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Mandela Has Harsh Words for Reagan

January 24, 1986|From Reuters

JOHANNESBURG — Black activist Winnie Mandela lashed out at President Reagan today, saying his Administration seemed determined to support South Africa's white-dominated government at all costs.

She also sharply criticized Reagan's reported plans to receive Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi at the White House later this month. Savimbi's organization is heavily backed by South Africa.

Mandela, wife of jailed African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela, spoke after receiving the Robert Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Award at a hotel outside Johannesburg.

"The (Reagan) Administration refuses any assistance to the true representatives of the people in this country, ANC," Mandela said. The ANC is the main guerrilla group fighting to topple white domination in South Africa.

"We can only conclude from this that the American government is determined at all costs to maintain and support the racist white regime in South Africa."

Mandela was joint winner of the 1985 Kennedy award along with fellow anti-apartheid campaigners Allan Boesak and Beyers Naude, but she was unable to attend the award ceremony in Washington in November. The award, a bust of the assassinated former U.S. senator and attorney general was presented by former Rep. John Buchanan.

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