UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
South Africa rejected attempts by African and non-aligned states to have the new South African constitution denounced by the UN Security Council on August 16.
UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
1. SCU President of UN Security Council Leandre Bassole of Burkina Faso (new name for Upper-Volta) listens to speech from South African delegate Kurt von Schirnding. (SOT) (6 SHOTS) 1.33
2. SV Nigerian delegate Eineje Onubo speaking. (SOT) 2.11
VON SCHIRNDING: (SEQ 1) "Mr. President, this debate has no right, no right whatsoever, to be taking place. It concerns constitutional arrangements within the Republic of South Africa and this is manifestly an internal affair. There are at least 1.5 million foreign workers earning their living in South Africa and most of them cross our border illegally in search, Mr. President, of the most fundamental human rights, food and shelter, clothing, work, medical facilities and education. They risk arrest, Mr. President, by crossing our borders to find freedom from starvation and from social upheaval. The United Nations, Mr. President, has become known widely as an ineffectual organisation and with this debate, Sir, the Security Council has become an object of ridicule. This is an irregular meeting, an entirely uncalled for meeting, and whatever decisions may emanate from the Council's proceedings, they will be, Sir, irrelevant, indeed, Mr. President, my government rejects them in advance."
ONUBO: (SEQ 2) "The (indistinct) before the Council is that it must unequivocally condemn and reject this absurdity and this singular act of hypocrisy and racism in the form of this so-called new constitution being promoted by racist South Africa. This mischievous constitution was endorsed on 2 November, 1983, by exclusively white electorate in total indifference and total denial of the interests and the rights of over 90 per cent of the population of South Africa."
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Background: UNITED NATIONS (NEW YORK)
South Africa rejected attempts by African and non-aligned states to have the new South African constitution denounced by the UN Security Council on August 16. African and other states said the new constitution, to be introduced on September 3, will only entrench apartheid (racial separation). Nigeria's delegate to the UN, Eineje Onobu, called the new constitution an "act of hypocrisy and racism" and said it was endorsed by an exclusively white electorate-without the voice of 90 per cent of the country's population. The South African delegate, Kurt von Schirnding, said his government rejects in advance any decisions of the Council regarding the constitution. Von Schirnding said the debate on the constitution should not have taken place because it is an internal matter for South Africa, and any interference is forbidden by the UN charter.