INTRODUCTION Despite Rhodesian government claims that they were abducted at gunpoint, children from the party of 400 boys and girls who crossed the border from Rhodesia into Botswana on foot on Sunday (30 January) have denied that they were kidnapped.
SV EXTERIOR Child talking t reporter
SV Girl speaking
SV Boy speaking (2 shots)
SV Botswana army officer speaking
(SEQ. 1): REED: "Why did you leave Rhodesia?"
RAISAKA NOKO: "Persecution."
REED: "Persecution - by whom?"
NOKO: "By the Rhodesian government."
REED: "What did they do?"
NOKO: "They would take prisoners to join the army."
REED: "How did they do that?"
NOKO: "I have three cousins who are (indistinct) and they are in the army and sometimes they would come and tell me join, but I don't want to. And the last time they come they said the government would force me and so that's why I'm here - I didn't want to."
REED: "Who told you they would force you - your cousins?"
REED: "But not the Rhodesian army."
NOKO: "Not the Rhodesian army."
REED: "What do you plan to do now?"
NOKO: "I will go for training."
REED: "Military training?"
NOKO: "Yes, military training."
REED: "Where do you want to do that?"
(SEQ. 2): REED: "What was the reason for not telling anybody where you were going?"
GIRL: "Soldiers (indistinct).
REED: "Soldiers what?"
GIRL: "They were torturing us (indistinct)."
REED: "Torturing -were you tortured?"
REED: "What did they do to you?"
GIRL: "They were always beating us - asking us anything (indistinct) a lot of questions."
REED: "Now that you are in Botswana what do you expect to do now - what do you hope to do now?"
GIRL: "I want to do some work that we can fight our country."
REED: "Do you wish to be trained as freedom fighters?"
REED: "And you would be prepared to take a rifle and go back into the Rhodesian bush to fight them?"
(SEQ. 3): IVAN PHUPHE: "We went out from school on Sunday at about nine o'clock -- we walked and we walked and by about one p.m. we crossed the border and I had no troubles there. We ended up in Botswana and we were (indistinct) by the people there -- hospitably -- co-operative."
REED: "Did you see any guerrillas on the outskirts of your party while you were on your way to Botswana?"
PHUPHE: "No -- I didn't see any -- not even one."
REED: "The people who stayed behind at your school say that there were definitely people with weapons that accompanied you -- is that correct or is that not correct?"
PHUPHE: "That is not correct -- those are sheer lies."
(SEQ. 4): POLICE CHIEF: "Well you know we will have to get them somewhere they will have accommodation and proper arrangements for food."
REED: "And long-term arrangements -- do you have any idea what will happen to them on this?"
POLICE CHIEF: "No, I have no idea."
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: On Tuesday (1 February) Rhodesian Foreign Minister Peter Van Der Byl said that there was no question that the children had left voluntarily, but on Thursday (3 February) Chief Superintendent Chris Carver, police commander in the school area, said that some of the children might have gone willingly and also alleged that guerrilla sympathisers may have helped them.
EUROVISION SATELLITE TELERECORDING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION Despite Rhodesian government claims that they were abducted at gunpoint, children from the party of 400 boys and girls who crossed the border from Rhodesia into Botswana on foot on Sunday (30 January) have denied that they were kidnapped. The children, aged between 11 and 21 disappeared from the Manama Lutheran mission school, and a Rhodesian forces communique also said that 13,000 dollars (same sterling) had been stolen at the same time. Later a spokesman for Sir Seretse Khama, the President of Botswana, said that the children had denied that they were abducted and said they had fled from harassment by Rhodesian troops in the border region. In an interview with Visnews reporter Mike Reed two boys -- Raisaka Noko and Ivan Phuphe -- and one girl who refused to be identified, all confirmed the Botswana side of the story. Two of them said that they wished to undertake military training and return to Rhodesia as guerrillas. Reed also spoke to the chief of police of the village of Celebi Tickwe, where the children are staying for the time being, but first the children...