The issue of South Africa is of concern to everyone, not just South Africans. Indeed, according to former British Foreign Secretary David Owen, it is over this issue "that the world faces its greatest challenge." Faced with such a challenge, it is time for all concerned Americans to penetrate the haze of myths and misconceptions that has been deliberately created.
Unless we wish to see a repetition of the recent tragedies of Iran, Nicaragua, and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) — where U.S. foreign policy decisions resulted in the replacement of friendly governments with anti-American, pro-Soviet regimes — we must seek out the truth by raising pertinent questions and obtaining factual answers. In light of the Free World's hostility toward South Africa, a good place to begin is by raising a very fundamental and simple question.
The scene is a gloomy shanty somewhere in Soweto, the sprawling black township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Standing around the room are a group of young black radicals known as "comrades," and hanging ominously on the walls are some old tires. The air is hot and heavy, the atmosphere solemn. The "People's Court" is in session.
Someone issues an order, and the accused party is roughly hauled in. Like his accusers and judges, the accused is black. Unlike the others in the room, however, he is not a dedicated participant in the Marxist revolution sweeping through the black townships in South Africa. For that reason he is now on "trial."
The "defendant" is charged with the crime of collaborating with "the system" and with the police. The comrades, acting as prosecutor, judge, and jury, do not worry about such legal niceties as proof and the rights of the accused. The trial is short and to the point. The verdict is foreordained: guilty. As is the sentence: death by "necklace."