Rhodesian Nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo said in London on Sunday (1 February) that there was no possibility of an "Angolan crisis" erupting in his country if black majority rule is granted.
READER TO CAMERA:
GV & CU Nkomo being interviewed
WARD: "Mr. Nkomo, why are you in London?"
NKOMO: "Well, I'm in London to do a number of things. One to look at the extent of opposition to apartheid here in Britain and possibly in Europe."
WARD: "So you're basically though taking steps to heal the division in the ranks of the ANC."
NKOMO: "There's no such thing as division in the ranks of the ANC. There's only one ANC."
WARD: "Then you say there is no division."
WARD: "How do you then look at Bishop Muzorewa's stand?"
NKOMO: "Bishop Muzorewa (rival ANC faction leader) is just another man. He was president of the ANC. He didn't go to the congress of the ANC therefore he cannot claim to be ANC. No leader makes himself a leader. You are made a leader by the people, not just by proclaiming yourself. This is the position."
WARD: "Mr. Smith has said so often that he will not have black majority rule within his lifetime. Do you really think you are going to get anywhere with him?"
NKOMO: "No, the point is this. The problem of that country has got to be solved. You don't have to look into what Mr. Smith says, he has got his views. He doesn't have to change his views he has just got to come to terms with the situation and then just what the situation demands of him, or anybody who might take his place."
WARD: "And you can see him coming to terms with you?"
NKOMO: "He just has to. He has no alternative but to come to terms with the situation."
WARD: "And if he doesn't what will happen then?"
NKOMO: "Well, consequences are grave. As Mr. Vorster says the consequences are too ghastly to contemplate. And Mr. Vorster is not a man who is just given to words. Once he says something he knows what he is talking about. The consequences are, and is always, too ghastly to contemplate."
WARD: "How is the situation in Angola affecting the rather delicate constitutional talks in Rhodesia?"
NKOMO: "I don't think the situation in Angola should affect too much what is going on in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), except that it should be a lesson to a few people and that if the Portuguese had listened to Dr. Neto (MPLA president) and others there wouldn't have been a position, a situation where a number of Portuguese had to leave their country with almost nothing. They have nobody to blame but their own government and themselves."
WARD: "But conversely is it not hardening the long-held white Rhodesian attitude that you cannot give power to a black majority if there is any danger of tribal warfare. If there was a peaceful hangover to black majority rule in Rhodesia, could you see tribal warfare erupting there afterwards, as in Angola?"
NKOMO: "There's no tribal warfare in Zimbabwe."
WARD: "Alright, a civil war between rival factions such as yourself and Bishop Muzorewa's camp?"
NKOMO: "As far as I'm concerned we don't have any factions in Zimbabwe. I don't know how many times I have to say that."
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MR. NKOMO SPEAKING
The film is serviced with an interview with Mr. Nkomo by Visnews African Editor William L. Ward. Here is a transcript.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesian Nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo said in London on Sunday (1 February) that there was no possibility of an "Angolan crisis" erupting in his country if black majority rule is granted.
Mr. Nkomo arrived in Britain, unexpectedly, for talks with Foreign secretary James Callaghan on the progress of the African National Council's (ANC) constitutional negotiations with the Rhodesian government.
Mr. Nkomo made the London visit on his own initiative.
His visit has sparked speculation that the talks, between the Nationalists and the white minority government of Mr. Lan Smith, have reached a crucial stage.
"We need a settlement that gives the people the right to choose their own government and we need it now," he told reporters at a news conference at the Savoy hotel.
Mr. Nkomo last week requested the release from house arrest of former Rhodesian Prime Minister, Mr. Garfield Todd to join the ANC negotiating team.
Mr. Todd has since been released so he can visit his daughter in Britain. He was allowed to go "purely on humanitarian grounds", a Rhodesian government spokesman said.
Mr. Nkomo said Mr. Todd's knowledge of both black and white communities in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) would be useful in the talks.
He also said he wanted Britain to formally grant Rhodesia independence.
"Britain needs reminding from time to time that she has a responsibility towards these people. No matter what name the country is called it is still a colony of Britain," he said.