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[Senator Gareth Evans had totally botched his visit to South Africa and caused Australia unnecessary international embarrassment]



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T im Fischer mp Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia <6 '4 f

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

National Party Leader, Tim Fischer MP, said today the Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon Gareth Evans, had totally botched his visit to South Africa and caused Australia unnecessary international embarrassment.

"He went over there on the instructions of his boss and stomped around the place like an arrogant, petulant school boy.

"He has long had preconceived ideas about South Africa and it was obvious that nothing was going to change them.

"So far as Senator Evans is concerned, the African National Congress is the only rightful political entity in South Africa.

"Indeed, his meeting with Inkatha's C hief Buthelezi would not have taken place had not the South African authorities suggested it to him.

"Senator Evans seems incapable of understanding that South Africa needs international support if it is to achieve the progress towards social and democratic equality that everyone wants.

"Specific Australian taxpayer funding for ANC economic programmes are not going to help the black people of South Africa one iota.

"What South Africa needs above all else at the present time is the lifting of financial sanctions, so that the country can have access to World Bank and IMF loans and thereby begin the enormous task of improving housing, health and education facilities for blacks.

"At the same time, Australia should accept the fact that other sanctions are crumbling and end its trade, communications and sporting sanctions against South Africa.

"Finally, all Australian assistance to South Africa - including the $100 million Special Assistance Programme for South Africa (SAPSA) - should be directed, through independent channels, to programmes specifically designed to help the social upliftment programme for blacks."

As Senator Robert Hill has pointed out today, these initiatives would positively help the reform process in the country - an objective which even Senator Evans should be striving to achieve as early as possible, Mr Fischer added.

Canberra 13 June 1991 COMMONWEALTH

P A R L IA M E N T A R Y l i b r a r y MICAH

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