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    South Africa's Foreign Minister, Mr.

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    SCU INTERIOR South African Foreign Minister, Mr. Pik Botha, answering reporter's questions in English.

    INTERVIEWER: "Do you think Mr. Mugabe is aware of South Africa's importance for Zimbabwe especially as far as trade links are concerned?"

    BOTHA: "Yes, by and large. Let's put it this way, they ought to be. They ought to be aware of the advantages reliable economic, technical and trade relations hold for Zimbabwe and her people. Whether that is going to be acceptable in practice under the pressures of various ideologies within the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) context, that is a different matter. Unfortunately, and this is the tragedy of Africa, unfortunately, the position is that economic development, the making of roads, airports, rail-links, the proper functioning of ports, agricultural production, food production, water and energy production, these very important elements of development in the light of every nation and more particularly so in the light of lesser developed nations, these very important elements do not receive the necessary serious attention by African leaders. And unfortunately the United Nations is not doing its part to develop Africa. So that, in the words of the Secretary General of the OAU recently at the annual conference in Lagos. "Africa is dying". And unless Africa's leaders now seriously accept the serious lesson of their economic disintegration, political and social disintegration, there is a very dark lesson for this continent. And unless Zimbabwe realises it would not be able, that it would not be possible, to develop its people and its country by merely shouting at South Africa, Zimbabwe would go the same way."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: South Africa's Foreign Minister, Mr. Pik Botha, has criticised black African leaders for not paying proper attention to the economic development of their countries. Mr. Botha was being interviewed on South African television about trade links between his country and the Zimbabwe Government's of Mr. Robert Mugabe.

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