The head of South Africa's Kwazulu homeland, chief Gatsha Buthelezi, returned on Monday (December 17), from a visit to four independent African states.
CU Chief Buthelizi
SV interviewer ad Chief Buthelezi
QUESTION: Chief Buthelezi you've been visiting several countries in Africa I think. What was the purpose of your trip?
ANSWER: I came to Ethiopia to attend the African-American dialogue series and then afterwards I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to go out in free Africa, that this was a good opportunity for me to meet the leaders of these countries, and to pay tribute to them and to how much we appreciate what they are doing for us in South Africa, and also for some of our refugees.
You've been criticised by blacks both inside and outside South Africa for working within the system?
Who are they in South Africa? I don't remember who has criticised me there.
QUESTION: Well perhaps I'm wrong about that, but you have been criticised by various people for working within the South Africa system.
ANSWER: This shows abysmal ignorance of what faces blacks in South Africa, and I feel this abysmal ignorance in may parts, not so much in the administration of these countries I have visited, but a far as the people are concerned, they are completely ignorant about what faces South Africa. Now this insinuates that their options they are not options at all in this policy. This policy has been pushed down our threats hocus pocus, you know? Willy-nilly. We have to comply with it willy-nilly.. So there is no question of choice. I mean the people who peddle this kind of argument against me want to tell me exactly what to do, the abandon my people and come out here int he refugee area. I prefer to merely challenge their without criticising these who have left, 'cause I know why they left. But at the same time I don't think they're going to suggest that I abandoned my people because there's nothing else I can do but suffer with my people where they are, defend them day to day and alleviate in other smaller measures their suffering from day to day. This I regard as a moral duty, and I think that it is not actually the people outside South Africa in these countries, people like (indistinguishable) and the Asian refugees in Dar es Salaam who are going to charge me; I think it is the black people in South Africa themselves who have the right to judge me. And if you fellow the events in South Africa, black people, be they coloured Indians or Africans, have full confidence in me. So that therefore it seems to me all political leaders, be they the President of Kenya, the President of Tanzania or the President of Zambia -- I mean their power flows from the support they get from their constituents. So that as far as I am concerned they have no fear on this score. My people have confidence in me and I go to the limit in risking, in sticking my neck out, in he situation as it exists.
Initials AE/18.41 AE/18.48
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Background: The head of South Africa's Kwazulu homeland, chief Gatsha Buthelezi, returned on Monday (December 17), from a visit to four independent African states.
Chief Buthelezi visited Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya, to speak on the South African Government's homelands policy.
The Chief said he abhorred apartheid and added that the South African Government had tried to persuade him not to visit the independent states. But he said, the Government could not stop him without jeopardising the homelands policy.
Throughout the tour, the Chief defended his stand on non-violence for the liberation of the blacks in South Africa. He said no price was too nigh for person's human dignity and rights. But he did not believe any person had the right to precipitate suicide of a whole race."
Chief Buthelezi attended the Fourth African-American dialogue in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and visited the Organization of African Unity headquarters there.
He later visited Dar as Salaam, Lusaka and Nairobi.
A transcript of Chief Buthelezi's statement follows. Some of his words are indistinguishable, and could not be transcribed.