President Bok this week added his voice to the chorus of protests against the South African government's imprisonment of Percy P. Qoboza, a former Nieman Fellow and editor of South Africa's largest black newspaper, but came up short of condemning all of the Pretoria government's policies.
In a telegram to South African Prime minister John Vorster and D.B. Sole, South Africa's ambassador to Washington, Bok called Qoboza's imprisonment "a travesty of justice under normal civilized standards" and asked for his immediate release.
Bok said yesterday, however, that the telegram was a personal protest, adding that he will not ask the Corporation to protest South Africa's recent crackdown on black groups by divesting itself of its South Africa-related investments.
"The two things are quite disconnected," he said.
He added that he does not know if the telegram will have any effect on the Vorster government's decision to hold Qoboza in jail without specifying any legal charges against him.
"You send the letter and hope for the best," Bok said of his decision.
A spokesman for Sole said yesterday the ambassador has not yet received the telegram, which Bok sent Monday.
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