S. Africa's 'information scandal' resurfaces

The South African government's "information scandal" has resurfaced. A Johannesburg newspaper has revealed that the white-minority government here spent almost $20 million bankrolling some 113 secret projects aimed at changing worldwide public opinion about this country.

The Johannesburg Star has published a full list of the projects, a number of them undertaken in foreign countries, including the United States.

One of the listed projects is a "special liaison program in USA, especially with regard to senators and academics." An unnamed organization in New York also apparently received South African government funds clandestinely.

The government here also secretly underwrote conferences on South Africa, not only in the US, but also in Germany, Great Britain, and France, the newspaper alleges.

The list also apparently confirms that the South African government has been a major backer of political parties in Zimbabwe -- most likely the United African National Congress (UANC) of Bishop Abel Muzorewa.

A number of other projects, operating in numerous European countries, Africa, and the Far East are also enumerated. The list is taken from a 1979 secret government memo, and the newspaper says it is unable to determine how many of the covert activities are still under way.

South African government officials claim most of the projects have been termi nated, however.

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