• Short Summary

    The three-month boycott of classes by thousand of Western Cape pupils ended on thursday (17 July)).

  • Description

    GV People arriving and queuing at St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, to pray for detainees (3 shots)

    SV PAN People of all races queuing outside chapel (2 shots)

    CU Celeste Santos whose husband Rommel Roberts is one of the detainees, speaking in English

    GV PAN TO Belgravia High School, Cape Town with students entering school gates (2 shots)

    GV Students seated in classroom and lessons being held

    GV Builders at work on new classroom construction (2 shots)

    CU Committee of 81 member speaking in English about calling off boycott

    SANTOS: "Well they seem to come from a number of different walks of life. They seem to be... There's even one lawyer, and teachers. students, just ordinary students, community workers, people from the trade unions and just above every kind of a person you can find."

    COMMITTEE MEMBER: "It was emphasised that the boycott is only a short term weapon and only short term victories can be achieve with it. Now, the short term victory that was achieved was that it mass-mobilised the community. It's brought a unity between different so-called ethnic groups, and the unity was strengthened where it wasn't before the boycott started. And I think that's a common experience among all schools, that is S.R.C.'s (students's representative councils) has been achieved at the majority of school. I would not say all schools, but a general feeling among the Committee, the Committee of 81, is that it's been achieved at a majority of schools."

    Initials BB/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The three-month boycott of classes by thousand of Western Cape pupils ended on thursday (17 July)). The body controlling the boycott, called the Committee of 81, and representing delegates from all schools involved, met on Wednesday and voted to end the action.

    SYNOPSIS: The boycott of schools by coloured and black pupils which had its beginnings as early as ???id-February with an action by one hundred students at a lone school, snowballed into a national issue and led to the detention of dozens of pupils, teachers and community leaders. Many of those detained were on a hunger strike until the Wednesday, protesting at being held without trial. Relatives, friends and sympathisers held prayer meetings for their welfare; here at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, Mrs. Celese Santos, whose husband was arrested and held without trial, says the detainees came from widely different backgrounds.

    Students and teachers at primarily black and coloured schools complained that not only we???re their classrooms in urgent need of repair, but that the standard of education was inferior to schooling provided for white pupils. After a drawn out campaign which brought unrest and violence culminating in three days of serious disturbance and at least thirty deaths the Committee of Sl agreed in principle on June 5 to end the boycott.

    But that decision was not endorsed by the pupils and one week later, about three thousand students at eight training colleges in the Peninsula staged a mass walkout in response to a Department of Coloured Affairs announcement that they had been expelled. But Thursday's vote to end the boycott and disband the Committee of 81 effectively now ends the dispute. A member of the Committee says some short-term demands made at the beginning of the boycott, such as better text books and improved facilities, already are being met.

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