• Short Summary

    The United Nations deadline for action by South Africa to yield its disputed control of South West Africa, dawned on Friday (30 May) with little perceptible change in the political scene.

  • Description

    The United Nations deadline for action by South Africa to yield its disputed control of South West Africa, dawned on Friday (30 May) with little perceptible change in the political scene.

    Mr. Jannie De Wet, South Africa's Commissioner-General for the territory, said that he thought any intervention by the United Nations would meet with opposition from all the people of the region. The population of South West Africa is estimated to be about 850,000.

    South Africa administers the territory - four times the size of Britain - under a mandate granted in 1919 by the League of Nations, but since revoked by the United Nations. It is sparsely populated, but rich in minerals.

    The United Nations Security Council last December set a deadline of 30th of May for South Africa to announce its withdrawal from South West Africa. The Security Council was due to meet on Friday to review the situation and decide what measures to take. After decades of argument, the stage was set for confrontation between South Africa and the World body.

    But before the deadline was reached, many people were forecasting violent developments in the situation whatever action the U.N. decided on.

    South Africa maintains that it is not answerable to the United Nations on the issue. But in line with its drive for friendlier relations with black Africa, it has embarked on a campaign to loosen apartheid in the territory, and encourage the various tribes and ethnic groups towards talking about independence.

    But SWAPO (the South West Africa People's Organisation), which is recognised by the U.N. and the Organisation of African Unity, is apparently unimpressed. The Chairman of SWAPO's northern region, Mr. Skinny Hilundwa, says "Whites and blacks in Namibia (the nationalist name for the territory) live in two different worlds. The blacks are the have-nots, victims of discrimination and oppression".

    South Africa and the regional governments at Windhoek and in Owambo, the comparatively fertile northern region, where SWAPO draws most of its support from, consider the movement is a spent force.

    As with the South African Government, the Commissioner-General, who is a prominent farmer in South West Africa, is pinning his hopes on a proposed constitutional conference. SWAPO has said it will boycott this, seeing it as a South African plot to carve up South West Africa into separate tribal home-lands. This would leave the whites, now outnumbered six to one, in a strong position.

    Meanwhile the South Africans are pumping millions of rands into the industrial and agricultural development of Owambo and Kavango, the regions bordering Angola. According to some observers, the fear is that unless conditions for the populations of the two areas can be improved, there is a danger of guerrillas gaining a foothold there.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA40RZ5YBBWJB0DGKTGSLL581HS
    Media URN:
    VLVA40RZ5YBBWJB0DGKTGSLL581HS
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/06/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:23:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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