Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
South Africa: no surrender to the politics of despair



Download PDFDownload PDF

Z/c ^(d

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

PREoJ RELEASE 26 July 1985

JOHN SPENDER, Q.C., M.P., ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SOUTH AFRICA - NO SURRENDER TO THE POLITICS OF DESPAIR

There are only two ways to end Apartheid in South Africa: peacefully - or at least with the minimum of bloodshed; or through a prolonged brutal and bloody process of internal conflict.

The sanctions proposed by France and endorsed by the Hawke Government, will contribute nothing to the process of peaceful change. They will have precisely the opposite effect.

Sanctions will reinforce the convictions of the white extremists that the recent concessions by the South African Government to the black community in such areas as the formation of black unions and the repeal of whites only job

reservation rules, should never have been made, and should be repealed and the clock turned back. By supporting sanctions the Government is playing into the hands of the very forces in South Africa it most despises.

Sanctions will undermine the position of the moderates and the opponents of Apartheid in the White community. And they will encourage the Communists and the other forces on the extreme left who believe that faced with a worsening economic

situation, if the sanctions are implemented, the long-term prospects of an eventual takeover from the left are good, and that everything should be done to foment violence and to make South Africa ungovernable.

The direct effect of implementing the sanctions, whose main purpose is to damage the domestic South African economy, will be to harm the social, economic and living conditions of the poorest and most deprived of the black South African community. The consequences of this is all too clear: unemployment, frustration and bitterness leading to escalations in the levels of violence which, in turn, will make the position of the moderates in the South African

community, and in South African politics, even more precarious.

The task of the democracies is to continue to strive for a peaceful transition to power sharing between all communities in South Africa. This process requires a fundamental commitment to change from the South African Government. The

task will be a hard one. The temptation to adopt easy and dangerous options, such as sanctions, is high, as is the temptation to judge the problems of South Africa as beyond solution, and leave the debate to the extremists on both

sides. To do.this is to surrender to the politics of despair. -

Contact: John Spender (BH) 02-929 2969 or 929 2849 (AH) 02-326 1747

*****