One of the men said to be responsible for the African nations boycotting the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Mr Dennis Brutus, said in London on Saturday (11 June) that the same thing could happen to the 1978 Commonwealth Games unless New Zealand changed its attitude towards its sporting links with South Africa.
GV EXTERIOR: Admiralty Arch in London with Dennis Brutus and Visnews' Neil Mallard walking towards camera.
CU: Brutus talking to Mallard ZOOM TO ??? Brutus.
MALLARD: "Dennis, you and Abraham Ordia were largely credited with the mass withdrawal of the African nations from the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Do you think its possible that you and Mr Ordia will be conducting the same operation at Edmonton for the Commonwealth Games if the New Zealand Prime Minister doesn't change his attitude towards sporting links with South Africa?"
BRUTUS: "I think there will certainly be action. I think it will take a different form. Instead of the decision being made as it was right on the spot, in Edmonton the situation will be spelt out much earlier, in fact it may emerge at the time of the Commonwealth Conference here in London that the African countries will already announce that they do not propose to be present in Edmonton".
MALLARD: "Now you must be here for your own lobbying activities with the Commonwealth Prime Ministers. Have you actually approached any of them yet?"
BRUTUS: "Well, I wrote to Prime Minister Muldoon of New Zealand and Premier Trudeau of Canada even before coming to London. Since arriving here I've been in touch mainly with the African countries but also with the Jamaican delegation. I've seen people from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and I will be seeing other during the week."
MALLARD: "What is your personal prediction if Prime Minister Muldoon does not change his stand?"
BRUTUS: "I'm quite certain that not only will the African countries not be at Edmonton, but they will be joined by very likely countries from the Caribbean and Asian countries as well. I anticipate if Muldoon does not change and indeed if the white Commonwealth countries don't take a stand against racism in sport, that either Edmonton will be all white, or else it is going to be literally a fiasco."
SPORT: COMMONWEALTH GAMES
REPORTER: NEIL MALLARD
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One of the men said to be responsible for the African nations boycotting the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Mr Dennis Brutus, said in London on Saturday (11 June) that the same thing could happen to the 1978 Commonwealth Games unless New Zealand changed its attitude towards its sporting links with South Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Brutus who is President of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC) said there could be anti-South African demonstrations at the multi-nation Federation Cup tennis tournament in Britain and possibly at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. He spoke to Neil Mallard of Visnews about possible boycotts.