The thorny issue of the disputed deepwater port of Walvis Bay is again presenting a stumbling block in the settlement of an independent Namibia (South West Africa).
GV & SVs United Nations voting on Walvis Bay and vote announced (6 shots)
SV U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance speaking (3 shots)
GV Government Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa
CU South African Prime Minister John Vorster speaking in English
GV Street scene in Windhoek
SV INT SWAPO poster on wall of office (2 shots)
CU Mr. Milner Thlabanello, SWAPO Secretary for Information and Publicity speaking in English
VANCE: "We emphasised to all concerned our belief that a discussion of the legal status of Walvis Bay would knot be useful and could only continue to hamper a resolution of the 30-year controversy over Namibia. Instead, we stated on a number of occasions that the question of Walvis Bay would have to be the subject of negotiations between the parties concerned because we recognise and believe all parties recognise that Walvis Bay is critical to the future of Namibia."
VORSTER: "Walvis Bay is South African territory and no decision by the United Nations or any other body can deprive South Africa of it. In fact, as you know, only a decision by the South African Parliament can bring about a change in the status and position of the territory of Walvis Bay. The decision by the Security Council therefore has no force of law and the Government cannot allow that it be dictated to as to what it should do with its property or how it should be controlled or administered. To have negotiations with a friendly government in South West Africa about our harbour and its use is one matte which speaks for itself, but to make demands and to link those demands and to link those demands to a settlement in South West Africa is another matter which the Government rejects unconditionally."
THLABANELLO: "The SWAPO liberation movement is quite happy about the outcome, especially with regard to Walvis Bay because we have been fighting for years to liberate all of Namibia, including Walvis Bay, and throughout the negotiations with the Western five, we have been insisting that Walvis bay should also be part of a liberated Namibia. The West, together with South Africa, planned......to tell us that we should regard Walvis Bay as part of South Africa, something which we could not possibly do as a liberation movement. Now that the Security Council has accepted the position that Walvis Bay is part of Namibia (indistinct) still remain the responsibility of the United Nations. We are happy and are already looking forward now the implementation of the rest of the Western proposals."
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Background: The thorny issue of the disputed deepwater port of Walvis Bay is again presenting a stumbling block in the settlement of an independent Namibia (South West Africa). On Thursday, the Security Council of the United Nations adopted a resolution demanding that the Walvis Bay territory be re-integrated into Namibia, but South African Prime Minister Mr. John Vorster has said his government unconditionally rejects this decision. Observers in Johannesburg fear that the South African government could, in the light of this U.N. resolution, now block the independence proposals for the former mandated territory.
SYNOPSIS: There were no votes against adoption of the controversial resolution, at the United Nations Security Council and only two abstentions. For commercial and security reasons, South Africa is anxious to retain control of the port. They see this decision ass breaking a promise given by the five Western nations that negotiated the Namibia settlement terms that Walvis Bay would not be included in the deal. After the voting was completed, the United States talked about the thinking behind the decision.
In Pretoria, Mr. Vorster made clear his government's attitude.
In Namibia, Mr. Milner Thlabanello, Information Secretary for the South Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) was happier.