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Mr Neville Rubin

The Order of Luthuli in

Mr Neville Rubin Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the fight for the rights of workers through involvement in workers’ unions. He gallantly voiced out his opposition in the period when it was risky to one’s life to speak up.
Mr Neville Rubin was President of the National Union  of South African Students in 1959 and later chairperson of the international Students’ Conference. He fought a successful battle against the Nationalist government’s expulsion of African students from the traditionally white universities.

Rubin was a radical activist in the Liberal Party of South Africa from its inception in 1953, opposing apartheid in many campaigns. In 1965, having joined the underground African Resistance Movement, he was arrested by the Portuguese Police on the Swaziland-Mozambique border and jailed until released on the intervention of the British government, which had granted him entry to Britain to take up a teaching post at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University.

In England he was active in the Namibia Support Committee, campaigning for South Africa’s withdrawal from the territory. He was adviser to Ethiopia and Liberia at the International Court of Justice in their case for the cancellation of South Africa’s League of Nations Mandate in what was then South West Africa (now Namibia).

Among other effective actions at the United Nations (UN) he helped create UN Decree No 1, banning the export of Namibian natural resources except as authorised by the UN Council for Namibia.

He was a director of the Defence and Aid Fund of the United Kingdom and legal adviser when its role of transmitting funds to South Africa for the defence of those on trial for political sentences and aid to their families was banned by the apartheid government.