When Giants Walked Amongst Us

Jamaica was at the forefront of the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

The first country to declare a trade embargo against South Africa, as early as 1957.

Jamaica played a crucial role in pressing the international community to limit foreign trade and investment in South Africa, with a view to creating economic dislocation which, coupled with the internal struggles of South Africans, would lead to the dismantling of apartheid.


In 1978, Michael Manley (pictured below) with Nelson Mandela was then Prime Minister. He was among a group of eminent persons awarded the UN gold medals for distinguished service in the struggle against apartheid. He led the Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa in 1992 and 1993 and again in 1994 to observe the first democratic elections.

Michael Manley also received South Africa’s Order of the Companions of Oliver Tambo (Gold Award) for promoting the interests and aspirations of the Republic of South Africa at the higher levels through excellent cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

During the apartheid years, the Jamaican and other CARICOM governments awarded scholarships to several South African students to attend the University of the West Indies and other regional institutions.

The Jamaican Government has waived visa requirements for all South African passport holders, while regular holders of Jamaican passports may enter South Africa for a period of up to 90 days without the necessity of visas.

Nelson Mandela and Michael Manley via jis.gov.jm
Nelson Mandela and Michael Manley via jis.gov.jm

Curated from The Diplomatic Society

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