577. Telegram From the Embassy in South Africa to the Department of State 1

49. Reference: Deptel 32,2 Embtel 48.3 Following is confidential aide-memoire I presented FonMin Muller and FonSec Jooste this afternoon. Witt accompanied me. Stephenson is making parallel representations today.

1.
My government has noted the intention of the South African Government to proceed with public discussion and the possible legislative and administrative implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry into South West Africa affairs (Odendaal Commission)4 in the near future. It has also noted that the Commission’s Report related its recommendations to the view of the South African Government that the mandate has lapsed (Report, page 57, para 196), despite [Page 970]the judgment to the contrary of the International Court of Justice in 1962, in the Court’s disposition of preliminary objections to jurisdiction.
2.
It is clear that the recommendations of the Commission which further extend apartheid and which shift administrative controls in South West Africa relate directly to issues currently pending before the International Court of Justice.5
3.
We accordingly urge your government in its own interest to postpone legislative and administrative implementation of all aspects of the recommendations of the Odendaal Commission which are at issue while the case is pending in the International Court of Justice. This postponement would of course be without prejudice to any economic or welfare benefits not related to further extension of apartheid or to basic administrative changes in South West Africa.
4.
You will recall that despite considerable difficulty we have restrained actions by the United Nations on the South West Africa issue by calling on members to await the outcome of the pending case in the International Court of Justice. Action by the South African Government to implement the recommendations of the Odendaal Commission now would remove the basis of such restraint. Consequently we urgently request assurances by the South African Government that it will hold such implementation in abeyance pending the adjudication of the International Court of Justice.

Report follows.

Satterthwaite
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 SW AFR/UN. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated to London and Pretoria and passed to the White House.
  2. Dated February 6. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated February 12. (Ibid.)
  4. The Commission’s report, or the Odendaal Report, dated January 27, recommended the establishment of 10 separate “homelands” for the non-white groups in South West Africa. It also called for expenditure of $218 million for development in the territory over a 5-year period.
  5. In 1960, Ethiopia and Liberia brought an action before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) charging South Africa with violation of the South West Africa Mandate on several counts. Previous ICJ opinions communicated to the U.N. General Assembly had advised that South Africa remained bound by the Mandate, that it must accept U.N. supervision, and that it could not terminate or alter the Mandate without U.N. consent.