Black Rhodesian Nationalist leader Ndabangi Sithole said on Friday (13 December) that there could be no solution to Rhodesia's constitutional dispute unless the Salisbury government moved from its dedicated commitment to white minority rule.
GV & SV Sithole with reporters (3 shots)
SCU Sithole speaking
GV Nkomo with newsmen (silent)
SCU Nkomo speaking
SITHOLE: "Well, it was like hell itself, you can be sure."
NEWSMAN: "What kept you going?"
SITHOLE: "The inner person kept me going."
NEWSMAN: "What do you mean by the inner person, your religious faith?"
SITHOLE: "My religious faith and my conviction that my cause is right."
NEWSMAN: "Has it been worth it?"
SITHOLE: "Well I did mostly reading and writing."
NEWSMEN: "What did you read?"
SITHOLE: "I read mostly sociology and also politics."
NEWSMAN: "You've written one book already, have you another one ready now?"
NEWSMAN: "Has it all been worth it?"
SITHOLE: "What worth it?"
NEWSMAN: "The ten years of your life inside."
SITHOLE: "Yes it has been worth it because if our people are to demonstrate their belief in their own cause they have to suffer for it and I'm glad I have suffered for the cause of the people of this country. After all it is our natural right that we should have independence in this country. It is inconceivable, to any logical mind, that the effective vote should be in the hands of five per cent of the population to the exclusion of ninety-five per cent of the population."
NEWSMAN: "After all we've seen and all the events of the last two or three weeks, does it make you feel hopeful that you can now reach an accommodation with the Rhodesian government?"
SITHOLE: "No, we cannot reach an accommodation with the Rhodesian government because the Rhodesian government is determined on minority rule. Until they change that position I cannot see how we can reach an accommodation."
NEWSMAN: "You don't think that position is going to change at a constitutional conference?"
SITHOLE: "I don't know. That is a question you should ask Mr. Ian Smith."
NKOMO: "Living in detention, living in seclusion emotionally and everything is quite (indistinct)."
NEWSMAN: "Did you ever give up hope?"
NKOMO: "Hope? Me? Give up Hope? No never."
NEWSMAN: "Were you surprised by these sudden developments?"
NKOMO: "I don't get surprised."
NEWSMAN: "Did you keep in touch with the outside world...you weren't completely cut off... you had ways of knowing what was happening?"
NKOMO: "No, no, no, not inside, no."
NEWSMAN: "Were you allowed to hear the radio, to read newspapers?"
NEWSMAN: "No radio, no newspapers?"
NKOMO: "Newspapers, yes...(Newsmen: "Were they censored?")..at Gonakudzinga, newspapers yes but mutilated newspapers."
NEWSMAN: "Mutilated newspapers?"
NKOMO: "That's right."
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This film contains interviews with both Rev. Sithole and Mr. Nkome. Transcriptions are as follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Black Rhodesian Nationalist leader Ndabangi Sithole said on Friday (13 December) that there could be no solution to Rhodesia's constitutional dispute unless the Salisbury government moved from its dedicated commitment to white minority rule.
Reverend Sithole -- former leader of the Zimbabwe African Nationalist Union (ZANU) -- was speaking to newsmen for the first time in ten years, after being freed from detention.
And the former leader of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), Mr. Joshua Nkomo, also spoke to newsmen and described his experiences during ten years detention.
The two organisations merged with other nationalist groups under the African National Council, to present a united front in forthcoming talks with Mr. Ian Smith's government.