CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
1. CU Boesak speaking. (English SOT) 1.17
TRANSCRIPT: BOESAK: (SEQ 1) "I have said that the police have committed atrocities, and I think that if the South African police shoot a little boy, a six-year-old, in the back on his own front stoop so that he actually dies in his home as he fell into the doorway, that is an atrocity. And I think that if the police shoot a little boy in the legs, according to stories that I have heard from people in the township where we went as a delegation of the South African Council of Churches, if these things happen, then it seems to me that it's not so much what I say that needs to be investigated but what the police and the military are actually doing when they have been given such a free hand by this very same minister. There are, of course, some things in the interview with the Sydney paper that are not completely accurate in terms of what I've said, but essentially, essentially what I've said about the South African defence force, what I've said about the police, what I've said about our country being in a civil war situation, I will not retract; I think that these statements are true."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Dr. Allan Boesak, one of South Africa's leading anti-apartheid campaigners and a founder-member of the non-white United Democratic Front (U.D.F.), has re-affirmed the contents of an Australian newspaper article in which he charged South Africa's security forces with "brutality" during recent unrest in the country's black townships. In an interview on November 16, Reverend Boesak, who is also president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, said that he could "only repeat the testimony of those who have suffered under the police and army in the townships". He denounced the current wave of government-decreed detention orders against opposition figures, adding that "no amount of intimidation and harassment" would deter the millions of "disenfranchised" South Africans from achieving a democratic society. The previous evening - November 15 - Law and Order Minister Louise Le Grange accused Dr. Boesak of "lies and slander", and urged police to arraign the clergyman under the Police Act - after a "proper investigation". Le Grange, speaking in Virginia, Orange Free State, had addressed a meeting of leading businessman who clashed openly with the minister's hardline handling of mid-November's two-day strike by thousands of Transvaal black workers.
Source: MR. FISH