Zimbabwe's Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr.
SCU Kumbirai Kangai speaking in English.
SPEECH ON CASSETTE (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 1: KANGAI: "It is quite clear that the apartheid regime is taking retaliatory action to abrogate legal contracts of workers. I hope that the racist will provide adequate compensation for the workers who appear to be summarily dismissed. The Rand Daily Mail attributed the action taken to have precipitated by a statement made by my colleague, the Minister for Information and Tourism, Comrade Shamuyarira. Such interpretation of events is mischevious because the position of the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe on that subject has been made clear before. The Prime Minister, Comrade Robert Mugabe, said that if other Zimbabweans chose to seek work in South Africa or elsewhere, no impediment will be placed in their way. But it must be understood that they do so as private individuals and not under the aegis of the government. Many other government ministers, including myself, have reinforced that position. It is quite clear that Zimbabwean nationals are being victimised for a stand which has been taken by our government against the evil system of apartheid. That being the case, then the people of Zimbabwe will accept that as part of the price which we have to pay for the liberation of Africa. Our government will be prepared to receive our nationals. I thank you."
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Background: Zimbabwe's Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr. Kumbirai Kangai, has accused the South Africans of victimising Zimbabwean workers because of their country's stand on apartheid. Mr. Kangai was speaking after newspaper reports suggested that South Africa was to allow the contracts of 20,000 Zimbabwean expatriate workers to expire, effectively barring them from the country. Two days earlier the South Africans had accused the Zimbabwean authorities of preventing Zimbabwean workers from returning to their jobs in South Africa by refusing to issue travel documents.