INTRODUCTION: One of South Africa's most exclusive discotheque nightclubs has been threatened with government shut-down because its letting in white patrons "encourages racial mixing and provokes immorality".
SV INTERIOR Blacks and whites dancing in disco (2 shots)
CU White woman dancing with white man PAN TO black dancers (2 shots)
SV White girl in brief costume performing for crowd
SV Black people at tables watching white nude dancer performing (2 shots)
SCU Disco owner Mr. Anwar Ismail holding up government proclamation about white restriction
CU Mr. Ismail speaking, overlay shots of EXTERIOR of disco, and sign advising "any member of public by entering this premises in doing so declares that he or she is not a member of the white group, in terms of S.A. law". (5 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
ISMAIL: (SEQ 6): "It's probably the first time in the world that a businessman has had to spend money advertising to turn business away."
INTERVIEWER: "Has there been any kind of racial friction?"
ISMAIL: "There's been of racial friction at any establishment whatsoever. On the contrary, I have predominantly Afrikaaner members patronising the premises. I've had cabinet ministers' sons, defence force officials and what I find very, very strange is that the Prime Minister can go overseas to places like Taiwan and dance with Asian women, but he won't allow the people here locally from socialising or mixing or dancing together. I first, am not prepared to practice apartheid in reverse as it is totally against my principle, and if it means the government closing down my business, it will then unfortunately just have to be so.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: One of South Africa's most exclusive discotheque nightclubs has been threatened with government shut-down because its letting in white patrons "encourages racial mixing and provokes immorality". The owner, Mr. Anwar Ismail, has been told to turn whites away from The Space Odyssey disco in Cape Town, but he refuses to become what he calls a race-controlling officer.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Ismail has gone part of the way to comply with the government order by placing a full-page advertisement in a newspaper, urging whites to stay away. The club is patronised by a wide cross-section of South African society. Regulars at the Space Odyssey include the sons and daughters of cabinet ministers, defence force officials and foreign diplomats.
Many of them are insisting they want to continue dancing side-by-side with coloureds and blacks, but believe their defiance of the government ruling increases the risk that authorities will close the club's doors permanently.
Mr. Ismail insists he would never physically stop patrons from entering the club because they do not have his skin colour. Mr. Ismail is Indian, and says the entrance ticket clearly states that the holder declares himself not to be a member of the white group, under South African law. That, he says, is as far as he's prepared to go.