A committee of the United Nations Human Rights Commission has heard allegations of injustice and torture against Africans in South Africa.
GV TILT DOWN Conference building
CU United Nations emblem
SV PAN INTERIOR UN delegates (2 shots)
SV Chairman talks to delegate
SV Mr. Carlson giving evidence while UN delegates take notes (4 shots)
SV PAN Chairman and other UN delegates listen and take more notes
SCU & SV Mr. Mozes Mabida gives evidence while others listen (3 shots)
SV PAN ALONG Table with U.N. delegates
Initials BB/2153 RW/PN/BB/1238
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Background: A committee of the United Nations Human Rights Commission has heard allegations of injustice and torture against Africans in South Africa.
The charges were levelled by former residents of South Africa now living in Tanzania where the U.N. body held hearings on Tuesday (6 August) and Wednesday (7 August).
An exiled South African lawyer, Mr. Joel Carlson claimed the independence of South Africa's judicial system was being eroded and judges could not be relied upon to protect individual rights.
Mr. Carlson said he was ordered out of South Africa in 1971 for his activities in defending African workers.
Now based in New York, he claimed "the judiciary of South Africa cannot be relied upon to protect any person. Judicial independence is less and less and the legislature is supreme."
Mr. Carlson also alleged that African men and women were flogged in public and torture was endemic within the prison system.
The South African exile said that daily between 1700 and 2,500 Africans are arrested, usually on pass law offences and the country's prison population -- 90,000 inmates a day -- was the highest by percentage in the world.
Referring to the large discrepancy between wages paid to African and European workers, Mr. Carlson said Africans were not labelled as people but as productive and unproductive labour units.
A former African resident of South Africa, 51-year-old Mr. Mozes Mabida, also gave evidence. He detailed what he termed the bad labour conditions in South Africa and said whites were exploiting Africans in order to get huge profits.
After the hearings the chairman of the U.N. committee called on workers around the world to implement an international boycott against South Africa.
Mr. Beba M'Mbaye of Senegal said South Africa must be made to respect human rights and allow all races to join in government.
His even-man committee will hold further hearings in Zaire.