Representatives of Rhodesia's African National Council (ANC) led by Dr. Elliot Gabellah, the ANC Vice-President,?
CU Dr. Gabellah speaking
SV Gabellah speaking to interviewer
Dr. Gabellah was interviewed by the Visnews Africa Editor, William Ward, in London on Tuesday (2 July). A transcript of the interview follows:
QUESTION: "Dr. Gabellah, how can the British government help the cause of the African National Council?"
DR. GABELLAH: "Well, I think that is a matter of detail. In fact at this stage I wouldn't like to comment on that one."
QUESTION: "What are relations like between the African National Council which is legally recognised by the Smith regime and the banned Zanu and Zapu organisations?"
DR. GABELLAH: "None."
QUESTION: "How do you see development in neighbouring Mozambique in relation to the Rhodesian situation -- will they strengthen your hand?"
DR. GABELLAH: "Certainly yes. Any situation happening around oneself is bound to affect any person who in fact this is forecast to -- or even not forecast to him, but which is around him there. But nevertheless, the African people of Rhodesia or Zimbabwe as we like to call them, know what they want -- in fact, that is -- they want majority rule. That is our objective."
QUESTION: "How realistic is a call for a black majority government? Is the ANC or any other black political organisation in Rhodesia politically and economically sophisticated, experienced enough to for government?"
DR. GABELLAH: "Well yes. We are ready for it and want it today."
QUESTION: "When a black majority government does finally come about will there be any room in Rhodesian society or Zimbabwean society for white Rhodesians?"
DR. GABELLAH: "Our policy is three's room for one more, which means, in fact there's room for everyone else. Let me go a little further. I think Rhodesia or Zimbabwe when it's under the Africans' rule will in fact have more whites than anything else because they will find a home there."
QUESTION: "Finally Dr. Gabellah, are you optimistic about a peaceful settlement leading to majority rule in Rhodesia?"
DR. GABELLAH: "The ANC is a non-violent organisation. Our methods are peaceful and therefore we will pursue them until majority rule has been achieved."
QUESTION: "And you're optimistic about achieving this?"
DR. GABELLAH: "Naturally it's all right and appears right to have it and therefore we see no reason why not get it."
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Background: Representatives of Rhodesia's African National Council (ANC) led by Dr. Elliot Gabellah, the ANC Vice-President, have been visiting London for talks with the British government on the political situation in Rhodesia.
On Monday (1 July) the delegation called on Mr. James Callaghan the Foreign Secretary. After the meeting, Mr. Callaghan said the Rhodesian white minority government should now finally accept there was no real alternative to meaningful discussions with the Africans. The ANC rejected a proposal by the Rhodesian leader, Mr. Ian Smith, for a round-table constitutional conference. The African leaders say they will hold no more talks with the Rhodesian government except in the form of a constitutional conference in which all parties including detained African leaders, would be represented.
The ANC's talks with the Rhodesian government were broken off last month following the arrest of Dr. Edson Sithole, one of the leaders of the ANC.