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Citizens of the Global Village Think About the Year Ahead : SOUTH AFRICA

January 01, 1991|Times correspondents asked a variety of ordinary citizens in different countries about their hopes and fears for 1991. Their answers ranged from the blatantly political to the guardedly personal

Jerry Majatladi, 34, former political prisoner and Johannesburg trade unionist with the National Union of Mineworkers.

"My hope for 1991 is that South Africa could be the last country in the whole world where the oppression of one man by another on the basis of race and color will come to an end. Or, at least, that the process of bringing racial domination to an end can start in earnest. That would be a victory, not only for our people here in South Africa, but for mankind in general.

"But my fear is that the dream cannot be realized without violent confrontation between our democratic-minded people and those protecting and defending white domination. It still appears as if the regime (Pretoria government) hasn't changed fundamentally from what it used to be and that it is not going to abandon apartheid without a struggle.

"So we will have to redouble our efforts to show that apartheid is unworkable and push forward until most conservative whites realize it. It's only after that uphill climb that real negotiations can start.

"But I worry that the international community will marshal all its forces, economic and political, to support white domination here or attempt to frustrate the birth of a new South Africa based on one-person, one-vote regardless of one's skin color.

"We would like to see a speedy transition with little bloodshed, but I fear that people in Western countries like the United States might attempt to undermine the democratic forces by lifting sanctions and giving the Pretoria regime loans, technological know-how and other support it will use to protect its existence.

"Such an intervention will only make the liberation struggle more protracted and cause more and more casualties."

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