July 24, 1986
Pretoria sinks, yet President Reagan lashes U.S. influence to the mast, shouting at the waves. It falls now to the Senate to fashion policy on South Africa, to steer the white regime - such as it can - from the jaws of the storm that apartheid has unleashed on the richly endowed land. It is a sobering business when the President of the United States so badly misreads a crisis so clear and present. In the name of anti-communism, he would coddle tyranny as bleak as any gulag. In the face of the numbers - five million whites presiding over 24 million blacks - he blanches at losing entre with the minority.
October 24, 1986 |
The government of South Africa continues to insist it had nothing to do with the plane crash that claimed the life of Samora Machel, the president of neighboring Mozambique. But that's not how the tragedy is being viewed in Zimbabwe, Machel's closest ally among the black-ruled frontline nations of southern Africa. "The press here is reporting that Machel's plane was shot down, and that it was almost surely the work of South Africa," said Julie Fredericks, a highly respected reporter for U.S. National Public Radio, from her base in Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare.
July 5, 1986 |
A bomb exploded outside a crowded supermarket in a white section of Pretoria yesterday, injuring at least 20 people in the fourth bombing in South Africa this week. Elsewhere, thousands of black miners staged strikes or slowdowns that disrupted work at four diamond mines and a huge gold mine in an attempt to win freedom for union leaders detained by the government. In Pretoria, the 5 p.m. supermarket bombing shattered windows, hurling shards of glass through the air and damaging five cars.
December 22, 1986
It was barely 50 years ago in Germany that Joseph Goebbels became minister for propaganda and enlightenment. In that capacity he helped orchestrate Hitler's demonic rise and control through his brilliance as a propagandist who ensured that nothing was seen, heard or reported through the media that didn't support his fuhrer's growing political base. With firm control of the press he deftly suppressed the truth, cleverly supplanted a myth, and effectively hid the growing atrocities of National Socialism from the German people and the world.
November 5, 1989
In a South Africa that seems suddenly ripe for change, the police have been reined in of late. They've been stripped of their whips, kept discreetly out of sight during major black rallies, even subjected to a little criticism. But they weren't prepared last week for a bit of unplanned glasnost - explosive disclosures by a former black security officer who said he'd murdered anti-apartheid activists for a departmental hit squad. The officer, Butana Nofomela, had been about to hang in an unrelated crime when he blurted his secret.
September 25, 1987 |
South African has secretly proposed talks with the banned African National Congress, but the ANC has rejected the overtures as a political trick, sources here said yesterday. The reports surfaced at a conference here on "children, repression and the law" in South Africa. Among the 300 delegates are nine members of the ANC executive committee in exile and 120 whites and blacks from South Africa. Although the reports were denied by South African officials and by ANC President Oliver Tambo, they follow a proposal by the government last week for a National Council that would draft a new constitution giving the black majority a role in running the country.
December 1, 1989
In a time when history didn't seem to be doing handsprings in Eastern Europe, the events unfolding in South Africa might have been considered astonishing enough to merit undivided world attention. Two months ago, the Pretoria regime seemed as intransigent as its about-to-be-junked leader, P.W. Botha. Today, President F.W. de Klerk keeps coming up with a surprise a day: The whip has been retired; black political rallies have permitted (and not molested); the long-suffering top echelon of the banned African National Congress has been freed (except, that is, Nelson Mandela)
August 5, 1991
As they pressed their case to end U.S. sanctions, South Africa's envoys were ever so gracious. They congratulated the victims of apartheid - the nation's overwhelming black majority - for their struggle. They deplored gaps in schooling. They looked forward to a thriving, non-racial South Africa reconnected to its neighbors and the world beyond. They had a warning, though. It went like this: New democracies are fragile. They rely on respect. They need healthy social and economic underpinnings.
October 3, 1986 |
The news was bad last night for supporters of the South African government, particularly for Foreign Minister Roelof F. "Pik" Botha, who had run a controversial last-minute campaign to stave off U.S. economic sanctions. A stony-faced TV announcer reported the U.S. Senate action on the South Africa sanctions bill, telling viewers: "Unfortunately, the President's veto has been rejected by 78 votes to 21. " The state-run television network had carried live coverage from Washington of the final minutes of the Senate vote, which overrode President Reagan's veto of the bill to impose tough economic sanctions against Pretoria.
October 1, 1986 |
Edward J. Perkins, the man nominated yesterday to be U.S. ambassador to South Africa, is described by friends and foes alike as a quiet, cautious team player who is unlikely to make headlines or stray outside the bounds of official U.S. policy. Perkins, who will be the first black American ambassador to serve in Pretoria if confirmed by the Senate, draws praise from State Department colleagues as a consummate professional diplomat who inspires great loyalty from his staff and works hard to understand indigenous cultures.