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Reform Still South Africa Goal--Botha

November 07, 1986|Associated Press

PRETORIA, South Africa — President Pieter W. Botha told 200 business leaders today that the government remains committed to political change even though he believes that reforms encourage the sanctions movement abroad and dissidents at home.

In his third summit with business leaders since 1979, he restated the government's commitment to share power with all races, and said any solution must protect the rights of whites and other minorities. In his opening address, he said reform efforts have fueled opposition to the government.

"When we do reform, for whatever reason, then the foreigners say, 'Sanctions are working, impose some more. . . .' When we do reform, then the domestic leftist radicals say, 'The government is capitulating, keep up the pressure,' " he said.

Botha said his right-wing opponents respond to reform by urging that the government be thrown out.

Botha spoke as police barred seven leading white activists from some anti-apartheid activities. One of them, Sheila Weinberg, today said the steps are an attempt to silence the seven.

So-called "restriction orders" were issued under the nationwide state of emergency declared June 12. Monitoring groups say scores of people, and perhaps hundreds, have been served with such restrictions after their release from detention. Most of the seven restricted Thursday had not been detained, friends said.

The restrictions forbid the seven from inciting the public to take part in the activities of the opposition United Democratic Front and similar organizations; from calling for the release of detainees or the end of the emergency; and from participating in activities such as the End Conscription Campaign's "Yellow Ribbon" project--putting up yellow ribbons to signify opposition to the draft.

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