Despite international concern the South African authorities have started a three-month operation to register Namibia's (South West Africa) estimated 440,000 eligible voters.
GV People registering as voters in Windhoek, namibia
CU Registration paper
GV Others registering (2 shots)
SV Women registering (2 shots)
CU Mr. J. De Kok speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: REED: "Is this the first time there's been a general registration of voters?"
SEQ. 5: DE KOK: "Yes the first time that all population groups have been registered."
REED: "The act which allows for the registration of voters in South West allows or calls for penalties for people intimidating from registration of voting -- have you had any examples of such intimidation yet?"
DE KOK: "Yes pamphlets were distributed in Grootfontein, (indistinct) this morning calling on persons not to register and indeed to go on strike as from today until the 22nd of September when the registration of voters closes."
According to Reuters news agency the decision to start registering voters is seen as an attempt to restore momentum to the independence process, which has been stalled since SWAPO pulled out of talks with the western powers seven week ago.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Despite international concern the South African authorities have started a three-month operation to register Namibia's (South West Africa) estimated 440,000 eligible voters. The registrations began on Saturday (24 June) and South Africa has denied that the move is a sign that it plans to impose its won solution in the territory and ignore an independence plan drawn up by five western powers.
SYNOPSIS: The registration is for elections for a Constituent Assembly, but no date for the pull has yet been set, pending agreement between South Africa, the South West African People's Organisation and the five western powers. As people of all races registered in the Namibian capital, Windhoek, South African Foreign Affairs spokesman Brand Fourie said there was no suggestion at this point of South Africa going ahead unilaterally. Judge Martinus Steyn has been appointed Administrator-General to run the territory and lead it to independence by the end of the year.
Western diplomats have been reported as describing he registration as prejudicial to the re-opening of negotiations with SWAPO. The guerrilla organisation is alleged to want nothing to do with the registration -- but already some intimidation of potential voters had occurred. The Director of Voter Registration Mr. J. de Kok spoke to Visnews reporter Mike Reed.