Following a publicity motorcade, Sept 17, some 25,000 people gathered at Durban's City Hall, Sept 19, to hear Sir De Villiers Graaff, the Opposition leader, speak on his canvassing tour prior to the Oct 5 referendum on whether South Africa should become a republic divorced from the British Crown.
TV. Procession of cars and lorries with flags and slogans through Durban.
SV.PAN. Lorry with slogan "Your voice and vote counts".
STV. Crowds lining street.
SV. Poster showing Sir De Villiers Graaff.
ANGLE V. Paper thrown from window.
BV. Paper dropped from windows.
STV. & SV. Crowds gathered at City Hall.
LV. "Lady in White", Mrs. P.S. Gibson, singing.
SCU. The "Lady in White".
LV. Sir De Villiers Graaff speaks.
STV. Crowd applaud and wave banners.
SIDE V. Speaker continues.
ANGLE V. Shakes clasped hands, crowd applaud.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Following a publicity motorcade, Sept 17, some 25,000 people gathered at Durban's City Hall, Sept 19, to hear Sir De Villiers Graaff, the Opposition leader, speak on his canvassing tour prior to the Oct 5 referendum on whether South Africa should become a republic divorced from the British Crown.
Spirits were high at this biggest ever anti-republican rally, as the huge crowd was entertained by the "Lady in White" - a popular figure who used to sing to the troops during World War II. Banners displayed by the audience read "They fought and died united for Democracy" and "We don't dig a Republic".
Speaking broadly on the same lines as in Cape Town, Sept 13, Sir De Villiers Graaff reiterated his statement that what South Africa needed was not a republic but a change of heart. He declared: "I am sick and tired of being told that I am not a true South African by these people who left us in the lurch in two World Wars and who hoped to get their republic at the hands of a victorious Germany. I am sick and tired of this Government which has dragged South Africa's good name in the mud overseas."
He added: "I want to be able to once again hold up my head and look the world in the face and say I am proud of South Africa, my country, my people and my Queen."
"Down with Verwoerd", the crowd chanted, then stood and sang "The Queen" and "Die Stem", with enthusiasm mounting perceptibly in a vehement protest against Nationalism.