• Short Summary

    Following the General Election in Botswana at which his Botswana Democratic Party won 27 of the 32 seats in the national Assembly, the country's President.

  • Description

    SCU Sir Seretse at news conference (mute) (2 shots)

    CU Sir Seretse ...

    SCU (Mute lead out and mute shot of Sir Seretse sitting)

    SCU Sir Seretse speaks.

    REPORTER: "How do you view Botswana's role in future Southern African politics?"

    SERETSE: "Well, we've always made it quite clear that we are a racial society here ... not multi-racial but non-racial society, and we certainly believe that, for Southern Africa to be a peaceful region, I think that whites are other people and must be recognised. And we are entirely against any form of violence in order to achieve this, the peaceful atmosphere that we want. At the same time I understand why some people do get violent. They resort to violence because of the situation in their own particular country and they have no means of expressing their own views. They are discriminated against in various fields, and perhaps out of sheer desperation they resort to means which are at present condemned and classed as terrorist methods. But I think that, if Southern African governments could put their... see the desirability of giving every man his due, and having equal opportunities in every field, then certainly the tensions that are now in existence in Southern Africa wouldn't be present."

    SERETSE: "Collard people can go to South Africa and be accepted as men, just as we accept South Africans. But if we're discriminated against ...although some of us (of course) are favoured because of our position ... But if we're discriminated against, I'm afraid the question of having any diplomatic ties with South Africa at present, is out. but certainly, while we can talk and once we can see there's a plan towards the elimination of racial discrimination of any kind in Southern Africa or in South Africa. We will be the first to have diplomatic relations, once we know that a man is just a man.

    Initials ET/1704 ET/1715

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Following the General Election in Botswana at which his Botswana Democratic Party won 27 of the 32 seats in the national Assembly, the country's President. Sir Seretse Khama, held a news conference shortly before he was sworn in for a new term of office.

    At the news conference, he re-affirmed that his newly-elected Government would try to create an atmosphere in the country in which white men and black men could live "side by side" without racial friction. He said he would continue to "preach" about the desirability of non-racial societies in Southern Africa.

    White Governments, he thought, should be made aware of the desirability of respect for human dignity, regardless of colour.

    Referring to South Africa's policy of creating future independent African "Homelands" inside the country, Sir Seretse said that Botswana would not find it very easy to support an application by such a "homeland" for membership of the United Nations or the Organisation for African Unity.

    This film includes an extract from Sir Seretse Khama's remarks at the news conference. The following is a transcript:

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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