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Regents' Vote on South Africa

July 04, 1985

Your front-page story (June 22) detailing the University of California Regents' defeat of an attempt for divestiture of university holdings in South Africa finally reveals some attempt at more rational sanity toward the problem.

For all those well-meaning humanitarians demanding punitive sanctions against South Africa and an end to doing business with that country because of the obvious evil of its apartheid policies that are an affront to a civilized world, I say, easy does it.

Inside this Pandora's box there is the potential for the unleashing upon the free world, a quiet Armageddon. For you see, whether we like it or not, South Africa holds the very key to our present and future existence. Before we so piously demand a cessation of trading with South Africa, we'd better do our homework and examine both sides of the coin before making a step that could be more fatal than war itself.

Let's say we become blindly indignant and close the door on trading with South Africa and she in turn says, "OK, if that's the way you want it, we won't trade with you, the free world." Whereupon South Africa then decides to take her business exclusively to the communist world. If she decided to take her business exclusively to the two big giants, Russia and China, it would mean very simply that then, the bad guys would control this very planet. For you see, South Africa, at least at this date, is the world's only meaningful source of such crucial minerals as manganese, chrome and nickel and other sophisticated minerals needed to produce steel and alloys, affecting everything we use in this modern world today.

If South Africa refused to trade these vital metals with the free world, the world's economy could collapse overnight. South Africa also mines the bulk of the world's diamonds and gold and dictates the value worldwide, thus cornering the world economy from two vital angles. Now, do you still want to mess with this little country's internal problems?

FRED MAY

Hollywood

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