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September 24, 1993 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-24

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 24, 1993 - 7


S. Africa gives Blacks role in government


CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP)
- Parliament voted yesterday to al-
low Blacks a role in governing South
Africa for the first time, and angry
white right-wing lawmakers warned
the decision could lead to civil war.
"This makes permanent peace
impossible," said Ferdi Hartzenberg,
leader of the white Conservative Party,
who led his followers in walking out
of Parliament after the vote. "We have
lost a golden opportunity for peace."
The vote creates a Transitional
Executive Council, comprised of rep-
resentatives from the 26 Black and
white parties that have participated in
the talks on ending apartheid.
The body will be a watchdog of the
government, with some veto powers.
It will help oversee the holding of the
country's first multiracial election
April 27.
The African National Congress
hailed the vote as "a major victory for
the forces of peace and democracy."
"For the first time in the history of
our country, the racist Parliament has

approved a bill which is responsible
to the will and aspirations of the ma-
jority," the ANC said in a statement.
By giving Blacks a role in govern-
ment, the bill set the stage for ANC
leader Nelson Mandela to endorse the
lifting of remaining international eco-
nomic sanctions against South Africa.
The move was expected today dur-
ing Mandela's visit to the United Na-
tions in New York.
In Washington, President Clinton
applauded the "historic step" and
promised to provide voter education
and training "to create a level playing
field" for all the parties in the upcom-
ing campaign.
The dominant white chamber of
Parliament, led by President F.W. de
Klerk's National Party, voted 107-36
to create a power-sharing council,
agreed upon this month at talks with
the ANC and other groups.
The Indian and mixed-race cham-
bers of Parliament approved the bill
with no dissent.
Several parties, including the pro-

apartheid Conservative Party and the
Black Inkatha Freedom Party - the
ANC's rival - said they would boy-
cott the council. The Black militant
Pan Africanist Congress also said it
would boycott the council because it
said it would not have enough power
to control security forces.
The council can start functioning
as soon as next month, Constitutional
Development Minister Roelf Meyer
The panel will also help oversee
foreign, economic and national secu-
rity policy and the April elections.
It is charged with creating a new
National Peace Force, combining the
existing security forces with paramili-
tary and militia groups linked to the
ANC and other Black parties. The
force is intended to quell political

violence raging across the country in
order to permit a free and fair election.
The ANC is expected to win the
April ballot and create the first Black-
led government in South African his-
Thirty-one Conservatives, three
independents and two white Inkatha
lawmakers voted against the bill.
Three days of discussions on the
bill became a bitter battle among white
Afrikaners over the future of the coun-
try ruled throughout its history by its
white minority.
Police ringed the Parliament build-
ing yesterday in case of disruptions.
The vote passed peacefully.
Supporters said granting power to
the Black majority was the only way
to end the violence and economic de-
cline that has wracked South Africa.

LSA junior Ben Ewy and LSA sophomores Mike Dougherty and Lionel Ouellett (L
to R) hand out information about Sigma Phi Society yesterday on the Diag.

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