The ES Reddy Collection

ES Reddy


E.S. [Enuga Sreenivasulu] Reddy, a national of India, has been an active supporter of the South African freedom movement for more than half a century. As head of the United Nations Centre against Apartheid for over two decades, he played a key role in promoting international sanctions against South Africa and assistance to the liberation movement, as well as in organising the world campaign to free Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.

After his retirement from the UN in 1985, he was a senior fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (1985-1993) and a member of the Council of Trustees of the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa (1986-1992). He has written extensively on the history of the South African liberation movement and its leaders, United Nations action against apartheid, anti-apartheid movements and campaigns, and relations between India and South Africa.

His papers - donated to the Yale University Library in the United States, the Nehru Memorial Museum in New Delhi, and the Universities of Witwatersrand and Durban-Westville in South Africa, and several other institutions - are a valuable resource for a study of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and its international repercussions.

Mr. Reddy has acted as a consultant to the ANC Department of Information in developing the sites on Historical Documents and United Nations action, and provided numerous documents from his collection.


Mr. Reddy, born in India in 1924, became interested in the struggles of the Indian and African congresses in South Africa while a student at the University of Madras. Arriving in New York for further studies in 1946 - the year of the African miners' strike and the Indian passive resistance, as well as the United Nations discussion of racial discrimination in South Africa - he met the South African people's delegation led by Dr. A.B. Xuma, President-General of the ANC. He participated in a demonstration and other events organised by the Council on African Affairs (led by Paul Robeson, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and Dr. Alpheus Hunton) in protest against racism in South Africa.

He joined the United Nations Secretariat in 1949 and dealt with South Africa for most of the 35 years he served as a UN official. From 1963 to 1984, he was the official in charge of action against apartheid, as principal secretary of the Special Committee against Apartheid and later Director of the Centre against Apartheid. He was Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1983 to 1985.

He organised and participated in scores of international conferences and seminars against apartheid, undertook missions to a number of capitals to promote action against the racist regime and administered funds for scholarships and for assistance to political prisoners in Southern Africa.

The contribution of Mr. Reddy to the international campaign against apartheid has been recognised by leaders of the South African liberation movements, as well as opponents of apartheid around the world.

Oliver Tambo, President of the ANC, expressed "very deep appreciation of your work and your infectious devotion and commitment to the liberation struggle in South Africa."

Sean MacBride, winner of Nobel Peace Prize and former United Nations Commissioner for Namibia, said at a public meeting addressed by Mr. Reddy in Dublin on March 19, 1985:

"It has been my privilege to work with E.S. Reddy for close on 20 years, and I can say without fear of contradiction that there is no one at the United Nations who has done more to expose the injustices of apartheid and the illegality of the South African regime than he has. E.S. Reddy has done so with tremendous courage and ability… he dedicated his entire energy and skills to the liberation from oppression of the people of Southern Africa. He had to face many obstacles and antagonisms, coming from the Western Powers mainly, but he had the skill, courage and determination necessary to overcome the systematic overt and covert opposition to the liberation of the people of Southern Africa."

Olof Palme, then Prime Minister of Sweden, wrote to him on November 20, 1985:

"Your own contributions to the work of the United Nations against apartheid have been formidable. Your devoted work has been highly appreciated by many of us here in Sweden."

Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, referring to United Nations action against apartheid, said on January 27, 1995:

"And in this context, I feel bound to pay tribute to Mr. Enuga Reddy, the former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, who personally played such an important role in this work."

Mr. Reddy received the Joliot-Curie Medal of the World Peace Council in 1982 for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid. The University of Durban-Westville awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1995 in recognition of his contribution to the struggle against apartheid and scholarly work on South Africa.


A list of books written, compiled or edited by Mr. Reddy and of articles written by him, which may be found on the site, is given below.

Some of the collections of documents compiled and edited by Mr. Reddy - such as the collection of speeches and articles of Oliver Tambo - have not been published in book form and can be found only on this site.

Several other collections on this site - e.g., the speeches and writings of Chief Albert K. Lutuli, Dr. Yusuf Dadoo and Dr. G.M. Naicker - are expanded and revised versions of books published in India and South Africa.

Some of the speeches and papers by Mr. Reddy are published for the first time on this site.

The site is still in the process of development and further documentation will be added as soon as possible.

The following are the works of Mr. Reddy which may be found in this site.


Date Title
20 May 1980 Mission of H.E. Mr. B. Akporode Clark
Meeting with Officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Helsinki, Finland, 20 May 1980
05 Sep 1991 Speech Opening the Exhibit on "Art, Culture and Social Reality" at the Wits Spring Festival, University of Witwatersrand
01 Apr 1995 India and South Africa: New Challenges
Article by E.S. Reddy, April 1995
26 Jun 1999 AAM and the United Nations
Paper presented by E.S. Reddy to the symposium on "The Anti-Aparthied Movement: a 40-year Perspective," London, June 26, 1999