• Short Summary

    The South African government has carried out a sweeping purge against its opponents, arresting more than 50 black leaders, closing down two black newspapers and banning 18 anti-apartheid organisations.

  • Description

    CU Front page of World newspaper showing banned headline

    SV Print workers in composing room of newspaper

    SV Printing machine being prepared (2 shots)

    SV PAN Man carrying printing plate AND TRACK ALONG idle presses (2 shots)

    CU Front page of newspaper

    CU Justice Minister James Kruger speaking in English

    LOUW: "Mr. Kruger, the steps which you have now just taken are being described as 'drastic'. And it is being said that such drastic steps were not necessary. What is your reaction to this?"

    KRUGER: "Well, my reaction to that is that the steps were certainly necessary; because it's clear to us that since the riots broke out last year, and they flare up every now and then sporadically, those riots were not spontaneous at all. The grievances that initially were stated have now been changed. New grievances have come up. New objectives have been stated. New processes are being devised. And almost from day to day there is a change in tactics to keep the prevailing unrest going, and so that there can be a confrontation between black and white. Now a relatively small group of activists are taking part in this thing, but they are using a lot of puppets and they have managed now to intimidate a lot of ordinary people, particularly our black people. And this is an impossible. situation. We cannot allow this to continue. The whole social set-up of our black population is being disrupted by this continual confrontation between black and white. Houses are being burnt, children are not going to school, children are not obeying their parents any more; there is a continual agitation and a confrontation with the police; there is a continual police action in the townships, and this is a most unhealthy state of affairs. We cannot allow it to carry on, without doing our very best to fight back."

    South Africa's move has brought immediate condemnation from the United States and Britain. In Washington, a State Department spokesman said the United States would re-examine its relations with South Africa. British Foreign Secretary, Dr. David Owen, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Donald Coggan, both expressed distress and shock. Also on the banned list was the Black People's Convention, the "black consciousness" movement whose president, Steve Biko, died in detention on 12 September. Dr. Beyers Maude, director of the anti-apartheid Christian Institute which was also outlawed, said it was a "sad and terrible" day for South Africa.

    Initials BB/0200


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The South African government has carried out a sweeping purge against its opponents, arresting more than 50 black leaders, closing down two black newspapers and banning 18 anti-apartheid organisations. The move was announced by Justice Minister James Kruger in Johannesburg on Wednesday (19 October). Among those arrested were teachers, journalists, clergymen and six of the so-called "Committee of Ten", the unofficial leaders of the black township of Soweto. Mr. Percy Qoboza, 39-year old editor of the World Newspaper -- one of the two publications banned -- was among those arrested. He has championed black rights and challenged government policy since unrest in the country flared up in June last year.

    SYNOPSIS: Wednesday's (19 October) edition of The World which never reached the streets carried the story of its own banning and that of other organisations and people. Mr. Qoboza was arrested in his own office in Johannesburg only a few minutes before he was to have talked to other journalists who had gathered there.

    He is one of many blacks detained without trial under South Africa's security laws. The banning of The World and its sister paper Weekend World follows a bitter wrangle between its editor and Mr. Kruger. Mr. Kruger spoke to Nick Louw, of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

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