Ironically, when [Pieter W. Botha] came to France two years ago to lay a foundation stone for the cemetery museum in honor of the war dead, Premier Jacques Chirac, then the main opposition leader to the Socialist government, protested that the Socialists sent only the secretary of veteran affairs to welcome Botha.
At Longueval, the ceremony was interrupted twice. First, an anti-apartheid demonstrator shouted "If you respected the soldiers . . ." and then was hurried away before he could finish the sentence. Later, rightists jeered the failure of Chirac to meet with Botha. "Poor France," they shouted when the deputy prefect stepped forward on behalf of the French government to put a wreath on a memorial at the cemetery.
Botha was accompanied by a large delegation, including his foreign minister, Roelof F. (Pik) Botha, and 200 South African war veterans.