Following are excerpts from President Pieter W. Botha's declaration of a state of emergency, as announced on South African radio. The text of the announcement, made in English, was released by the president's office:
Every responsible South African has, with growing concern, taken note of conditions of violence and lawlessness, which, in recent times, have increased and become more severe and more cruel in certain parts of the country, especially in black townships.
These acts of violence and thuggery are mainly directed at the property and person of law-abiding black people, and take the form of incitement, intimidation, arson, inhuman forms of assault and even murder.
This state of affairs can no longer be tolerated.
Thus far, the government has shown the utmost patience. However, I cannot ignore the insistence of all responsible South Africans, especially of the majority of the black communities, who ask that conditions are normalized and that they are granted the full protection of the law to continue their normal way of life.
It is the duty of the government to ensure that a normal community life is reestablished and that community services are efficiently rendered. Children must be able to receive schooling . Breadwinners must be able to fulfill their daily task. The life and property of all people must be protected, and law and order must be maintained.
In view of the prevailing conditions, it is essential that the situation be normalized in such a way that the climate for continued dialogue in the interest of all people in the constitutional, economic and social fields is ensured.
Against this background, the government has, in terms of the Public Security Act, Act 3 of 1953, decided to proclaim a state of emergency in 36 magisterial districts . . . .
The proclamation authorizing this measure was signed by me this morning.
I wish to give the assurance that law-abiding people have nothing to fear. At the same time, I wish to issue a warning that strict action will be taken against those persons and institutions that cause or propagate disruption.
I appeal to everybody for their cooperation so that conditions can return to normal. I wish to give the assurance that the state of emergency in an area will be terminated as soon as this is justified by local conditions.
In closing, I just want to say that South Africa has the ability to rise above pettiness and violence. I call upon all well-meaning and reasonable South Africans to take hands in these times and to stand together to restore order and peace, in order that we can work in the interest of peace and prosperity for all in the country.