• Short Summary

    The Special Committee Against Apartheid at the United Nations on Friday (3 March) had a commemoration meeting for the late Mr.

  • Description

    GV INTERIOR: United Nations members standing in silence.

    SCU: Chairman of the Committee of 24, Salim A. Salim, of Tanzania, speaking.

    SALIM SALIM: "During his life, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was made to suffer indignities and inequalities of a magnitude which would undoubtedly have destroyed other people. His participation in the campaign against the pass-laws on the 1960 South Africa demonstrations resulted in his being cut off from his people for the following 17 years. But not even three years in jail, followed by another six years solitary confinement, in Robben Island, and not even his subsequent banishment from his hometown, where he lived in (INDISTINCT), succeeded in breaking his will, or making him lose faith in his fellow men and in the changes that were inevitable, the attainment of justice...or for that matter made him abandon his goal of a non-racial society where racism would be made a crime. Few men, Mr. Chairmen, are called upon during their life to make an imprint on the society where they lived, and to leave a mark on the minds of their fellow men. Robert Sobukwe, a victim of a cruel and human system, was undoubtedly such a man. His death is certainly a great blow to the African people in South Africa; indeed, it is a blow for all those who believe in the dignity and worth of the human person. Yet his contribution lives, and the struggle against racist oppression and for freedom in South Africa, which brother Robert Sobukwe inspired, will continue."

    After his three year jail term for incitement he was arrested for not carrying a pass card -- Mr. Sobukwe had been held in detention until 1969 on Robben Island, a penal colony for non-whites about seven miles (11 kilometres) from Cape Town. After coming off Robben Island, he was confined to the Kimberley municipal area under a banning order, which was renewed in 1974. He was allowed to practice law there but could not, under his banning order, attend meetings, or be quoted in the press.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Special Committee Against Apartheid at the United Nations on Friday (3 March) had a commemoration meeting for the late Mr. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, founder and president of the Pan African Congress of Azania. Mr. Sobukwe died in hospital in kimberley, South Africa on Sunday (26 February), at the age of 53. He had been seriously ill for more than a year.

    SYNOPSIS: Members of the committee against apartheid held a moment of silence for Mr. Sobukwe. The late leader had been jailed in 1960 for his role in the Pan-African Congress, just under a year after becoming its president.

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