INTRODUCTION: The Rhodesian Government has released a communique claiming that 400 schoolchildren and eight adults were abducted form the Manama Lutheran mission school by nationalist guerrillas on Sunday (30 January).
GV PAN School buildings
SV PAN Books scattered on ground (2 shots)
CU Sign - woman being questioned
SV Parents waiting around school
CU Headmaster talking to newsmen
SCU District Commission talking to newsmen
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: DISTRICT COMMISSIONER: "Acting on information we came down here and observed that a lot of schoolchildren were missing. It's estimated that 400 schoolchildren, five teachers and two nurses are missing. As a result of this we went into the forest last night and on the way down checked several spots along the border. The border is about 27 kilometres (10 miles) from here. Five male teachers and the children were both make and female. From what I can gather form speaking to the headmaster here it all happened at about 7pm. The guerrillas rounded the children up, brought them outside here and then took the cash off the headmaster. I have no idea what the children's ages were. It's difficult to be accurate about what type of weapons the guerrillas were carrying."
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: ZAPU is headed by nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo, who also co-leads the Patriotic Front group with Robert Mugabe. The Rhodesian Governments's communique has brought a strong re action from the government in Botswana. On Tuesday (1 February) a government spokesman said the children were not abducted, but fled form Rhodesia to avoid harassment by Rhodesian border forces. This brought a further reply from Mr va der Byl who said there was no question of the children having left Rhodesia voluntarily.
EUROVISION SATELLITE TELERECORDING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Rhodesian Government has released a communique claiming that 400 schoolchildren and eight adults were abducted form the Manama Lutheran mission school by nationalist guerrillas on Sunday (30 January). The children, aged between 14 and 19, a pastor, five teachers and two nurses are said to have been marched into neighbouring Botswana at gunpoint by men identifying themselves as members of the Zimbabwe Africa People's Union (ZAPU).
SYNOPSIS: The communique also claims that the school's headmaster -- whose identity is being kept a secret -- was forced to hand over 13,000 dollars Rhodesian (13,000 sterling) to the guerrillas before they left him tied up at the school. Rhodesian Foreign Affairs Minister, Pieter van der Byl, has already appealed to the Botswana Government for help. "This is just one more incident of crimes ranging form murder and sabotage to robbery and abduction by terrorists crossing the border," he said. Mr van der Byl said the parents of the schoolchildren were "desolate".
The headmaster said the raid on his school took everyone by surprise. He said the raiders were well organised and heavily armed.
The area's District Commissioner also spoke about the raid.