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September 13, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-13

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Page 4-Wednesday, September 13, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LIX, No. 6 Wednesday, September 13, 1978 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Where is hell on earth?

South Africa's gold

By Matt Franfola

Be fair to the CIA and
be fair to the students


Y ESTERDAY The Daily reported
that Central Intelligence Agency
Director Stansfield Turner harbors
some objections to a set of proposed
guidelines which would restrict
relationships between members of the
University community and
intelligence agencies.
The guidelines to which Turner
questions were conceived by the
University's Civil Liberties Board as a
result of recent revelations about CIA
covert activities here, and at other
college campuses.
Turner's concern focused on a clause
'i the guidelines requiring
"intelligence agencies such as the
CIA" to obtain "the express prior
consent of an individual" before "his
or her name may be submitted by
another member of the University
community to an intelligence agency
as a potential employee, consultant or
Letters between University faculty
and the CIA, made public through a
Freedom of Information Act request,
have shown that the CIA has used
professors on this campus to "spot
candidates" for possible Agency
The CIA, once it has a student's
name, initiates an investigation of the
student which sometimes lasts for
several years before the Agency
decides to make a job offer. The only
problem with this style of recruitment
is that the student doesn't know she or
he is being watched.
Turner was not entirely opposed to
the requirement of openness but asked
only that the University be fair. In a
letter to Univergity'President Robben
Fleming he stated: "I want you to
know that this agency has no objection
to the rule on personnel inquiries that
is proposed, provided it is applied
equally to all such inquiries. It does
seem to me both inequitable and a
potential disservice to the country to
apply to inquiries from this agency
rules of procedure that do not apply to

other applicants for personnel
information or recommendations."
On this point we whole-heartedly
agree with Director Turner. While the
CIA has been under attack for its
campus recruiting activities since the
Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence Activities hearings in 1975,
little if any attention has been paid to
recruiting or other activities of
corporations on college campuses.
Unfortunately, little is known about
corporate connections to intelligence
agencies. What we do know is this: ITT
work with the CIA in Chile and helped
set the stage for the military-
overthrow of the freely elected
government of Allende. Honeywell
Corp. and the FBI cooperated to
disrupt protest over the corporation's
contributions to the Vietnam War
effort in the sixties. There are cases
now before the courts which may
ultimately show that a number of large
American multinational corporations
have kept political files on employees
which were open to intelligence
The University is a place of
learning, a forum for new ideas where
students and faculty seek the truth.
This cannot be done in an environment
of suspicion and fear. Students and
faculty members should not bear the
burden of worry that whatever they
say or do could be recorded and filed
by a government agency whose
clandestine activities have been
morally repugnant to those who
believe in truth and justice.
We urge University administrators
and faculty members to first, note that
the Director of Central Intelligence
accepts guidelines which would protect
the privacy of students and second,
adopt guidelines, as Turner suggests,
which would prevent anyone from
making an unwarranted invasion into
the lives of students, faculty members,
or administrators.
Let's be fair to the CIA, but most of
all, let's be fair to the students.


Africa - While telephones jingle
in London, Zurich and Chicago
and speculators push gold to
record prices, black miners
crawlthrough waist-high tunnels
to wrench the metal from the
world's deepest mine. Their
sweat-soaked bodies give some
hint of why the metal is so
The miners' day begins in a
steel cage hurtling downward at
nearly 40 miles-per-hour past
layers of time imbedded in rock.
It is almost an hour of stop-and-
go before they reach the bottom,
where they crawl through a maze
of tunnels little more thans a yard
high to take their turns with
jackhammers against the solid
The temperature of the rock is
135 degrees. The dust-filled air is
refrigerated to a relatively cool
90 degrees, with humidity 95 per
The mine, called Western Deep
Levels, is the world's deepest at
13,000 feet - almost 10 World
Trade Center buildings on end.
An army of 12,351 blacks and 978

