• Short Summary

    In South Africa, two coloured men - mixed race - were reported killed and one wounded on Thursday (2 September) when police opened fire on rioters in coloured townships on the outskirts of Cape Town.

  • Description

    GV INT. Black homeland leaders in conference.

    Gatsha Buthelezi (Chief of Kwazulu homeland) speaking in English.

    REPORTER: "Sir, where do you feel the blame for South Africa's recent racial unrest lies?"

    BUTHELEZI: "I feel, as far as I'm concerned, it lies squarely on the government's shoulders. Because if they'd listened to us, if the Prime Minister had heeded our warning in general last year, the matter could never arisen at all, because in the first place the issue that triggered off the struggle was the imposition of Afrikaans on the children. An issue we discussed with Prime Minister Mr. Vorster and Mr. Botha but in fact they never heeded our warning that they should not do this, and their officials went and imposed it, so that actually this is the issue that triggered off the trouble and I think that if they had listened to us this would never have happened. On the more serious level I think that the whole issue of denying black people decision making is a crucial issue in the whole thing."

    REPORTER: "On Friday night Mr. Vorster said he did not consider South Africa to be in a state of crisis. Do you agree with him?"

    BUTHELEZI: "It amazes me really because I think it reflects very, very badly on the Prime Minister because hundreds of our people have been killed and maimed as well as this unrest. And he has, had himself said in '73 that he realises that black people are human beings with souls. It seems to me natural concern with that profound thought of that time because if hundreds of people die and the Prime Minister of the country says there is no crisis then it is beyond my comprehension."

    REPORTER: "Do you think there is still time for white and black in South Africa to reach accord?"

    BUTHELEZI: "Eh, I would say yes and no. I think yes if what has happened has the right effect on the Prime Minister and government. If, in effect, they set up as soon as possible, as a matter of urgency, a national convention in which people of all shades of opinion participate".

    REPORTER: If radical change is made, what sort of South Africa do you see coming about?"

    BUTHELEZI: "I see a South Africa in which each and every person in the country, regardless of racial affiliation, will participate in decision making. I see a South Africa in which none of us, regardless of whether they were black, yellow or green, will be punished for being our parent's children, as is happening at present where black people are almost being penalised for being black. I see a South Africa in which all those who produce the wealth of the country which is all racial (indistinct) will have, will share in the wealth of the country".


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In South Africa, two coloured men - mixed race - were reported killed and one wounded on Thursday (2 September) when police opened fire on rioters in coloured townships on the outskirts of Cape Town. One of South Africa's black homeland leaders, Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, said on Wednesday (1 September) that the blame for the country's recent racial unrest lies with the government.

    A meeting last month of black homeland leaders condemned South Africa's apartheid policy. And Chief Buthelezi repeated those condemnations when he spoke to a Visnews reporter.

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