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Enuga Screenivasulu Reddy (India)

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Enuga Screenivasulu Reddy (India) Awarded for:
His active support of the South African freedom movement for more than half a century. As head of the United Nations (UN) Centre Against Apartheid for over two decades, he played a key role in promoting international sanctions against South Africa and organising the world campaign to free Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.

Profile of Enuga Screenivasulu Reddy

Reddy was born in 1924 in India. He was a senior fellow of the UN 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, the UN’s action against apartheid, anti-apartheid movements and campaigns, and relations between India and South Africa.

Reddy’s papers – donated to the Yale University Library in the USA, the Nehru Memorial Museum in New Delhi in India, and the universities of the Witwatersrand and Durban-Westville in South Africa, and several other institutions – are a valuable resource for the study of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and its international ramifications. Reddy has worked as a consultant to the ANC’s Department of Information in developing the sites on historical documents and UN action, and provided numerous documents from his collection.

Reddy became interested in the struggles of the Indian and African congresses in South Africa while studying at the University of Madras in Chennai, India. 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 UN’s discussion of racial discrimination in South Africa – he met the South African people’s delegation led by Dr AB 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 WEB du Bois and Dr Alpheus Hunton) in protest against racism in South Africa.

Reddy joined the UN 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 served as UN Assistant Secretary-General from 1983 to 1985.

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

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

Reddy spent the prime of his life taking interest in the freedom of Africans, especially oppressed South Africans. He produced volumes of literature on the struggles of South Africans against the apartheid system, while his position at the UN came in handy to expose apartheid crimes against humanity.