South Africa's Prime Minister John Vorster met the leaders of the country's sight tribal homelands at an unprecedented summit conference in Pretoria on Wednesday (6 March).
GV Conference building
SV Vorster enters and shakes hands with delegation of homelands leaders
CU Vorster seated talking to homelands leaders into microphone.
CU Chief Kaiser Mantanzima speaks.
MR. VORSTER: "To welcome you ... the chosen leaders of your people and more distinctly, as the chosen leaders of the eight black nations who together with the whites, coloureds, the substantial Indian community... live within the boundaries of the republic of South Africa. We all realise that this is an historic meeting."
CHIEF MANTANZIMA: "On behalf of my colleagues, whom I honour and respect, I convey our heartfelt thanks to you for the welcome which you have extended to us this morning."
Initials SC/2026 SC/2046
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Background: South Africa's Prime Minister John Vorster met the leaders of the country's sight tribal homelands at an unprecedented summit conference in Pretoria on Wednesday (6 March).
The talks -- which Mr. Vorster described as "historic" -- lasted nine hours. It was the first time that a South African Prime Minister had sat at a conference table with all the homeland leaders, although Mr. Vorster had met them all for talks individually.
There were no major surprises during the discussions. Both sides repeated their views on the problems facing the homelands and South Africa's 16 million black people.
But Mr. Vorster and the black leaders agreed to meet again later this year. They also agreed to set up a joint committee consisting of Government officials and homeland Chief Ministers to look into the South African laws ruling the movement of black people in "white" areas.
The discussions also covered the homeland leaders' demand for more land, the wage gap between Africans and whites, and eventual independence for the homelands.
The homelands leaders described the talks variously as "brutal, but amicable" "the dawning of a new era" and "exploratory, historic and unique".
Paramount Chief Kaiser Mantanzima of the Transkei homeland, was the most senior of the African leaders. But discussions on most topics were introduces by Chief Tetsha Buthelezi of Kwazulu.
A transcript of some of the opening statements by Mr. Vorster and Chief Mantanzima follow.