INTRODUCTION: Right-wing hecklers jeered the South African Prime Minister, Mr.
GV Hall and crowd with flags, Botha enters between flags. (2 SHOTS)
SV Botha onto dais.
SCU Crowd applause.
GV & ZOOM IN Botha at lectern.
GV & PAN Hecklers. (3 SHOTS)
GV Botha silent at dais PAN crowd.
SV & PAN EXT Plainclothes police escort heckler out.
SCU INT Botha speaking (English speech to 56 ft). (3 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Right-wing hecklers jeered the South African Prime Minister, Mr. P. W. Botha, at an election meeting on Tuesday (17 March). Mr. Botha was in the northern mining town of Rustenburg, in the Transvaal, seeking support in the coming election of April 29. The hecklers claimed Mr. Botha had gone soft in his racial relations policies.
SYNOPSIS: Although there had been scuffles outside the meeting earlier in the evening, everything was in order for the Prime Minister's arrival. The crowd began to sing as he made his way to the dais.
Mr. Botha had come to Rustenburg to counter criticism from ultra-conservative elements in his ruling National Party. They have been angered by his election promises to repeal parts of South Africa's racial separation apartheid policy.
Rustenburg, about one-hundred-and-60 kilometres from Johannesburg, lies at the centre of the country's platinum industry. It was here, 10 months ago, in a by-election, that the far Right nearly won a seat in Parliament.
And it was not long before some of the conservative miners, mostly gathered at the back of the hall, gave vent to their feelings. Shouting their support for the extreme Right faction within the National Party, they brought Mr. Botha to a halt. He countered by saying the last time he had has such a reception was at an agricultural show.
Police in plain clothes made several arrests before the Prime Minister was able to continue.
Taking up the challenge, Mr. Botha told the meeting he would ask those who heckled him not to vote for his National Party. He said the message he brought was addressed to rational people; unreasonable people would not understand it. Mr. Botha said South Africa was on the road of negotiation towards peaceful co-existence. Political commentators say the election next month will show how much support these ideas have, or whether the extreme Right will prevail.