The leader of the Rhodesian Patriotic Front, Mr Joshua Nkomo, has met with newsmen to explain why his force shot down a Rhodesian civilian airliner on Monday.
CU: Joshua Nkomo speaking in English (3 shots)
GV: Air Rhodesia spokesman Bob Kerswell and other airline member.
MV: Kerswell speaking
NKOMO: "Fifty-nine people died. No one wants to see that number of people die, but Mrs Thatcher, Mr Callaghan President Carter, know that in Zimbabwe today 60 and a hundred people are killed every day, and night. Our people - murdered by Ian Douglas Smith, and it's not colours. It doesn't need Parliamentary debating. It doesn't need a President of the United States to talk. Mr Carter is so interested in human rights. He doesn't see any violation of human rights when a white Government supported by black suppers acts the way Smith does on our people. the plane that was used by General Walls, now we know - we didn't know then - left Kariba this time, now we know, with civilian passengers and the plane that brought General Walls remained in Kariba. It was to take off 15 minutes later. But that plane that left with passengers (indistinct) delayed was brought down. And there was with it, following it, a spotter plane that carried General Walls who suspected what was going to happen."
KERSWELL: "Naturally we carry military personnel on duty and on leave the same as any other airline throughout the world. We do not carry military equipment or supplies in any way whatsoever. All I can say to you is this: I thought it was significant that Nkomo delayed making any statement on this one which was in very great contrast to the last one, and by the time he made it, it was well known everywhere that General Walls was in Kariba at that time, so it was quite easy for him to concoct his own statement to fit his own circumstances which he's very good at."
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Background: The leader of the Rhodesian Patriotic Front, Mr Joshua Nkomo, has met with newsmen to explain why his force shot down a Rhodesian civilian airliner on Monday. He said it was thought the plane was carrying the Rhodesian Military Commander, General Peter Walls. A spokesman for Rhodesian airlines, Mr Bob Kerswell said on the same day (14 February) that Mr Nkomo was distorting the facts surrounding the incident which resulted in the death of 59 people.