Fatima Meer is banned for a second time

Fatima Meer

Friday, 31 July 1981

Federation of South African Women (FSAW or FEDSAW) President and the first person to be banned under the 1976 Internal Security Act, Fatima Meer, was banned again for a further five years. Her first ban emanated from trying to organise a rally with Steve Biko. Shortly after her release in 1976, Fatima survived an assassination attempt, when her house was petrol bombed. Her second ban followed the re-emergence of FEDSAW. Through her organisation, Meer was one of the initiators of the Free Mandela Campaign launched in 1981 to call for the release of Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners. She was also involved in campaigns to save the lives of African National Congress(ANC) members sentenced to death, and mobilised support for their families, as well as for other political prisoners, detainees and banned people and their families. In 1981, FEDSAW was once again one of the initiators of a call to set up regional committees to co-ordinate a campaign to boycott the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding in 1961 of the (white) Republic of South Africa. The federation also took up grassroots issues, fighting against rent and bus fare increases, against forced removals, and for health and childcare facilities. When school pupils engaged in protests and boycotts, it expressed its solidarity with them. It was the result of these actions by FEDSAW that saw Meer banned for a further five years.

References:
• Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.
• Van Allen J.I., Fatima Meer, from the Encyclopeadia Britannica, [online], Available at: www.britannica.com[Accessed: 22 July 2014]

Last updated : 03-Mar-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011