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.