whites daily risk their lives to
scratch an ounce of gold from
every two tons of rock.
Western Deep Levels, 43 miles
west of Johannesburg, harvests
about 263 pounds a day. It and the
other 34 major gold mines in
South Africa produce about 700
metric tons of gold a year.
South Africa has 70 percent of
the free world's gold and in the
year wnding June 30 earned $3,7
billion from gold sales. Uranium,
once a worhtless by-product of
goldmining, earned the country
$1.3 billion.
Mosutt Moatsdugha, a 35-year-
old black miner from neighboring
Botswana, is one of 378,000 black
and 38,000, white miners who
descend into the bowels of the
earth every day in South Africa to
drill and blast specks of gold to
fill the country's coffers.
Mosutt says he likes it here
"because of the money." As a
team leader, or "boss-boy", he
supervises a dozen drillers and
"cheezers" - men who place
explosives into drilled holes.
Mosutt earns $11.08 per eight-
hour shift and works ii shifts in

14 days.
Mosutt clambers through the
jagged tunnels to make sure the
drillers keep hammering. In
near-total darkness, pierced only
by miners' lamps, the sweat-
soaked men half sit and hald-
recline on a bed of crushed rock
and drill with bone-jarring noise
into the wall containing the
unseen gold in a band an inch to a
foot wide.
Shirtless miners bathed in the,
spray of water-cooled
jackhammers lean into frills.
Their helmets scrape the
chiseled roof pressing own at
about 14,000 pounds per square
In addition to their salaries, all
miners, black and white, receive
a monthly bonus based on how
,many yards of rock they drill and
Mosutt, a stocky, full-faced
man, has worked for the mines
for 19 years. He says he averages
about $250 a month while a driller
may earn $130. That is a long way
from the white miner, or
"stopper" who supervises
several black teams led by men

like Mosutt.
Johan Fouche, 31, a white
"stoper," says he earns $800 to
$1,000 a month. Taking a mid-
morning tea break,rFouche
fished a cigarette from his
dripping white clothes and said,
"I used o work for the railroad,
but I left for a career in the
mines. The money is better."
He said, the mining was
dangerous and about every 100
days there's a rockburst in one o
his shafts, average for the mine.
In matter-of-fact tones, the
tousle-haired miner said, "I had
a rockburst three or four months
ago..One kaffir black was killed.
It's an act of God. There's no
In South Africa's gold mines,
the average fatality rate is 1.4
deaths per 1,000 miners, or 82
men killed a year. At Western
Deep Levels, rockbursts kill 30
men a year.
Alone with the miners,
plumbers, electricians, welders,
riggers, mechanics and
engineers work on the hundreds
of miles of spaghettied waterpipes
ventilation ducts, electric lines,
and compressed air hoses that
snake from scores of whirring,
hissing machines.
Each day at 5 p.m., the end of
the day shift, a stacatto series of
explosions from thousands of
pounds of explosives in hundreds
of drilled holes rattle the mine. It
takes about four hours for the
dust to settle and rock to stop
falling before the night shift
crews descend into the mine to
funnel the blasted rock into ore
Above ground, all the miner's
needs from laundry to medical
care are taken care of free. The
miners live in hostels and receive
a fortified diet containing 4,000-
4,500 calories a day - more than
twice the needs of a normal
The blacks are migrants. They
generaly leave at the end of their
six-month contracts and go to
their native towns and villages.
They return to the mine when
they need money. There is almost
a 100 per cent turnover in th
mineevery year.
Blacks remain in the lowest
jobs because the Afrikaner-
.dominated miners union
protect's whites' rightsaand
privileges. By law, blacks can not
form unions or integrate white
unions. They are represented,
however, by so-called "laison
committees" that handle
grievances but have no
bargaining rights.
Critics of the migrant labor
system say it serves business by
keeping wages low. But mining
officials point out that until a few
years ago, gold was officially
pegged at $35 an ounce and
goldmining was not particularly
profitable. To keep costs down
blacks were paid low wages, but
their salaries have rised 300
percent in foru years.
It's been ,10 years since the
price of gold was freed from $35
an oonce, and it is now selling for
about$210 an ounce.
Matt Franfola is a reporter

for The Associated Press. The
photograph is by Peter
Magubane and appears in his
book entitled "Magubane's
South Africa". It is reprinted
here with permission from
Alfred A. Knopf Publishing

