-apartheid campaigners staged a demonstration outside the South African embassy in London on Thursday (27 November) demanding reprieve for three black members of the African National Congress sentenced to death in Pretoria. One of the protestors was arrested and carried away by police.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration, under the banner of "South Africa : the imprisoned society", was staged less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court in Pretoria imposed the death penalty. The three men were convicted of high treason after a lengthy trial on charges connected with a bank siege and an attack on a police station last January. The London protest was designed to draw public attention to the case and generate support for a reprieve.
The campaign has already won the backing of several labour members of parliament who joined the protestors on the pavement outside South Africa House.
The only incident came when police confronted the demonstrators and asked them to clear the pavement, One protesters Mrs Norma Kitson, whose husband David is being held in a South African prison was arrested for failing to obey a police instruction to move on.
The demonstration was timed to coincide with the arrival of South Africa's new ambassador Marais Steyn. He was met by the group after returning from Buckingham Palace where he had presented his credentials to the Queen. Mr. Steyn's staff were later presented with a letter outlining the protestors' complaints' against the Pretoria court ruling.
The demonstrators say the letter is the first of many appeals they will be issuing to South African officials. In april last year, a 23-year-old black guerrilla was hanged in Pretoria despite worldwide appeals for clemency.