South Africa Holds Namibian Vote; SWAPO and U.N. Protest Elections

WINDHOEK, South Africa--Blacks in Namibia voted for the first time yesterday in elections supervised by the South African government but denounced by guerilla groups and the United Nations.

Although the United Nations, the United States and guerilla groups said they will recognize only U.N.-supervised elections, scheduled for July, the South African government insisted on holding the election in this territory of 100,000 white and 900,000 blacks.

South Africa said it will "cooperate" with the U.N. supervised elections but insisted on holding its own vote as well. It has not agreed outright to the U.N. plan.

The South West Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO), recognized by the U.N. as the representative of the people of South-West Africa, boycotted the elections, claiming they are rigged in favor of candidates backed by South Africa.

Sabotage Threat


Although SWAPO threatened to sabotage the elections, the first in five days of voting went smoothly. South African officials said.

Election supervisors said they stopped the voting in one Windhoek precinct because blacks were brought to the polls by the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), a multi-party backed by South Africa. Because of the SWAPO boycott the DTA is seen as the likely winner.

South Africa said it will "retain authority" on the current vote until after the U.N. supervised election, a move designed to dispel fears that the winners of this election might block further voting.

In Washington an administration spokesman said the U.S. is "obviously gratified" at the announcement that no power will go to the winners of this week's elections. However, South Africa must still take the critical step of accepting the U.N. Plan, the spokesman said.