• Short Summary

    The South African cabinet was due to meet in Pretoria on Tuesday (19 September) for a crucial session.

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    SV and CU, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha speaking to reporter

    BOTHA: "Even the Western powers would have to agree that they cannot keep track of these contradictions. From day to day from week to week. And I predict it will continue like this. All these delays generate uncertainty, instability, as you can now see in Rhodesia. And that is the kind of atmosphere in which the guerrillas and terrorists thrive. Conflict, insecurity, instability with the possibility of an eventual take-over by power, by force."

    SAUNDERS: "They want the South African Government intransigent, Nujoma's acceptance of the recommendation?"

    BOTHA: "Yes they have gone out of their way, to depict us as the fooly??? hardy and intransigent party to the whole process. But we must counter it."

    SAUNDERS: "What chances would there be for the territory ever achieving international recognition?"

    BOTHA: " I think there is a fair chance if we go about things openly, sincerely and genuinely as we have done. After all they have accepted one-man one-vote as a basis for their elections, countrywide, no fragmentation, the removal of discrimination based on colour. A mechanism was agreed on for the release of so-called political detainees. There was at one stage agreement as to independence date and as to the election procedure. All these are democratic principles, that can be supported by the overwhelming majority of people in the Western countries. Now if that is seen to be genuine, and if this in practice is implemented and if the world press can observe, surely a country like that would stand a good chance of convincing the rest of the world of its case?"

    Initials JAF/2155


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The South African cabinet was due to meet in Pretoria on Tuesday (19 September) for a crucial session. The Cabinet was expected to hear from the Prime Minister John Vorster whether he was standing down from the leadership on health grounds. It was also scheduled to formulate an answer to United Nations proposals for Namibia (South West Africa). The leader of the South West Africa People's Organisation, Mr Sam Nujoma, has written to the United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, accepting proposals for a UN supervised transition to independence, but calling for a larger police contingent and a new voter registration scheme - two demands which South Africa opposes. On Sunday (17 September) the South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha was interviewed by Cliff Saunders about South Africa's reaction to the SWAPO moves.

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