• Short Summary


    South Africa has hit back at the United Nations' condemnation of its recent raid in Lesotho, in which 42 people died.

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    1. GV Delegates arriving in assembly hall (2 shots) 0.23
    2. GV South African Permanent Representative, David Steward, speaking (SOT) (5 shots) 3.25
    TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE 2): STEWARD: "Mr President, Resolution 527 is grotesquely one-side. No mention whatsoever is made of the terrorist activities of the ANC (African National Congress) which gave rise to South Africa's action. No mention is made of the fact that Lesotho has allowed its territory to be used as a springboard for attacks against its neighbours. We must reluctantly conclude that the members of this council are not concerned about attacks launched by terrorists against South Africa, and against its citizens of all races. This comes as no surprise in respect of those members of the council, which in contravention of the charter, openly support the terrorist activities of the ANC. It is, however, disturbing, that other members of the council should have decided togo along with a formulation which so blatantly ignores the role played by the ANC terrorism in this matter. For too many years have members of the United Nations turned a blind eye to activities of organisations such as the ANC. For too many years have they equivocated, tolerated and condoned the blatant violation of the central principles of the Charter by offering no more than token opposition to the General Assembly's promotion of violence by such organisations. Indeed, many of these states have lent the ANC overt, or rather, covert, support in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with radical opinion. South Africa is, therefore, the last country which should bear responsibility for creating the situation which led to the action of a small unit of the South African Defence Force against ANC targets in Lesotho on December 9, 1982. These targets served as planning and control headquarters, as well as bases, for launching acts of violence against South Africa, Transkei and Siskei. The South African action was aimed exclusively at ANC terrorists and their bases, and can in no sense, be construed as hostile to the people of Lesotho. Indeed, the South African unit had firm instructions to avoid contact with civilians in carrying out their task. The members of the unit made every effort to adhere to these instructions. It is a matter of considerable regret to the South African government that civilians have died or suffered as a consequence of the ANC's tactic of siting their bases in residential areas, with women and children in close proximity."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: UNITED NATIONS

    South Africa has hit back at the United Nations' condemnation of its recent raid in Lesotho, in which 42 people died. In a rare appearance, South African permanent representative, Mr. david Steward put responsibility for the raid firmly on the authorities in Lesotho, for harbouring what he called "terrorists" near the capital, Maseru. But King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho has denied that the African National Congress (ANC) was using his country as a springboard for terrorist attacks on nearby countries. Condemning the United Nations motions as grotesquely one-sided, Mr. Steward added that South Africa should be the last country to bear responsibility for the raid.


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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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