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Nearly 50 students gathered yesterday outside Widener Library in a rally to celebrate the release of South African dissident Nelson Mandela and urge continued economic sanctions against the white-governed country.
The rally, organized by the Southern African Solidarity Committee (SASC) and the Undergraduate Council's ad hoc committee on divestment, lasted close to 10 minutes.
Chanting "Nelson Mandela is free, 28 million to go," students applauded South African President F.W. de Klerk's decision to release Mandela, who had been jailed since 1962, but emphasized that the struggle was not over.
"It is too early to lift sanctions, but it is a time to celebrate," said Imraan Coovadia '92, a South African student who spoke at the rally.
"The struggle is not over yet--we must continue to take a stand," said Kevin Flusk '91.
Many students at the rally called on the University to sell its $139.8 million in South Africa-related investments.
At a meeting of the Board of Overseers last week, South African Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, elected to the governing board last year on a pro-divestment slate, said that Harvard should go ahead with complete divestment if de Klerk does not follow through on promised reforms.
But in an interview after Tutu's appearance in Boston, President Derek C. Bok said that he did not think the Overseers would discuss Harvard's policy of selective divestment, which he said was unlikely to change.
"It's really disgusting that [Bok is] trying to determine what the Board of Overseers should discuss," said Randall Jeffrey '91, a member of the Undergraduate Council.
"We still need divestment. When [apartheid] is over, we'll reinvest," said council member M. Scott Murphy '92.
Murphy also said that the University should establish fellowships for exchange students from South Africa similar to those being considered for Eastern Europe. He said that these students would "bring back ideas of democracy and help it work there."
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