The South African authorities released three non-white political leaders from police detention on December 10, two days after the release of eleven labour leaders held without trial under security laws.
SV INTERIOR Phiroshaw Camay, General Secretary of the council of South African Unions (CUSA), greeted by friends
CUs Camay speaking (ENGLISH SOT) (2 shots)
GV INTERIOR UDF officials at news conference
CU Mosiuoa Lekota, national publicity secretary of UDF speaking (ENGLISH SOT)
CUs Popo Molefe, general secretary of UDF, speaking (ENGLISH SOT) (2 shots)
(SEQ. TWO): CAMAY: "Well, I believe that a meeting held some weeks back, my position as CUSA general secretary was re-confirmed and I will continue to that position."
CAMAY: "Well, this is difficult to tell. I think government harassment of any activists opposed to the present policies will continue. Within that context and that framework, I think, by and large, trade unions will come under attack as well."
(SEQ. FOUR): LEKOTA: "This detention and therefore our release now must not be seen as the end of the story. We count in our favour the international support which has been displayed by the endowment of the Nobel Peace prize to Bishop tutu, the resolutions of the United Nations and the growing demand for progressive humanity, for an urgent and immediate, peaceful resolution of South Africa's problems."
(SEQ. FIVE) MOLEFE: "The release of the prominent leaders does not represent any change of heart on the part if the apartheid system, right. Because they are continuing to detain those people who are subjected even under most brutal and ruthless conditions of Section 29 of the Internal Security Act. Also, it is very significant that it is coming on the day of the International Day of Human Rights. This also we see as an attempt to give some kind of response to those who are committed to human rights internationally to say South Africa is doing its bit, it is appeasing the people. But we are saying that until such a time that all the laws that perpetuate repression and the detention without trial must be scrapped and until such time that these laws have been scrapped we cannot see peace and we cannot be happy in this country."
Background: The South African authorities released three non-white political leaders from police detention on December 10, two days after the release of eleven labour leaders held without trial under security laws. The labour leaders had been arrested in a police swoop which followed a two-day strike in protest at poor living conditions for Blacks under the White minority government. They included Phiroshaw Camay, General Secretary of the Council of South African Unions (CUSA), who told reporters after his release, that government action against the emerging Black labour movement would not change the course of Black workers' future demands for better economic and social conditions. The three political leaders released on December 10, all members of the anti-apartheid United Democratic front (UDF), were the party's General Secretary Popo Molefe and top officials Mosiuoa Lekota and R.A.M. Saloojee. They were detained in a government crackdown on opponents of a new constitution which gave some parliamentary say to Indians and Coloureds (people of mixed race) but excluded the Black majority. The UDF called for a boycott of Coloured and Mixed elections in August, and the polling was marked by a low turnout and clashes between demonstrators and police. Speaking at a news conference after their release, Lekota cited the growing international support for the Blacks' struggle for human-rights in South Africa an Molefe said that their struggle would not be over until all South Africa's laws of "repression" had been scrapped.