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S. African chief: send `a book and a buck'

By Alex PaenSpecial to The Christian Science Monitor / November 29, 1985



Ulundi, South Africa

``Our children are educated in shells. Our schools need libraries. ``We need books,'' says Gatsha Buthelezi, his voice rising with a tone of urgency.

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The leader of South Africa's 6 million Zulus has launched a campaign -- called ``A Book and a Buck'' -- to supply textbooks and money for schools in KwaZulu, the so-called ``homeland'' where many Zulus live.

Chief Buthelezi is appealing to Americans to send schoolbooks -- from soft-cover Hemingway classics to hard-cover mathematics texts -- to supply black schools. The chief is also asking for $1 contributions for a fund to help build schools.

``I wish Americans would send their books and dollars instead of supporting sanctions, if they really want to help the black people here,'' Buthelezi says.

Buthelezi says education and jobs are the real weapons in the fight against apartheid, South Africa's policy of strict racial separation.

Buthelezi opposes sanctions and disinvestment as a way of pressuring the Pretoria government to change.

``I speak to tens of thousands of black people and they always tell me they want investments because investments produce jobs,'' Buthelezi says.

The chief says young blacks need to be educated at the same levels as whites in South Africa.

``If Americans want to come here to help us, we welcome them -- teachers, doctors, anyone,'' Buthelezi says. ``There is no limit to what Americans can do for us.''

``Change will come about nonviolently, I'm assured of that,'' he added.

``But we need to educate our people.''

Contributions, with name and address, can be sent to: A Book and a Buck Trust P.O. Box 50024 Musgrave Road 4062 Durban, South Africa 30{et