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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 1. 1964.

The Discriminators

The Discriminators

"We have no right to judge another country or to judge the South Africans for their apartheid policy because we do not know the full circumstances."

So said a Students' Association Executive member at a recent meeting of that august body. He took to its logical conclusion the fallacious argument of non-involvement in moral issues which has become widely accepted by student and community leaders.

If we are not entitled to judge the South Africans, we are not entitled to judge the Communist countries—something the "white-washers" usually have no difficulty in doing.

But we can judge both Communists and South Africans, with the proviso that we should be sure of our facts.

The facts on South African apartheid are clear. That they practice racial discrimination in sport they make no attempt to hide.

We cannot avoid the conclusion that the European team from South Africa is not representative of that country's cricketers.

If we don't make our attitude absolutely clear over this, there is little defence that can be brought against charges of implicit New Zealand support for apartheid.

These charges may be made and examined closely by African eyes in every comer of their native continent.

If New Zealand's "white-washers" are to be believed, the issue of apartheid does not enter into the way we treat and recognise the South African cricketers (who implicitly support apartheid).

Can this really stand up in the face of the method by which the cricket team from South Africa was selected?

It may be as well to point out that the "white-washers" feel so strongly about the "upright" nature of the South African European cricket team that they are prepared to trample on some New Zealander's rights of free speech and movement.

As railway officials, backed by policemen, pushed 20 to 30 placard carrying demonstrators out of the Wellington Railway Station, it became abundantly clear that it was the theme of the demonstration to which exception was taken.

A top railway official claimed that they were only trying to stop a disturbance". He was assured that the demonstrators wished to make no such disturbance.

He maintained further that the railway station platform mustn't be obstructed by 20 to 30 people demonstrating but he managed to overlook the fact that 50 to 60 people did "obstruct" the platform to watch the cricket team transfer from train to bus and to take pictures of the said manoeuvre. The intentions of the 50 were no doubt more "honourable."

Since only 13 demonstrators were actually carrying placards it was difficult to see how the officials could legally single out 20, to 30 demonstrators on whom they could vent their wrath. Nevertheless they managed it.