The mid-1970s witnessed a major retreat of white rule. Following a coup in April 1974, power in the Portuguese colonies in southern Africa was quickly transferred to black liberation movements. On 24 November 1974 South African ambassador to the United Nations, R.F. (Pik) Botha, told the UN Security Council that South Africa was moving away from discrimination by all the means at its disposal. These developments briefly stirred the hopes of the subordinate population in South Africa for substantial changes to apartheid. But a huge chasm existed between what blacks saw as reasonable demands and what whites were prepared to yield. The cornerstones of apartheid were still intact.