There is no acceptable
alternative tax proposal,

be two tax limitation amendments
to the state constitution on the
Michigan ballot. Both proposals and
their backers have used the tumult of
California's Proposition 13 to turn this
state into the newest battle front for
the much talked about "tax revolt."
One of these, the so-called Tisch tax
plan, would slash property taxes in
half, from the present 50 percent of the
estimated market value of property to
25 percent of the assessed value.
This plan is patterned after the
original Prop 13, and is shunned by
most orthodox politicians as too
drastic. Opponents of Tisch, like this
paper, will remind voters that, unlike
California, Michigan has no huge
budget surplus to fall back on should
property taxes be rolled back.
Also, Michigan never experienced
the etwin explosions of property values
and property taxes that has enraged
If Tisch passes - despite what its
author, Robert Tisch will tell you -
there will be drastic cuts in state
servies and education. Our educational
system is already surviving only by the
barest possible margins - one look at
this University's budget will prove
Reports from the Wayne County
Bureau of Taxation show that the
county's already hard-pressed school
districts will lose $220 million if Tisch
naca ~



of Michigan

Headlee, which places limits on state
spending, would drastically hold back
funding for such worthy state-funded
projects like aid to the cities,
transportation, and downtown
development. With Headlee, there
would be no tax cutbacks, but no longer
would Lansing be able to bail out
financially-troubled localities and
There is also a line of thinking going
through circles that oppose both tax
plans. That is: Opponents of both
headlee and Tisch say that, in the
event that both proposals pass, the one
with the largest vote count will take
precedence over the other. Of those
who see both proposals passing, many,
see Headlee as the least objectionable
alternative. A reasonable argument,
but wrong nonetheless.
Frankly, when the Daily opposed
both proposals, we did not equivocate.
Even though Headlee is the milder of
the two, we do not support that plan as
the least objectionable.
The "least objectionable" argument
is the same line of thinking that
discourages people from voting their
conscience and supporting minor party
candidates in local, state and national
elections. And as a result, we end up
with an apathetic electorate whose
voting pattern reflects not the
mandate for a change but a desire for
the lesser of tw oevils.

m I


To the Editor:
I have devoted my rese
this summer to trying to est
how much impact on the
African economy various kin
international sanctions r
have. The problem is not ea
I am really appalled at
statements as the Daily edi
made today (Sept. 7): "
foreign corporations were t
out of South Africa the eco
would collapse ..."
"estimate" of the impa
implausibly and irrespon

African econ
them out would mean selling ecomonyt
earch (cheap) these pieces of paper to affect the c
imate (rich white) South Africans and Pulling o
South then watching the South African refiners st
nds of government block the conversion products t
might and removal of the proceeds. The that ecomo
sy. So only possible impact is However,
such temporary upheaval in South converti
torial African (and our) financial resourcesi
If all markets. relationship
o pull Pulling out of direct oil produce
nomy investments (essentially refineries),
This factories, equipment, etc.) does two or thr
ct is not mean crating up that stuff crude oil,
sibly and removing it. The South such a cont

but could not much foreign-he
urrent rate of output. $4 billion
ut might mean that oil source).
op shipping petroleum would hu
o South Africa. Oil it surely not
ny's vulnerable point. years.
South Africa 1) can Sanctio
its abundant coal damage t
into oil, 2) has direct of South
ps with OPEC crude and blacl
ers (andhas domestic were to
, and 3) maintains a since Sou
ee year stockpile of particular
purchased for just imvestme
ingency over the past equipment

ld debt grew from $1 to
over 1973-76 (sam
Pulling out here, to,
rt South Africa bu
much for at least a fe
ns probably would
he economic well-being
Africans (both whites
ks), especially if we
apply them patiently,
ith African growth is
ly dependent on foreign
nt, technology an
t. But sanctions would

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