• Short Summary

    The Eastern sector of the Caprivi Strip in South West Africa became a semi-independent black African "homeland" on Wednesday (March 22).

  • Description

    The Eastern sector of the Caprivi Strip in South West Africa became a semi-independent black African "homeland" on Wednesday (March 22). At a formal ceremony in Ngweze, the instruments of authority -- including parliamentary-type symbols like a robe and mace -- were handed over by South African Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Hilgard Muller.

    The flat, marshy, sandy territory, sandwiched between the independent black African nations of Botswana to the South and Zambia to the north, with white-ruled Angola and Rhodesia on either side, is the latest in a series of such homelands to be created in accordance with South Africa's policies of separate development for blacks and whites.

    While there has been some considerable controversy throughout the world over separate development -- or apartheid -- the issue is even more controversial as far as South West Africa is concerned. For the United Nations - whose Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim visited South West Africa earlier this month -- claims South Africa has no right to govern the territory under the mandate which it received from the now-defunct League of Nations. But the South African Government maintains the United Nations has no right to rule on the mandate of its predecessor. Mr. Waldheim's visit was part of the continuing U.N. campaign to persuade South Africa to give up its claims on the region, but even as Eastern Caprivi became a semi-independent homeland under a white commissioner-general and white advisors plans for another homeland in South West Africa were being put through parliament in Cape Town.

    This film, showing a rare glimpse of the disputed territory -- precariously balanced between black and white Africa and scene of previous clashes between terrorists and security forces -- includes Dr. Muller's handing over of authority to the Legislative Council. It was shot by a crew of the Government-controlled South African Broadcasting Corporation.

    SYNOPSIS: South Africa is continuing its policy of separate development, or ???, not only in South Africa but also in South West Africa -- despite United Nations insistence that it has no right to government. On Wednesday, another semi-independent black African "homeland was inaugurated in the Caprivi Strip -- a barren stretch of South West Africa that's squeezed between Botswana and Zambia, both independent black African nations, and white-ruled Angola and Rhodesia. During the formal ceremony, South-African Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Hilgard Muller handed over the instrument of authority.

    The ceremony came shortly after a visit to South Africa and South West Africa by United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim, who went there as part of the continuing U.N. campaign to persuade South Africa to give up its governorship of the territory. The South African Government insist, in return, on the legality of its mandate granted by the now-defunct League of Nations, predecessor to the U.N.

    The new homeland is now called East Caprivi. Previous attempts to establish other homelands in South West Africa have met with problems -- like those in the main homeland, Ovamboland, which has been hit by unrest since a recent strike of Ovambo workers. White South African police were sent in to control the situation. But even as East Caprivi becomes semi-independent under a white commissioner-general and white departmental advisors, a bill to create another South West African homeland was read in parliament in Capetown, South Africa's legislative capital.

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