SYNOPSIS: It may seem extraordinary that the South African national anthem is being played in Black african country - but that's what is happening here.
SYNOPSIS: It may seem extraordinary that the South African national anthem is being played in Black african country - but that's what is happening here. And Mr Vorster, on his visit nearly two years ago, said then that it sounded more beautiful to him in Malawi than anywhere else where he's heard it. Now his policy of contact and dialogue with Black Africa is being extended, and the anthem is heard again.
It's the first visit to Black Africa by the Head of State of the country which practices Apartheid. But to judge from the rehearsals. there was nothing cool or half-hearted about the welcome that Malawians have been preparing for him. there are political as well as diplomatic reasons for them to show their guest that Black Africans too can do these things in style.
And Malawians have been sprucing up their capital, Blantyre, for a diplomatic event of the first importance. The works been done quickly, because (for security reasons) the dates of the visit were made public only 8 days ago.
And there've been week-long rehearsals for the centre-piece of Mr Fouche's visit - an ambitious display and parade in Blantyre tomorrow. It's show that stars the nations youth and is strenuously directed by its Israeli advisers.
Leading parts are taken by the schoolchildren and the Pioneers - a well-disciplined and almost paramilitary organisation of young people whose energies have been enlisted by Dr Banda's government.
His presence presides everywhere.
The discipline of Malawi youth which will be proudly shown to Mr Fouche was a quality much admired by Mr Vorster on his visit here. It was, he suggested, a lesson for the rest of the world.
And behind the flag-showing on this occasion, there's an attempt to show some such community of interest - as between pioneering nations seeking friends where true friends can be found; the rich one helping the poor one financially, and the poor one helping the rich one diplomatic ally.
But there's more to it than that. For the two countries are divided by the policy of Apartheid. And they're brought together on this occasion by the fact that their separate national interests happen to coincide. For South Africa, the advantage is to break the isolation imposed on it. For Malawi, the Advantage is to seem to crack the iron mould of Apartheid. Mr Fouche a former Defence Minister in South African, was in his political days regarded as being even to the right of this Prime Minister. And this is the man who for the next week will be addressing black audiences, shaking black hands, and inviting black guests to an official banquet. Altogether, it doesn't seem likely to be one of those State Visits that are forgotten almost as soon as they're held - but rather, it has a reel importance, not only for Malawi and for South Africa, but for all Africa.