Courtesy Reuters

SOUTH AFRICA: ARE THERE SILVER LININGS?

South Africa is possibly the most controversial of countries. Its defenders acclaim its political stability; others ask at what price in civil rights. Its economic boom is the pride of its advocates; its economic inequality is the target of its critics. "Separate Development" of ethnic groups is presented on one hand as an enlightened solution to racial tensions; on the other hand it is condemned as not only racist but unworkable.

South Africa's critics not only condemn the present situation as unjust, they show even greater concern over the dangers of today's policies projected into tomorrow. Lord Caradon, Britain's Ambassador to the United Nations, has long pointed to southern Africa as a time bomb with a shortening fuse. Former U.N. Ambassador Goldberg sees South Africa as a racist cancer which could infect the whole planet and lead to World War III. Such alarming predictions are not the conclusions of this author. The projections in this article, based upon contemporary domestic developments and trends in foreign policy, point to the possibility of a relatively peaceful transition to a more just South Africa.

Essential to our understanding is some acquaintance with Prime Minister John Vorster. When he succeeded Dr. H. F. Verwoerd two years ago, Vorster was considered a man of iron by his party, and with reason. He had been jailed for alleged subversion for two years at the Koffiefontein Camp during World War II; he had broken up the Communist Party, defeated widespread sabotage rings and instituted "preventive detention," "bannings" and "exit permits." No doubt he would continue to defend Dr. Verwoerd's "granite" stand. Vorster's ascension to power dismayed all the varying shades of opposition in South Africa and the world outside, which had observed the procession of Nationalist Prime Ministers, each successively further to the Right-Malan, Strijdom, Verwoerd-since the party came to power in 1948. The logical culmination seemed to be Vorster, who had the toughest image of any cabinet minister. The New York Times dismally concluded that "the South

Loading, please wait...

Browse Related Articles on {{search_model.selectedTerm.name}}

{{indexVM.results.hits.total | number}} Articles Found

  • {{bucket.key_as_string}}

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue