The black United States ambassador to the United Nations, Andrw Young, arrived in South Africa on Saturday (21 May) at the start of a controversial two-day private visit.
The black United States ambassador to the United Nations, Andrw Young, arrived in South Africa on Saturday (21 May) at the start of a controversial two-day private visit. He was originally invited by a South African industrialist, Mr Harry Oppenhemier, to address a businessmen's dinner.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Young flew into Jan smut's airport outside Johannesburg aboard a special U.S. Air Force plane from Mozambique, where he led the American delegation to a United Nations conference on southern Africa.
His visit was only permitted by the South African government when Mr Young agreed to postpone it until the talks in Austria between Prime Minister John Vorster and U.S. Vice-President Walter Mondale. At the airport, he gave black power hand-shakes to several dozen black workers who watched him arrive. The African newspaper "The World" said Mr Young's visit was greeted by antagonism from whites, and by excitement from blacks.
Mr Young was taken amid strict security, to the Carlton Hotel, one of only about a few hotels in the country allowed to accommodate black guests. After his arrival, Mr Young said South Africa risks economic ruin if apartheid continues for much longer. He said U.S. bankers had advised him that South Africa was finding it increasingly difficult to obtain foreign capital needed to survive.
Just before Mr Young arrived at his hotel, leaflets condemning him fluttered down from nearby skyscrapers. some of them read "hated Young is our enemy", and "Young insulted us, kick him out."