South African Prime Minister Pieter Botha has called for a multi-racial national conference to discuss South Africa's future following the election victory in Rhodesia of Nationalist leader, Robert Mugabe.
S INTERIOR Prime Minister Pieter Botha speaking in Africans
S Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) Rev. Bishop Desmond Tutu speaks to reporter in English
REPORTER: "Bishop Tutu, could we have you reaction to the Prime Ministers statement that the Immorality Act should be abolished?"
BISHOP TUTU: "Well he hasn't said quite that but he said it's going to be improved and I'm not quite sure what he means by improved."
REPORTERS: "I see, I assumed that he had in actual fact said that it was to be abolished altogether".
TUTU: "Well if that's what he means it will obviously be a very good thing and it would be creative of a good atmosphere in the country".
REPORTER: "Do you think this will affect the politics in South Africa generally?"
TUTU: "Well I would say it was one of the important elements in a very complex situation. We would obviously be more interested in his idea of a conference to discuss the whole political situation and to which he would invite all the leaders of the different races."
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Background: South African Prime Minister Pieter Botha has called for a multi-racial national conference to discuss South Africa's future following the election victory in Rhodesia of Nationalist leader, Robert Mugabe. In a major speech in Capetown on Saturday (8 March), Mr. Botha categorically rejected a one-man one-vote system, but called for a conference in which all races could take part in decision-making in white-ruled South Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Botha stressed that change in the country's rigid apartheid laws was vital if South Africa was to combat growing isolation. He said "either we solve our problems on a basis of understanding and a Christian approach or we go under". Past moves by the Prime Minister to ease some apartheid restrictions have met with strong opposition from the right wing of his own party. Mr. Botha said whites did not need the Immorality Act to survive so it shouldn't be raised as a priority. This statement met with an immediate comment from the Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), Bishop Desmond Tutu.