JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu met Friday with President Pieter W. Botha for the first time in six years and warned him that the two-day-old state of emergency cannot resolve strife-torn South Africa's problems. But Tutu said he failed to persuade the president to end the mass detentions and restore civil liberties here.
"This is not likely to help restore law and order and peace and calm," Tutu said of the sweeping crackdown against anti-apartheid activists that began Thursday. "If we do have any calm, it will be very brittle, it will be superficial, it will be sullen, and at the slightest chance, it will be broken again."
Finds Some Agreement
Yet Tutu, the 1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said he had found "points of agreement" as well as disagreement during his 90-minute private meeting with Botha in Cape Town and, as a result, was not "despondent" about the country's future.
Police, meanwhile, continued their roundup of a broad cross-section of black community leaders, union organizers, clergymen and anti-apartheid activists throughout the country.
With more than 2,000 and perhaps twice that number believed to have been arrested, government spokesmen said they could not provide accurate figures on the number of detentions. The names of those arrested are being kept secret in "the interests of state security," they said.
Police, Troops Patrol
Heavily armed policemen and soldiers patrolled black ghetto townships and white suburban shopping centers alike Friday in a show of force expected to intimidate and reassure at the same time. Police and soldiers also began riding as guards on school buses carrying white children in several cities, apparently fearing black attacks in response to the state of emergency.
Despite the stepped-up security measures and restrictions, eight more blacks died in the continuing violence here, according to the government's information bureau. Seven were killed in fighting with other blacks, the bureau said, and one was shot to death during a firebomb attack on a police patrol. Spokesmen refused to provide any details of the incidents, again citing "the interests of state security."
Enforcing emergency regulations that sharply restrict freedom of speech and of the press, the government seized as "subversive" the current issues of the Sowetan, the country's largest black newspaper, and of the Weekly Mail, a left-wing tabloid.
In a front-page editorial, the Sowetan had demanded the government's resignation.
"Those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad," Joe Latakgomo, the editor, wrote. "Looking at the actions of the government in recent weeks, and particularly in the last few days, we are convinced those words must have been meant for them. What else can one say about a government that has done more than anybody else to destroy our beloved country?"
Law and Order Stressed
David Steward, chief of the government's information bureau, said that Pretoria's first priority now is restoring law and order. Political debate as well as the observance of many civil liberties will have to wait, he said.
"We think the first requirement is the establishment of law and order," Steward said in Pretoria, reaffirming the government's plans for continued, step-by-step reforms, including negotiations on a new constitution for the country. Without this, he continued, few black leaders are prepared to participate even in preliminary discussions for fear of being killed by radicals.
The state of emergency should be seen as a "deferral, not a cancellation," of the government's reform program, another senior official said in Pretoria. "The government is ready for talks on a new constitution with anyone, Tutu included, who rejects violence and is not acting on behalf of a foreign country."
But the move continued to draw sharp criticism Friday from members of Parliament from the liberal white opposition Progressive Federal Party, from the business establishment and from the labor unions, church groups and anti-apartheid organizations whose leaders have been detained.
Now 'a Police State'
Colin Eglin, the Progressive Federal Party leader, said that South Africans now live in "a police state," and Helen Suzman, the party's veteran spokesman on law and order, described the move as "an act of panic."
The emergency, according to Eglin, is "the most severe clampdown on civil liberties and the most far-reaching denial of freedom of speech and assembly and the press in the history of South Africa."
Gavin Relly, chairman of Anglo American Corp., the country's giant mining and industrial company, said the state of emergency will not provide the proper foundation for the talks that South Africa needs for a long-term solution.
Many of those detained in the raids Thursday and Friday, Relly said, were proven moderates and should either be "charged or released forthwith."
Fears Leaderless Mob