African National Council spokesman, James Chikerima, slated Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, when he addressed a news conference at United Nations Headquarters, on Tuesday (3 June).
GV U.N. building
CU James Chikerima speaks
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 2): CHIKERIMA: "I don't understand how a government could come forward with guns, and shoot down the people ... people who are not armed ... because perhaps there is a misunderstanding in an organisation. I don't understand and I don't accept that. I rather interpret the fact that Ian Smith came to this meeting and started shooting at the people who were gathered at that meeting ... all and sundry. I now interpret that way of dealing with people of African dissent ... the black people, and that is not news to us because we know that Ian Smith has no respect for any black person. It certainly was the pretext on the part of Smith to demonstrate to the African population that he is in control, and he will butcher anybody who is against his interests. And, of course, in this case the interest is that he would like to force Africans to accept a kind of settlement that gives the white man (indistinct) regime in Rhodesia ... a dominance as against an African majority."
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A transcript of Mr. Chikerima's speech follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: African National Council spokesman, James Chikerima, slated Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, when he addressed a news conference at United Nations Headquarters, on Tuesday (3 June).
Mr. Chikerima was commenting on the riots in Salisbury's black Highfields township last Sunday when 11 Africans were shot dead by Rhodesian police after supporters of rival ANC factions -- ZANU and ZAPU -- clashed during a meeting of their leaders.
He said he could not understand how a police force could shoot down unarmed people. He added that he interpreted the shootings as Ian Smith's way of dealing with African dissent.
Mr. Chikerima also alleged that Mr. Smith had used the Salisbury incident to demonstrate that he will "butcher" anyone who stands against him.