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Telling White Lies


To the Editors of The Crimson:

J. de Swardt, representing the white-minority South African regime, in his recent interview in "What Is To Be Done," December 8, 1977, mixed several half-truths and outright lies with heavily slanted description of South Africa.

De Swardt said that blacks will no longer have to carry passes. But these passes are merely being replaced by "passports" issued by Bantustan administrations. They will continue to serve the same function: to prevent blacks from living permanently or with their families in the "white" areas, which contain 87 per cent of South Africa's territory and all important towns, resources and agriculture. Most blacks must work there, but they are often forced to leave their spouses and children behind in the Bantustans.

The regime's ultimate aim is to set up a number of "independent" Bantustans, sharing less than 13 per cent of the country's territory, in South Africa. The 75 per cent of the population which is African could only be "citizens" of these areas. They could only stay in the "white" areas if employed by whites; "superfluous appendages"-as the regime calls African wives and children--would have to be left behind in the starving Bantustans. This policy is so repugnant that it has even been rejected by all but two of the Bantustan leaders picked by the regime. Blacks want to preserve their culture, but as South Africans, members of an integrated society, not as forcibly separated and backward "tribes."

Not only are sex and marriage between blacks and whites illegal, but so are drinking and staying together except in a handful of expensive "international" hotels. Blacks must observe a curfew in white areas, and whites may enter black residential areas only when permitted by the white authorities.

Furthermore, de Swardt claimed transnational corporations help blacks. But in South Africa all black organizations except those sponsored by the regime, and virtually all anti-apartheid organizations, black and white, have called for withdrawal of foreign investment from South Africa. They feel that the strategic and economic support transnations give the regime far outweigh the few jobs at starvation-level wages they provide blacks. In the words of the late Chief Albert J. Luthuli, President of the African National Congress of South Africa and Peace Prize winner:

"The economic boycott of South Africa will entail undoubted hardship for Africans...But if it is a method which shortens the day of blood, the suffering to us will be a price we are willing to pay. In any case, we suffer already, our children are often undernourished, and on a small scale (so far) we die at the whim of a policeman."

We must be able to see through the South African regime--whose diplomats are notorious for simply lying. Ruth Hayes '77-4   Elli Mylona '78   Steve Aldritch '78   Dan Rabinovitz '77-4   Cindy Ruskin '79   Neva Seidman '78

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