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Draft Speech for John Vorster, 'Mocambique'

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We must view the developments in Mocambique in the light of our own policy, which is based on self-determination. Several neighbouring countries are under Black government and we ourselves are in the process of creating some more by leading our own Black homelands to independence. The emergence of a Black government in Mocambique


therefore does not upset us in the least.




is but another proof that our policy based on self-determination is a sound one.


While Mocambique is scheduled to become independent in June 1975, an interim government has already been set up. Pending the acquisition of full independence on that date, we have in the meantime, [through our actions], given de facto recognition to the new government. Our Consul-General in Lourenco Marquee has been instructed to call on and establish contact with the members of the new government as soon as possible. In every other way we are continuing normal relations with the interim government. The question of de jure recognition will arise with full independence in June next year. It will then receive immediate attention.


In a spirit of good neighbourliness, the South African Government is also ready to co-operate with the new Mocambique (government) to the best of its ability in the economic and financial fields. The scope for possible co-operation in these spheres is a wide one, and this brings me more directly to the Hon. Leader of the Opposition’s question.


The agreements entered into between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Portugal relate to


the employment of Portuguese workers from Mocambique on certain mines in the Republic of South Africa;


railway matters;


the supply of hydro-electric power from the Cahora Bassa scheme.


The economics of the Republic and Mozambique have through the decades become almost inextricably interwoven and interdependent. These agreements are therefore extremely valuable to both countries, and their continuance would not only benefit the economies but would be to the advantage of the whole area. We would like to see this and would bend our efforts in that direction. I have reason to believe that the new government of Mocambique also values co-operation in this field and would presumably wish the agreements to continue – in any case in their essentials.


It is too early to say at this stage whether in the light of changed circumstances some of the terms of the agreements might have to be re-negotiated and, if so, to what extent. In this connection it will be recalled that after the independence of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, the then existing Customs Agreement – originally negotiated with the United Kingdom – remained in force for a time, but was subsequently re-negotiated to adapt it appropriately to the new circumstances. This could possibly happen also in the case of our agreements with Mocambique, or in any case some of them.


In the political field we are equally ready to co-operate, on a reciprocal basis, with the Government of Mocambique. I wish, for example, to reaffirm our policy of non-interference in any way in the affairs of that country. Thus, we already stated, we shall not allow mercenaries or any other groups to attack Mocambique from our soil. Neither shall we support any group with such intentions. On the contrary, we would like to help Mocambique to create conditions of stability and progress. At the same time we accept and expect that the new government of Mocambique will from its side also ensure that no such unfriendly acts would be directed against us, from their soil.



Document Information


“Moçambique," Eerste Minister: Buitelandse Sake, 1/564, I13/2, MEM, National Archives of South Africa. Obtained by Jamie Miller.


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