• Short Summary

    The South African government has lifted the ban from 77-year-old anti-apartheid campaigner Mrs Helen Joseph.

  • Description

    GV Reporter Kevin Hamilton speaking with Mrs Helen Joseph.

    SCU Mrs Joseph speaking to reporter. (6 SHOTS)

    CU PULL BACK TO SVs Mrs Joseph working, opening letters and typing. (2 SHOTS)


    JOSEPH: (SEQ 2) "In a way I do feel triumphant, I reckon I've won because the government has removed my bans and I feel I'm now back to where I was, exactly back to where I was two years ago so I feel happy. I was happy two years ago because I was very active, I was speaking on platforms, I was speaking to students, (INDISTINCT) students now I'm right back to there again I can just go straight on from where I left off - not where I left off but where the government made me leave off so I feel very good."

    HAMILTON: "Why do you think the government hasn't reimposed the ban on you?"

    JOSEPH: "Your guess is as good as mine but I think age has something to do with it. I was then 75 I'm now 77 and if they slap another two or three years ban on me I will be very near 80 and that doesn't look good."

    HAMILTON: "Have the various banning and restrictions and house arrest that have been placed on you over the years, have they changed your political views in any way?"

    JOSEPH: "No they know they can't change them. They've strengthened them, they've deepened them but they can't them. They're not negotiable."

    HAMILTON: "Are you going to continue your political activities?"

    JOSEPH: "As much as I can and as soon I can, indeed yes. I mean what's the point of sticking out two years ban if when it's finish you go and ban yourself. I'm not going to ban myself. If anyone is going to ban me it's going to be the government. Do you think I'll do this dirty work for it. And if I refuse to become politically active all I'm doing is banning myself. That's what I'm not going to do."

    HAMILTON: "Looking at South African politics today and comparing them how they were when you were first banned which goes back to 1957, how have South African politics changed in your view?"

    JOSEPH: "They've become more repressive. I don't see any improvement in it, the basic conditions are still there, the pass laws, the influx control. These are the deprivation of rights. I don't see any change. All they've changed is that one reads about in the newspaper and listens to people talking about on the television, they're still peripheral, so cosmetic and they only affect a very few people. They're not real change and this country can't improve, the political situation can't really change until you get the basic changes."

    Initials DF/JRS

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The South African government has lifted the ban from 77-year-old anti-apartheid campaigner Mrs Helen Joseph. For twenty five years the government has imposed official action against Mrs Joseph aimed at silencing her. The last two-year ban expired on July 1 and was not renewed. Under South Africa's stringent security laws 'banned' people are subject to restrictions on their movements and activities although they have not been charged with any offence. In 1962 Mrs Joseph became the first person in South Africa to be placed under house arrest and lived a solitary existence for the following nine years, restricted to her house at nights and public holidays. Mrs Joseph is still on the list of those named under the Republic's tough internal security laws which means anything she says or writes may not be published in South Africa. When interviewed by Kevin Hamilton of Visnews she nevertheless expressed delight with her new-found freedom and said she had every intention of carrying on her political campaigning as soon as possible. Mrs Joseph also said that South African laws had become more repressive in the years she has been campaigning. She referred to Prime Minister Botha's recent cautious reforms as cosmetic. Mr. Botha has introduced power-sharing for whites, coloureds and Asian but not for the country's black majority. The government argues that political activity for blacks should be confined to the tribal homelands.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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