Several articles about Nimrod Sejake, 1985-86

Derry, Belfast YS campaign on apartheid

John Houston, Derry Young Socialists, Militant, October 1985

At the beginning of September Derry Young Socialists launched a campaign against apartheid in South Africa. The aims of the campaign were to encourage direct links between trade unionists in Ireland and South Africa; to get people to boycott South African goods and, to pressurise the British and Irish governments to enforce economic sanctions.

One of the highlights of the campaign was a public meeting on the 4th of September. The main speaker was Nimrod Sejake. The meeting was very well attended and Nimrod was eloquent and biting in his attacks on Botha’s monstrous regime.

On following days Nimrod toured the city visiting trade unionists. He met ambulance men who had just returned to work after a victorious strike. Various collections raised £50 for the struggle in South Africa and more will follow. Nimrod’s visit has got excellent coverage in the local media.

Saturday the 14th saw the Young Socialists, along with other trade unionists picketing outside the Richmond Centre and the other Dunnes Stores in Derry to support of the Dunnes strikers in Dublin.

A petition condemning apartheid and companies with South African links was signed by 2,000 people.

Belfast meeting

Militant, October 1985

A successful meeting on South Africa was held in Belfast by the Young Socialists on September 12th.

Kate O’Hanlon, Secretary of the Young Socialists, reported that one school student in South Africa said, ‘We might lose our lives, but the police will soon run out of bullets’, showing the lengths young people in South Africa are prepared to make an end apartheid.

The main speaker, Nimord Sejake, an exiled South Africa trade unionists, emphasised the role of the working class in the coming South African revolution.

He particularly commended the courageous struggle of the South African National Union of Mineworkers in their recent strike.

Roisin Gorman.

Sejake barred

Militant, October 1985

Derry Trades Council has introduced positive vetting for speakers, or so it seems. On a recent visit to Derry Nimord Sejake requested permission to address the Trades Council. He was in Derry to raise support for the black working class in South Africa, particularly the SA National Union of Mineworkers. Right-wingers and Sinn Fein members on the Trades Council Executive refused his request on the grounds that he was unacceptable to the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. This, despite the fact than Nimrod is a member of the IAAM and he has been a member of the ANC since 1953. He was a leader in the Johannesburg area until being forced into exile where he spent time as a political leader in the ANC guerrilla camps.

Many Trades Council delegates believed that the Executive’s decision overstepped their authority. At the next full meeting their decision was challenged. The Trades Council has always openly discussed all issues and Nimrod Sejake as an exiled trade unionists has aright to address the meeting. The executive’s position was only upheld on the casting vote of the Chairman. Obviously the right wing and Sinn Fein are not interested in democratic debate.

By a Militant reporter.

Sejake Eviction

Militant, October 1986

Nimrod Sejake faces eviction from the Red Cross hostel in Ballsbridge, Dublin, where he has lived as a refugee for the last six years. Nimrod is a veteran South African socialist, a former ANC official and a founder member of the Metal Workers’ Union in the Transvaal. He has been a fighter al his life. Because of his work and ideas he has been exiled from his native country. He had been constantly on the move, living in a precarious manner and on the verge of starvation more than once.

Having lived here for six years he finds his battles are far from over. Nimrod has continued to fight against the apartheid system by building support for the black workers in their struggles. This very political activity has been cited by the Red Cross as one of their ‘reasons’ for attempting to evict him. The Red Cross, who continue to buy South African fruit, have said that Nimrod’s political activity, amongst other things, ‘contravenes the principles of the neutrality of Ireland.’

Nimrod has been battling with the Red Cross and particularly the hostel management for some years. He has protested vigorously about the lack of heating in the refugees’ rooms. Many of whom are considerably older than Nimrod’s 66 years. Along with many other grievances he is also concerned with the lack of consultation with the refugees themselves with regard to any aspect of their daily life.

Because of the conditions at the hostel Nimrod has refused to contribute from his dole and now form his pension. Rather than give in he is prepared to fight to improve conditions for all refugees.

Articles by or about Nimrod