Main Anti-Apartheid Issues Birthday Challenge to Government
Aug. 20, 1986
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ The nation's largest anti-apartheid coalition, barred from holding a third- anniversary meeting Wednesday, pledged a stronger effort against the ''state repression'' that has jailed its leaders.
''Two months into this national state of emergency, the UDF refuses to throw in the towel,'' Murphy Morobe, spokesman for the United Democratic Front, said in a statement.
''Rather than submit to state repression, we've chosen this moment to intensify our activity around the slogan 'From Protest to Challenge.' ''
He said the group ''has not only survived the most severe state repression but has grown into a powerful mass movement. One would have to gag a whole nation to crush the UDF today.''
The government conceded Wednesday that two press restrictions under the state of emergency imposed June 12 were improperly implemented and thus not binding. Lawyers said the flaws were technical, however, and could be overcome easily.
Organizers of the Sept. 7 enthronement of Desmond Tutu as Anglican archbishop of Cape Town are preparing a star-studded ceremony, with guests ranging from singer Stevie Wonder to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The black cleric won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize.
A 32-year-old white woman died of injuries suffered when a land mine blew up her car as she and her three children were returning home from church Sunday. The government holds African National Congress guerrillas responsible.
Police barred the United Democratic Front, which embraces hundreds of organizations with more than 2 million members, from holding an anniversary meeting at the Cape Town city hall. It was the second order in a week prohibiting a UDF meeting in the area.
About 1,000 people, most of them students, marked the anniversary with a noisy indoor rally at the multiracial University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
People in the audience stamped their feet and chanted political slogans. Student speakers said some UDF leaders still at liberty had decided not to appear for fear of arrest.
Dozens of top UDF leaders and thousands of members of its affiliated organizations are among people detained without charge under the emergency.
Some major campaigns undertaken by the coalition were a boycott of elections in 1984 for the newly created Indian and mixed-race chambers of Parliament, a prolonged consumer boycott of white-owned businesses in Port Elizabeth and involvement in several nationwide stayaways and boycotts by workers and students.
It is multiracial and launched a ''Call to Whites'' drive this year to recruit more of South Africa's 5 million whites in the campaign against apartheid.
Apartheid, by law and custom, establishes a racially segregated society in which the 24-million black majority has no vote in national affairs. The white minority controls the economy and maintains separate districts, schools and health services.
The government's concession of flaws in two of its emergency press curbs came during court proceedings in Pietermaritzburg on a challenge by South Africa's English-language newspapers of several emergency restrictions.
Lawyers for the newspapers said the restrictions could be reimposed if the government printed them in its official gazette, a requirement it neglected when the orders were issued by telex June 16, four days after the emergency was declared.
One bars reporting of actions by security forces without official permission and the other requires authorization for journalists to enter unrest areas. Other emergency press restrictions prohibit publication of detainees' names and quoting of vaguely defined ''subversive statements.''
The government's Bureau for Information declined comment on the court development.
Arguments on both sides of the challenge to all the restrictions were heard Wednesday. A ruling is expected next week.
Organizers of the Tutu enthronement said actor Bill Cosby and singer Lionel Ritchie are among other American guests invited to the ceremony. Terry Crawford-Browne, one of the organizers of the enthronement, said invitations sent to other parts of the world would be announced later.
Tutu, now is bishop of Johannesburg, will be made leader of the Anglican Church in southern Africa before about 1,350 guests at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town.
The land mine that killed Marietjie Roos was one of two that exploded Sunday on rural roads in Transvaal province. The other killed three black women and two babies and wounded two black men.
One of Mrs. Roos's children, an 8-year-old boy, is in critical condition and the other two suffered slight wounds.