Negro Congressman Charles Diggs, one of South Africa's most outspoken critics in the United States, arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday (11 August).
Negro Congressman Charles Diggs, one of South Africa's most outspoken critics in the United States, arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday (11 August). As head of a five-man fact-finding mission, Mr. Diggs had two previous applications for a visa to visit South Africa turned down. During his stay, the Michigan Democrat had planned to study American business involvement in South Africa and working conditions of African employees of American firms.
His planned week-long stay was confused on Thursday (12 August) by successive and contradictory statements by both the South African Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy. At first it was reported that Mr. Diggs would be cutting short his visit -- leaving on Friday (13 August). Later it was announced that he would stay, and a U.S. Embassy official said Mr. Diggs would be making a statement early Friday morning.
On the present trip, the Congressman and his party are also due to visit Portuguese Guinea, the Cape Verde Islands, Gambia, Mauritania, Algeria and Southwest Africa. It is thought that the earlier decision for Mr. Diggs to cut short his visit was because he would be unable to visit Southwest Africa (Namibia). South Africa's administration of the former German territory is disputed by the United Nations.