'The Burden Is on Botha'

February 14, 1986

Your editorial (Feb. 4), "The Burden Is on Botha," while objective in some respects still perpetuates the perception fostered in your paper to oversimplify the South African realities and place all blame on the South African government for events in my country.

Moreover, to imply that his commitment is only rhetoric is misleading. Prior to President Pieter W. Botha's latest speech to Parliament, which took the reform process further forward, a leading opposition newspaper in South Africa listed "the major changes that President Botha has presided over so far."

Sport--opened to all races.

Labor--modern sophisticated trade union system open to all races.

Job reservation--removed.

Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act--repealed.

Immorality Act--offensive racial provisions repealed.

Immigration--provision providing for white immigration only, repealed.

Constitution--Asians and Coloreds represented in Parliament and holding ministerial and deputy ministerial positions in government.

Public amenities--many desegregated such as hotels, restaurants, parks, trains and buses.

Forced resettlement--discontinued.

Property rights for blacks--accepted as well as permanency of black communities in urban areas.

Local government--full participation for all population groups.

Education--parity for all population groups is the declared objective and action to this end is under way.

Influx control and pass laws--President's Council recommendation for phasing out.

Deeds have thus borne out the commitment recently given to Parliament for more reform along the paths indicated by President Botha and neither the terrorist acts of the African National Congress by bombing of supermarkets nor punitive actions by overseas governments and others have deterred the South African government from the program of reform.

The pace of reform will gain momentum should South African black moderates and black publicity-conscious critics display courage and initiative in participating and accepting the responsibility to translate the commitment of the government into more deeds.

The burden is not Botha's alone, it takes two to tango.



of South Africa

Beverly Hills

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