by Pittsburgh Committee on Southern Africa
with Ralph Hagopian (Editor), Nancy van Vuuren
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
July 1967
5 pages
Contents: SOUTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST by Nancy van Vuuren • THE UNITED NATIONS AND SOUTH WEST AFRICA • THE THREE ENCLAVES • GEORGE M. HAUSER - TRIP TO AFRICA • excerpts from YOUNG AFRICANS CRITICAL OF THE UNITED STATES from the N. Y. Times, June 27, 1967 Benjamin Welles • RAND DAILY MAIL DEFENSE FUND • CONTRIBUTIONS NEEDED! • The Middle East crisis has diverted 1500 vessels that normally passed through the Suez Canal each month to going around the Cape of Good Hope. The U.S. Department of the Interior notes that five million barrels of oil per day must be transported around the Cape; thus, South Africa's role in the 'free' world has become increasingly important. On May 19, the General Assembly adopted (by 85 to 2 with 30 abstentions) a resolution establishing an 11-member United Nations Council to administer the territory of South West Africa until independence, on a date to be fixed in accordance with the wish of the inhabitants, and requesting the Council to be based in the Territory, and to enter immediately into contact with South African authorities to establish procedures for transfer of the Territory. Recall that South Africa has been in the Territory illegally since October 1966, when the U.N. terminated the mandate by which it had ruled the Territory. The U.S. has decided not to participate in the UN South West Africa Council and to hold its own negotiations with the South African government; this decision may have been influenced by the positions of African countries on the Middle East crisis. The Reporter carried an article by Noel Mostert about the three recently-independent countries of Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana, which are heavily dependent on South African economy. They are in a customs union with South Africa, use South African currency, and have South African advisors scattered throughout their administrative departments. Botswana, the largest country seeks a "neutralist" position regarding force against South Africa, Rhodesia, and South West Africa, but does not hide its opposition to apartheid. The Pittsburgh Committee received a report from George M. Houser of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) about his May 11 - June 10 tour of Black Africa and interviews with 21 liberation movement leaders. He found that the liberation movement is hopelessly splintered, although some alliances are forming around Russia and Eastern European countries, or China, depending upon the source of their financial assistance. While the two alliances are careful not to displease their patron bodies, the leaders claim their position is not primarily ideological. The non-violent movement has been almost abandoned, and the future seems to hold the prospects of guerilla warfare, such as has begun in Angola, where the Revolutionary Government of Angola in Exile claims to be fighting on four fronts and to be holding 250 square kilometers. In June and July of 1965, the Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Times published articles describing prison conditions in South Africa. The government responded with a stream of police raids, arrests of persons giving evidence, and trials. Arrests included Rand Daily Mail editor Laurence Gandar, Sunday Times editor Joel Mervis, managing director of South African Newspapers Leycester Walton, and Benjamin Pogrund, author of the articles. The Pittsburgh Committee is supporting the London-based Defense and Aid Fund Campaign for Release of Political Prisoners and is planning a FREE PRESS -FREE PEOPLE week of activities for November 7-11. Also, the RAND DAILY MAIL DEFENSE FUND has been established, to assist with court costs. The newsletter also mentions Prime Minister Vorster’s speech to the South African Senate, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hilgard Muller, Minister of Defense P.W. Botha, the UN arms embargo against South Africa, the Israeli Air Force, French equipment, the Western world, Great Britain, South African Jewish youth, the African National Congress (ANC), guerilla training, Prime Minister Jonathan, agriculture, the budget, the National Party, a huge hydro-electric plant, pulp, sugar, citrus, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), blacks, Parliament, whites, Allister Sparks, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Portuguese Guinea, “Lost in the Star” (play adaptation of Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Payton), President Seretse Khama, and Virginia Bortas. Newsletter editor: Ralph Hagopian. [This document was digitized by University of Pittsburgh Library System which provided it to the African Activist Archive Project.]
Collection: Peace and Freedom Center of Pittsburgh Records, 1967-1969, AIS.1969.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System