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Mandela Wins Sowetan Newspaper Poll With AM-SAfrica-Election Bjt

May 6, 1987

SOWETO, South Africa (AP) _ Most people who responded to a poll by a newspaper for blacks said jailed black nationalist Nelson Mandela would be their choice for president if they had the vote, the newspaper said Wednesday.

The Sowetan, a Johannesburg daily, began publishing ballots three months ago and urged its readers to name their choice for president.

Most of the 2.5 million residents of Soweto, the largest black community in South Africa, stayed away from work Wednesday to protest white parliamentary elections. The national legislature includes Asians and people of mixed race but excludes blacks.

Acting Editor Aggrey Klaaste said the newspaper poll results showed Mandela, former leader of the armed wing of the outlawed African National Congress, on top with 838 votes.

Second with 743 votes was Oliver Tambo, president of the ANC at its exile offices in Lusaka, Zambia, and third with 691 was black Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Many blacks continue to regard Mandela, who is serving a life term for allegedly plotting to overthrow white control, as their symbolic leader.

Klaaste said 119 people said they would vote for President P.W. Botha.

″They probably just liked his face on TV, thought he looks like a good man,″ Klaaste said.

The Soweto Civic Association, many of whose leaders have been detained under a state of emergency, published newspaper advertisements this week addressed to whites.

″You vote while we as blacks cannot,″ the ads said. ″By what right do you vote to determine our lives?″

Dr. Nthato Motlana, a Soweto physician and member of the Civic Association, estimated that 90 percent of Sowetans stayed away from work Wednesday.

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