HC Deb 23 November 1988 vol 142 c115 2.50 pm
Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Have you received any approach from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs about him coming to the House to make a statement about the adverse decision by the Court of Appeal in South Africa in the case of the Sharpeville Six? You will recall that the Prime Minister said in the House that if the legal process failed, new representations would be made by her. The Foreign Secretary also said that once the legal process had been concluded new approaches would be made.

I am authoritatively advised that following today's decision by the Court of Appeal all legal options have been exhausted in the case of the Sharpeville Six and that the matter now lies in the hands of the President of South Africa and nobody else. Clearly this is a matter of exceptional urgency, because the courts can no longer intervene and the sentences of death on these innocent people will take their course unless there is political intervention by the President of South Africa.

In view of that, would it be possible to obtain a statement from the Foreign Secretary because the view of the Opposition and, I hope, the view of all hon. Members is that the time has come for the Prime Minister to pick up the telephone and make a call to President Botha asking that these innocent people should not be hanged.

Mr. Speaker

This is a matter of concern to the whole House and I am sure that what the right hon. Gentleman has said has been noted by the Leader of the House, who is sitting on the Front Bench.

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