Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches was one of 35 South African religious leaders found guilty of offenses under the country's Riotous Assemblies Act.
GV Entrance to court house building, Johannesburg.
SV Bishop Desmond Tutu speaking in English.
TRANSCRIPTS: TUTU: "We do not seek confrontation, we are very law-abiding, actually, you know, when you come to think of it. But when there is conflict between the law of God and the law of men, there can be no debate with the Christian, and if an occasion, a similar occasion arises, I will certainly I am looking for cheap publicity. For the majority of our people, in fact, there are no constitutional ways for them to make known how they feel."
REPORTER: "But the three of your number who chose to go to gaol rather than pay the fine, what motivated them?"
TUTU: "I think you could have heard coming through their testimony a very deep conviction, and for them there was, I think, the desire really to say "We want to go the whole hog'. Two of them are white, and the kind of experience of gaol is much more a black experience, and they were saying 'Our Christianity has got to be incarnated, it's got to be made visible'. And again, you see, they are not fly-by-night, they are not fire-eaters. They are just young people for whom Jesus has come to mean a very great deal, and who love this country."
The three men who chose to go to gaol for 50 days rather than pay a fine were one white and one coloured (mixed-race) Anglican priest, and one white Roman Catholic priest. The other defendants paid a fine of 50 rand (70 U.S. dollars)
NOTE TO EDITORS: Please refer also to Production Number 5395/80
SOUTH AFRICA: BISHOP DESMOND TUTU AND THIRTY-FOUR OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS
APPEAR IN COURT, issued on 2nd July, 1980
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches was one of 35 South African religious leaders found guilty of offenses under the country's Riotous Assemblies Act. They were charged after taking part in a march in Johannesburg at the end of May, to protest against the detention of a colleague.