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Apartheid Foes in London Protest Visit by S. African

June 23, 1989|From United Press International

LONDON — Anti-apartheid demonstrators hurled a tin of white paint at the car of South Africa's ruling National Party leader, Frederik de Klerk, when he arrived for his first round of key talks today with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher and De Klerk, who later revealed only scant details of their talks, both described the meeting as friendly and constructive and said they agreed they had to stay in touch. The talks marked De Klerk's first meeting with Thatcher as the new leader of the ruling National Party.

Police, who maintained a strong presence at Thatcher's 10 Downing St. official residence, said they arrested three demonstrators--two men and a woman--who broke through their lines and hurled a tin of white paint at De Klerk's car. De Klerk appeared undisturbed by the incident, in which his car was slightly damaged, police said.

Anti-apartheid activists, whose small but vocal presence also forced police to cordon off the South African Embassy on Trafalgar Square, said the white paint symbolized the oppression of South Africa's black majority by its white minority.

A spokesman for Thatcher described her talk with De Klerk as "a very friendly and constructive discussion."

"There is evidence of a new mood in South Africa and a determination to resolve the great issues of the day through negotiation for the people of South Africa, their leaders, all of them, to decide the way ahead," the spokesman said.

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