It was on 27 October 1966 that the United Nations General Assembly terminated the mandate over South West Africa and declared that henceforth the territory comes under the direct responsibility of the United Nations.

    Until then, there was no question of anyone entering the territory without a visa from South African authorities. [A delegation from the UN Ad Hoc Committee on South West Africa visited South West Africa in 1961 with the approval of the South African Government.]

    On 12 May 1967, the General Assembly established a United Nations Council for South West Africa.[1] It requested the Council to contact South African authorities to lay down procedures for the transfer of the administration of the territory and to proceed to South West Africa to take over the administration.

    There was some talk in the corridors about the possibility of the Council going to South West Africa. But no one seemed serious. I am not sure that the matter was discussed in a closed meeting of the Council. In the meantime a group of Americans set up an Ad Hoc Committee for the Development of an Independent South West Africa. They consulted the UN Council and at the end of 1967 five of them tried to go to Windhoek in two chartered planes without South African visas. After warnings by South African authorities, the pilots turned back and the project did not succeed.[2]

[1]In 1968, the General Assembly decided to change the name of the territory to “Namibia”.

[2]See George M. Houser, No One Can Stop the Rain, 1989, pages 243-6