The independence of the Transkei at midnight on Monday (25/26 October) was one of South Africa's biggest steps in its apartheid programme.
The independence of the Transkei at midnight on Monday (25/26 October) was one of South Africa's biggest steps in its apartheid programme. For the policy -- the world means separate development -- foresees the eventual separation throughout South Africa of all racial groups.
SYNOPSIS: The Transkei was one of South Africa's so-called black homelands -- areas set aside for black people. It's also the first to receive independence -- a move regarded by the South African government as a fulfilment of apartheid, but seen by black Africa and other critics as an abandonment of the Pretoria regime's responsibility towards one and a half million black in the country. Critics of the Transkei's independence also mention the fact that when all the homelands eventually receive independence, the blacks -- 75 per cent of South Africa's population -- will have 13 per cent of the land.
South Africa sent the only foreign representative present at the independence ceremony--out of 150 invitations issued. He saw the South African flag lowered and folded up, and the new Transkei flag raised to the strains of the new national anthem. Among the crowd of about 35,000 people were some 200 of the Transkei's white population of ten thousand.
The Transkei's first Prime Minister is Chief Kaiser Matanzima, who denied that the Transkei supported apartheid. "If this implies the Transkei is in agreement with racial discrimination, I must reject the implication with the contempt it deserves", he said.