US adopts wait-and-see attitude on South Africa reform. Rev. Sullivan would give S. Africa 19 more months to change its tune
President Pieter W. Botha of South Africa is moving in the ``right direction,'' if he invites black African leaders to join his presidential council, says the Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, the black minister who originated the Sullivan Principles to upgrade the status of the South African black worker ``But Mr. Botha must go much, much further,'' Dr. Sullivan says, referring to President Botha's address to the 60-member council on Monday. Dr. Sullivan is sticking to the deadline he has urged for the end of apartheid [racial separation] as a system in South Africa.Skip to next paragraph
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``If by May 7, 1987 (the 10th anniversary of the Sullivan Principles), South Africa has not dissolved its policy of apartheid and has not upgraded the education of its blacks,'' he says, ``American private enterprise, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations should divest themselves of all financial investments in South Africa.''
``If South Africa doesn't meet this deadline, I shall ask the United States to declare a total embargo of South Africa, including all exports and imports. I'll ask for the withdrawal of all American companies from South Africa. That's where I stand.''
The Botha speech shows ``some reaction to pressure,'' Dr. Sullivan says. ``I'm asking United States companies in South Africa to form a united front with South African business leaders who are taking a stand against that nation's political system.''
He continues to ask activists in the US to put ``on hold'' current campaigns calling for American institutions to rid themselves immediately of their financial investments in South Africa.
``South Africa must be given a chance to make changes from within on its own,'' he says. ``I would like to see all South Africans work and plan together to phase out apartheid.''
Dr. Sullivan is critical of Washington. ``The American government is not taking a real stand against South Africa's racial policies under apartheid,'' he says. ``And Reagan is no worse than Carter. . . . None of our presidents, Republican or Democrat, have done enough.''
US companies, he said, cannot leave criticism of South African apartheid policies to college campuses and community activists. ``If American industry can't use its ingenuity to institute fair-employment policies in its own plants [in South Africa] after 10 years, it can do little to influence South African industry as a whole.''
He describes the Sullivan Principles as a means for American industries in South Africa to establish a fair-employment policy for black Africans, equal pay and equal opportunity for advancement. He recommends the principles as ``one piece of the action,'' not the solution to South African racial issues. He recalls meeting with leaders of various South African elements five years ago to discuss the principles. Today he advises American interests to:
``End racial discrimination in all South African operations. Permit black workers to join free, independent trade unions. Train and employ black workers to become managers and supervisory personnel. Upgrade them.''
Dr. Sullivan also recommends these steps to put South Africa in line with democratic nations: