Apartheid is Here to Stay Under De Klerk’s ‘New Era’

The big news from South Africa as of late has been the installation of former Education Minister Frederik W. de Klerk as state president. Along with it have come de Klerk’s promises for a “new era” of change in this war-torn nation.

Can de Klerk really be the one to deliver this new era? Will he go down in history as South Africa’s Great White Liberator? The answer to these questions is a resounding
NO, and here we take the opportunity to briefly analyze why de Klerk is destined to fail.

First of all, we need to remember that the majority of South African people — Blacks — were prohibited by law from voting in the recent presidential elections. If they had been allowed to, we can all rest assured that de Klerk would be
out and Nelson Mandela in. De Klerk was voted into office by a mere fraction of the total population, and he has no legal right to hold that office.

Secondly, de Klerk is still speaking of granting “group rights” to the Black majority. This is nothing more than “apartheid” couched in more edible terms. The truth is, individual human rights are dead as long as such government-enforced “group rights” exist.

Moreover, we must keep in mind that de Klerk was, is now, and always will be a party man — a staunch conservative in the already far-right Afrikaner Nationalist Party. This is the party that instituted apartheid in 1948, and the very same party that has every intention of maintaining apartheid into the 1990s. So, it is obvious that de Klerk cannot reform even the smile on his face without full party consent.

If he is so daring as to promote his own “reforms”, he faces certain mutiny by his own crew and will inevitably be forced to walk the political plank, as [former president] P.W. Botha was in making way for de Klerk’s appointment. Besides, as world history has so clearly demonstrated, slavery cannot be reformed to suit the slavemaster; rather, it must be destroyed to free the oppressed. But in completing this vicious circle, the Nationalist Party would never tolerate the abolition of apartheid, thus setting the stage for a prolonged civil war.

De Klerk is coming across internationally as a gentle man ready for negotiations over tea. And of course, we welcome any truly
substantive changes that come about. But anybody who knows de K|erk’s past record on racial classification in the schools instantly recognizes this peacemaker image as pure fraud. The recent election-related violence by the police and military (under de Klerk’s supreme command) against peaceful protesters serves as an ominous warning of things to come, a sign that apartheid is indeed here to stay under de Klerk’s “new era” of so-called peace and reconciliation.

According to an article written by renowned South African journalist Allister Sparks, within a couple years de Klerk will go down in history all right — but as the last white South African president. And for those of us in the anti-apartheid struggle, it won’t be a moment too soon.

—Editorial opinion by Brian Covert

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[News item]

Japanese steel co. gets SA payoff

For those who missed it in the newspapers, it was reported on Sept. 22 [1989] that a major Japanese steel company received 2.5 billion yen in kickbacks from a South African firm for continuing imports of rare metals.

The Nisshin Steel Co., partly owned by Nippon Steel Corp., the world’s largest steel maker, reportedly received the kickbacks for maintaining a secret contract with South African Manganese Amcor Ltd. to import ferrochrome over a 15-year period.

The money was reportedly kept in secret Panamanian and Swiss bank accounts before being discovered by tax officials. The steel company may have to pay 1.5 billion yen in fines and back taxes.

The Nisshin Steel Co.’s failed attempt symbolizes the kinds of underhanded tactics many Japanese firms are resorting to even now, despite world condemnation of South Africa’s apartheid policies.

Even more telling is the company’s indifferent attitude toward the unethical transaction, as espoused by Nisshin Vice President Saiji Hayashi.

“It is a reality that even foreign countries that are calling for sanctions against South Africa manage to import rare metals from it,” Hayashi was quoted as saying. “I think I am familiar with the complexity of the South African issue, and at least I did not think I hurt (Japan’s) national interests.”