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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 10. 1966.

Robertson's ban

Robertson's ban

Five Months Ago, the president of the National Union of South African Students, Ian Robertson, told a friend, Mr. D. Bordman, that "things are looking better for NUSAS than they have for some time."

Mr. Bordman is now with the VUW Department of Social Science, and Ian Robertson is restricted under a five-year banning-order.

Mr. Bordman, who served on the NUSAS executive in 1964. says that Robertson would be regarded as a conservative by New Zealand standards. He supported the United States commitment in Vietnam, for example.

Politically he supports the Progressive Party, a minority group advocating that all races should be treated on terms of equality, with a qualified franchise based on education and economic status.

Mr. Bordman went on to say that Robertson has been noted for his biting criticism of government policy which most affect students. He opposed the Extension of University Education Act closing the "open" universities to non-white students. He has protested against previous banning-orders against students. In January and February of 1965. he was involved in a protest against the Mixed Audiences Proclamation prohibiting all multi - racial gatherings.

Robertson's banning has aroused so much attention,' Mr. Bordman believes, because there have been no previous bannings for specifically student activities— other restrictions have been imposed for outside political agitation. This is not admitted by the South African Government, who never give reasons for such actions.

The conclusion is obvious— it is as president of NUSAS (the organisation responsible for inviting Senator Robert Kennedy to South Africa), that Robertson has been banned. The visit caused the South African Government severe embarrassment.

"Ian is vigorously antiapartheid," Mr. Bordman stated, "but has never been a starry-eyed idealist. He has always been aware that what he and NUSAS are striving for — a democratic South Africa — is the ideal which may not be realised for many decades."

Mr. Bordman is convinced that the Government is going to intensify pressure against NUSAS. with the ultimate aim of destroying the organisation. The banning of Ian Robertson is the beginning, he believes, and there are likely to be further bannings in the future.