INTRODUCTION: South African Prime Minister Pieter Botha was challenged on Monday (13 March) to say whether he would allow a black nurse to treat him in a segregated hospital for whites -- or whether he would stick to the apartheid law and risk death.
GV Pallbearers with coffin leaving synagogue
GV Funeral procession along street and into cemetery (2 shots)
LV Mourners at graveside
SCU Councillor David Neppe speaking in Johannesburg home
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT): SEQ. 4: NEPPE: "I've challenged the Prime Minister of South Africa, Mr. P.W. Botha, as to whether he, if in a position that my late father-in-law was in, with a severe coronary or any other fatal disease, whether he would in fact rather die or have a black nursing sister attending to him and possibly saving his life in a white hospital. The reason that I have put this challenge out to the Prime Minister is that it's government policy, and he after all is the leader of the government, that black nurses are not allowed in the terms of the law to.......attend to white patients in provincial or government hospitals in South Africa. I believe that my father-in-law might have stood a better chance had he been attended to by a nursing sister and the only nursing sister I could get was in fact black. That whether he would have in fact lived or not is impossible to say."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: South African Prime Minister Pieter Botha was challenged on Monday (13 March) to say whether he would allow a black nurse to treat him in a segregated hospital for whites -- or whether he would stick to the apartheid law and risk death. The challenge came from Johannesburg city councillor David Neppe who was refused permission to employ a black nurse for his critically ill father-in-law in a state hospital for white people. His father-in-law, Mr. Joe Esrock, died in hospital on Sunday (8 March). Black nurses in South Africa are prohibited from nursing white patients in state hospitals. But they are allowed by law to look after white patients in private nursing homes.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral of Mr. Esrock took place in Johannesburg on Tuesday (10 March). He was admitted to a state hospital on March 7th after suffering a heart attack. Because of a staff shortage, the matron asked Mr. Neppe to try to obtain a private nurse. Mr. Neppe couldn't find one and the hospital was unable to let him employ a black nurse.
Mr. Neppe, who found three black nurses who were available, spoke to a Visnews reporter: