At the United Nations Secretary General Dr Kurt Waldheim met members of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) on Thursday (21 September) to discuss South Africa's latest decision on Namibia, (South West Africa).
GV South West African People's Organisation Deputy leader Theo-Ben Gurirab talking to Visnews reporter Brian Saxton.
GURIRAB: "Since the beginning of the exercise that we have been involved in, we though to demonstrate to the Five, and through our statements to the international community, the South Africans have been engaged in a two-track strategy. And they have tried to appear to join in this exercise with a view to get the UN, and through the UN, to get SWAPO to participate in their own schemes in Namibia. To launch a U.D.I. They hoped on the other hand by talking with the UN they would be able to get for that regime in Namibia international recognition. When it appears now that they could not use the UN and that SWAPO would not go into Namibia on South Africa's term, they have opted to get out of the whole exercise."
SAXTON: "Clearly now the Security Council is going to get involved in this issue. What will you want the Council to do."
GURIRAB: "We are still consulting as to what we would propose to the African members of the Council but given the situation, given the fact the South Africans have once again arrogantly defied the authority of the UN, they have closed the door to a negotiated settlement and the logical action for the Security Council is to consider measures provided for under Chapter Seven -- in that minute on economic sanctions. But this is what we would like the Council to consider."
SAXTON: "On the ground, does this mean an escalation of violence and bloodshed?"
GURIRAB: "This will mean that we will intensify the armed struggle. We are confident that we will continue to receive assistance from our friends who have supported us and the escalation of the violence as you call it would really be a responsibility for South Africa. We have come this long, we have been honest, we have been sincere. We have spent so much time trying to assist the efforts of the Five and of the UN to find a negotiated settlement. We have even gone on record, requesting or demanding rather, that we and South Africa should sign a formal ceasefire. That is how much we were prepared to participate in elections in Namibia under UN supervision, and control. But all that has now been throw out of the window and we are now back to square one and the struggle must continue."
Mr Gurirab was speaking on behalf of the President of SWAPO, Mr Sam Nujoma, who was ill.
INTERVIEWER: BRIAN SAXTON
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Background: At the United Nations Secretary General Dr Kurt Waldheim met members of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) on Thursday (21 September) to discuss South Africa's latest decision on Namibia, (South West Africa). After the meeting, the Deputy leader of SWAPO, and Permanent Observer at the UN, Mr Theo-Ben Gurirab, spoke to Visnews reporter Brian Saxton.