• Short Summary

    In Rhodesia, one hundred black children living in a white suburb of Salisbury were turned away from "white only" schools on Tuesday (16 January).

  • Description

    In Rhodesia, one hundred black children living in a white suburb of Salisbury were turned away from "white only" schools on Tuesday (16 January). Their parents had tried to enrol them for classes, following promises made by the interim Rhodesian Government. Headmasters said black children could not be admitted until the Government gave the necessary integration order. But southwest of the capital, Bulawayo, integration was complete as black and white conscripts to the armed forces trained side by side.

    SYNOPSIS: The transitional government decreed last October that all black Rhodesians aged between eighteen and twenty-five, who had completed three years secondary education, would be liable for call-up. White manpower Minister Rowan Cronje estimated that about twenty-five thousand blacks would qualify, but indicated that the call-up would be selective. Military sources said the army was aiming for educated blacks who could reach junior officer levels.

    The Defence Manpower Department say they are delighted with the response to the call-up, but army officers say many blacks have failed to turn up in protest. Those who have are now training alongside their white colleagues.

    But in Salisbury, black children are finding it harder to integrate.

    At this white school, black parents who tried to enrol their children on the first day of the new school year were turned away. White school children in green and white uniforms filed past as the black children waited patiently. The black parents were all residents of the once exclusively-white suburb, Waterfalls. They would be entitled to send their children to schools in the area, providing the youngsters meet certain English language and educational requirements.

    This attempt to integrate before the law was passed was met by little obvious white opposition. The bill ending discrimination in schools was due to have its third reading later on Tuesday before going to the Upper House, or Senate for final approval. A spokesman for the black residents -- Muzondiwa Garah -- who is also on official of the Zimbabwe African National Union, said he had been trying since last October to win education ministry approval for the children to begin classes on Tuesday. But, all pleas had met with official silence, which he said was disappointing.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Garah had a private meeting with the school's headmaster, Peter Horsefield.

    And with that, the black parents left the school with their children and walked away -- leaving behind their white counterparts, who were busy starting their first day back.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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