INTRODUCTION: The trial of South African black community leader and trade unionist, Oscar Mpetha and 17 others, charged with terrorism and murder began on Tuesday (3 March) in Cape Town.
GV Lawyers leaving Supreme Court building, Cape Town ZOOM INTO TO SV spray painted slogan on wall
SV PAN Defence team up steps of Courthouse
SV Black Mpetha supporters seated on steps of courthouse, shouting slogans
SV Passers-by watching as police van draws up in front of courthouse
SV Police talking together on pavement
GV Policeman by courthouse door gesturing to crowd to leave
GV Crowd looks on as demonstrators on steps of courthouse begin to disperse (2 shots)
SCU Temba Mpetha speaking to reporter
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 8: MPETHA: "He said police are intimidators and they are forcing people to use their money against their own will, when the people cannot do that."
REPORTER: "Was your father against violence?"
MPETHA: "My father was against violence. He stated in a meeting that there must be no violence, no stone throwing, no bus burning. Even if some people are willing to use buses, they can. Nobody will be forced to join the boycott, but those with (INDISTINCT), they cannot tolerate the increase of bus fares they will do the boycotting."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The trial of South African black community leader and trade unionist, Oscar Mpetha and 17 others, charged with terrorism and murder began on Tuesday (3 March) in Cape Town. They were arrested last August during unrest prompted by the boycott of buses near the Crossroads squatter camp. Two white men were bludgeoned to death by a crowd of angry blacks during the violent confrontations.
SYNOPSIS: For a long time 17-year-old Mr. Mpetha has played a prominent role in "black" politics in South Africa and has a long history of banning and detention. He was first banned in 1959 while President for the Cape of the now-banned African National Congress (ANC), and General Secretary of the African Food and Canning Workers Union.
Those of his supporters unable to get into the packed courthouse waited outside calling for his freedom. Mr. Mpetha, a diabetic has been held in detention since his arrest, five months of that time in solitary confinement.
The trouble last August started with the stoning of buses and cars after the police tried to prevent pirate taxis from running during the bus boycott.
Police blamed agitators. And when Mr. Mpetha as Chairman of the Nyanga Residents Association released a statement blaming the police for provocation, he was arrested, with the other, mostly young, defendants. Mr. Mpetha's 24-year-old son Temba spoke of the incident, and his father's part in it.