• Short Summary

    South Africa has decided to call unilaterally an election in its disputed territory of South West Africa, also known as Namibia.

  • Description

    SV INT. Prime Minister John Vorster walking in and taking seat.

    CU Mr. Vorster speaking.

    SV Press and news cameramen.

    SV Mr Vorster listening to question and replying.

    VORSTER: "Whereas the time has now come for me, as I've already announced, to vacate the office that I've been holding for the last twelve years. I want to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' not only to my constituents, not only to the members of my party, but to all South Africans - all South Africans of all language groups, South Africans of all colours- for the kindness that they have shown me over the years, and for the services they have in fact rendered to me. I can give you the assurance that the love and loyalty that I experienced is something that one can never forget."

    REPORTER: "Have the problems in Rhodesia, and in South West Africa, in any way influenced your decision to resign?"

    VORSTER: "Certainly not. why should it?"

    Mr. has suffered bad health recently, and was reported to have low blood pressure and diabetes. An annual check-up in August turned into an eight- day stay in hospital while he recovered from bronchitis and exhaustion. Observers were not surprised that Mr. Vorster chose this year- his thirteenth in office- to resign, as he has been described as "incurably superstitious" about the number thirteen throughout his life. He was born on December 13, 1915, as the 13th child of the family. The committee organising his campaign for Premiership comprised of thirteen men at a time when he was 13th in seniority in the Cabinet. He was 13th in the funeral procession of his assassinated predecessor, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd. And at that time his golf handicap was- 13.



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: South Africa has decided to call unilaterally an election in its disputed territory of South West Africa, also known as Namibia. The decision, which effectively snubs a United Nations plan for the territory's independence, was announced at a press conference in Pretoria on Wednesday (20 September) by Prime Minister John Vorster. He gave no date for the election but said he could allow the impasse on the territory's future to continue indefinitely. The people living in the area had to be given the opportunity to elect their representatives, the South Africa leader said, and it was not the role of the United Nations or any other entity to "delay the process leading to self-determination and independence."
    At this press conference, Mr. Vorster announced his retirement after twelve years as leader of South Africa.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Vorster told pressmen his health no longer allowed him to fulfil the stren??? duties of a Prime Minister, but he would be available for election as President -- a post vacant since the recent death of President Nicolaas Diederichs.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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