INTRODUCTION: The death sentence on three members of the banned African National Congress (ANC) by a South African court have provoked grave concern in the United Nations Security Council.
SV Security Council President, Jacques Laprette of France speaking to Council in French.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The death sentence on three members of the banned African National Congress (ANC) by a South African court have provoked grave concern in the United Nations Security Council. On Thursday (5 February), the Council President, Monsieur Jacques Laprette of France, read out a statement, approved in advance by all fifteen members, calling on South Africa to spare their lives, to avoid further racial retaliation.
SYNOPSIS: The three-minute public meeting was one of the briefest on record. Monsieur Laprette prefaced the statement by saying that members of the Council "have entrusted me to express, on their behalf, their grave concern over the death sentences recently passed by the Transvaal division of the Supreme Court in Pretoria" on the three men. The men were convicted last November of having conspired in the planning of an attack on a bank in a Pretoria suburb, and of involvement in a grenade raid on a police station in northern Transvaal.
The three are Ncimoithi Lubisi, 28, Petrus Tsepo Mashigo, 20, and Naphtali Mansana, 24. The cases against them could be considered shortly by the Appelate division of the court at Bloemfontein, Monsieur Laprette said.
"With this in mind", M. Laprette continued, "I strongly urged the government of South Africa to avoid aggravating even further the situation in South Africa, to take into account the concern expressed for the lives of these three young men". He then announced the statement would be sent immediately to South African President, Marais Viljoen. The three were found guilty after a four-month trial involving six other ANC members. The others were acquitted of complicity in the bank siege, in which a white woman was killed during a shoot-out with police. But they were charged with high treason.