Operation Vula: a secret Dutch network against apartheid

Anti-apartheid protesters calling for a boycott of oranges from South Africa to the Netherlands in 1973 (Nationaal Archief NL)

This award-winning programme focuses on a secret operation involving the Netherlands Anti-Apartheid Movement, the AABN, during Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment and the apartheid years in South Africa. The AABN and the driving force behind it, a young Dutch woman Conny Braam, operated a secret network to relay messages from Mandela’s party, the African National Congress operating underground in South Africa, to exiled leaders abroad and back into South Africa, enabling even Mandela to communicate with the ANC from his prison cell.

Produced and presented by Veronica Wilson

First broadcast September 9, 1999