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Panel Discusses South Africa

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A panel of two law school professors and one exiled member of the South African National Congress discussed the history of Southern Africa and the impact of possible U.S. policies towards the South African government at a teach-in at the Law School yesterday sponsored by the Harvard Black American Law Students Association (BALSA).

Christopher Ntete, exiled member of the South African National Congress, began the teach-in by pointing to April 25, 1974 as "significant because on that date the Portuguese empire collapsed." He added this collapse "spelled the doom of white supremacy in Southern Africa."

Clyde C. Ferguson, visiting professor of Law and former U.S. ambassador to Uganda, opened his statement saying, "the first factor about the South African economy is its enormous profitability." He added rates of return on capital investment are high because of the cheap black labor.

Ferguson offered eight economic proposals he said would have an impact on South Africa, including U.S. legislation to deny tax credit to U.S. companies in South Africa and a further push by the U.S. to depress the value of gold, one of South Africa's major national resources.

Louis B. Sohn, Bemis Professor of Law, said yesterday U.S. policy towards South Africa has been shaped by economic, strategic and legal considerations.

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