In South Africa, there are now three main candidates expected to run for the position of Prime Minister to succeed John Vorster, who announced his resignation on Wednesday (20 September).
INT MV Bishop of Johannesburg Desmond Tutu giving interview in English.
REPORTER: "Bishop, what are your feelings about the situation now that we have a change in the Prime Minister in South Africa?"
TUTU: "Well, I think that it could not have come at a more inopportune moment because the new man has got to try to, mean to establish himself as the unchallenged leader in South Africa and following in the footsteps of Dr. Verwoerd and then now Mr. Vorster, he really has his work cut out to do his. And I suspect that whoever might succeed would probably want to indicate that he was a strong man and that therefore we are likely to have more of the intransigence that has characterised our government since June the 16th, 1976."
REPORTER: "Of those potential candidates for the post of Prime Minister, amongst them do you see any people that you feel might produce a somewhat more enlightened attitude towards race problems in South Africa?"
TUTU: "I would have thought that the former United Nations Ambassador of our country, the present Foreign Minister Mr. Pik Botha, to my way of thinking the best bet in that direction. I can't see anybody else with in the ranks of the present cabinet who could begin to do that better then he."
After Mr Vorster's resignation announcement, Madagascar Radio suggested it might mark the beginning of the end of South Africa's official policy of racial segregation. While the white South African minority would obviously not easily renounce its privileges, the radio station said, it was equally clear that the black majority would not allow itself be subdued.
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Background: In South Africa, there are now three main candidates expected to run for the position of Prime Minister to succeed John Vorster, who announced his resignation on Wednesday (20 September). Observers expect the main struggle for the leadership to be between Defence Minister Pieter Botha and the Plural (Black) Relations Minister Dr. Connie Mulder. The third contender is Foreign Minister Pik Botha. A fourth potential contender, Labour and Mines Minister Stephanus (Fanie) Botha, announced later on Wednesday that he would refuse to be nominated, in order to maintain what he called the "highest degree of unity" during the elections of a new Prime Minister. The black Bishop of Johannesburg, Desmond Tutu, was asked on Thursday (21 September) for his views on the candidates.