NEWS COMMENTARY, RADIO KWARA, ILORIN.
DATE/TIME OF BROADCAST: – 14/12/89, 1810 HOURS.
PROGRAMME:- NEWS COMMENTARY.
WRITER: – LANRE KAWU.
TOPIC:- The Deepening Crisis Of The South African Racist Regime.
One of the main topics of discussion on the African continent, this week, was the meeting held between the South African State President F.W. De Clerk, and the imprisoned leader of the A.N.C., Nelson Mandela.In a tersely worded statement, the South African State announced that the meeting was at the insistence of the A.N.C. leader.
The latest meeting, follows in the wake of earlier ones which leaders of the apartheid State, have been holding with the world’s most well-known prisoner, Nelson Mandela. The antecedents were laid by the former South African President, P.W. Botha. These meeting underline the analysis by different commentators, that the key to a peaceful solution in South Africa, lies in the hands of Nelson Mandela and his organization, the A.N.C., eventually.
It is Indicative of the present polarization within South Africa today, that while the extreme rightwing groups, such as the members of the Conservative Party, see this series of meetings as a betrayal of the “sacred canons” of apartheid, and on the other hand, circles within the ruling National Party, including President F.W. De Clerk himself, now believe that some forms of restructuring of the apartheid state have become inevitable.
The immediate backdrop to the latest meeting, was the big anti-apartheid meeting held in Johannesburg, under the auspices of the Mass Democratic Movement. The Important meeting brought in disparate forces opposed to apartheid, ranging from the Black Consciousness Movement, AZAPO, and the more well known, United Democratic Front.
The Johanesburg Conference gave short shrift to the maneuvers of President F.W. De Klerk, since his assumption of office. Addressing the conference, Walter Sisulu, the former ANC Secretary-General, who was recently released from prison, made it clear that the South African people are not fighting against “petty apartheid”, represented in such gestures as the de-segregation of beaches.
The South African regime was told in clear terms, that at thecentre of the South African question, was the transfer of power from the minority to the majority, in a non-racial, unitary and democratic State. The present maneuvers of the regime were exposed for what they were, as a sop to the international community.
It is well known, that the South African economy has been in a deep recession, with heightening unemployment, capital flight and a sustained divestment campaign all anchored around the international campaign of sanctions. By giving the impressions of a reforming Presidency, and the launching of diplomatic offensives, the racist President hopes to get a respite for his crisis-ridden system.
The main platforms of meaningful dialogue in South Africa today have been made clear by the people. These include the unbanning of the ANC and other organizations, the freedom of all imprisoned leaders, the return of the exiles, removal of the troops from the townships, as well as the halting of all political executions.
These fundamental demands are precisely those that the South African regime refuses to address. But the situation in South Africa today, clearly shows that there can be no route through the impasse, without a major shift on the part of the racist regime, along the lines outlined by the mass democratic movement.
It is an indication therefore of the cul-de-sac that apartheid has found Itself that the State President, can be holding a meeting with Nelson Mandela, who went into prison in the first place, because he was declared as a terrorist.
Any doubts that the days of apartheid are numbered, must now be clearing in the minds of the people, not only in South Africa, but even amongst the Western powers that have so long supported the racist regime. The relevant question now is, how will the new democratic, non-racial South Africa look like, when it finally concludes Africa’s decolonization process?