(8 October 1933– 1 November 2007)

Margaret Legum was a South African/British political activist who specialized in economics.



Margaret is known for her globally influential book published in 1963 on the necessity of economic sanctions against South Africa - South Africa: Crisis for the West - which she wrote in partnership with her husband Colin Legum.

Margaret Legum and her husband were banned by the apartheid government of South Africa in 1962. Holding dual nationality, she settled in Great Britain and was soon in demand as a broadcaster, journalist, and trainer for radical activists. Margaret had a long career as a key member of the Iona Community, the radical ecumenical movement based on the island of Iona.

Margaret worked as a lecturer at the London School of Economics, as she had back at Rhodes University. She was the founder of the South African Centre for Anti-Racism and Sexism (CARAS) as well as the British agency, PACE (Preparation for Adaptation to Changing Environments). Her first degree, in economics, was from Rhodes University, and to this she added a Master's degree in economics from Cambridge University in the UK and then a third degree from Rhodes University.

Margaret Legum's latter days were spent in South Africa, where she campaigned tirelessly for a system of economic organisation that would reduce developing nations' dependence on world markets, writing, ""I am outraged at our [South African] appalling poverty in the midst of unbelievable wealth and potential of plenty for everyone. It is based on our dependency on world economic factors over which we have no control".

Colin and Margaret Legum have three daughters: Kate, Liz, and Jo. Margaret was widowed in 2003.

Margaret Legum died in 2007, aged 74, from cancer. She is survived by her three daughters and grandchildren.

Books by Margeret Legum

South Africa: crisis for the West?
Colin Legum, Margaret Roberts Legum - History - 1964

Against all reason: Britain and South Africa in the eighties?
Margaret Roberts Legum - Political Science - 1981

It doesn't have to be like this!: a new economy for South Africa and the world?
Margaret Roberts Legum - Business & Economics - 2002

It doesn't have to be like this: global economics : a new way forward?
Margaret Roberts Legum - Political Science - 2003

Occasional Papers


GLOBALISATION. How it Works Now and How it Could Work