South African Officers Oppose Apartheid
JOHANNESBURG — A HIGH-FLYING career in the South African military is an unusual background for an anti-apartheid campaigner. But Gen. Wally Black is running for parliament in the Sept. 6 elections with the message that apartheid is wrong, and whites must negotiate a peaceful path toward black majority rule.
The former director-general of operations of the South African Defense Force is one of three retired senior officers who have been nominated as candidates of the liberal Democratic Party.
The others are Gen. Bob Rogers, chief of the Air Force from 1974 to 1979, and Col. Hilda Burnett, commanding officer of the Army Women's Training College from 1973-78.
Former military officers have run for opposition parties in the past, but none held such senior positions.
All three say they want to bequeath a more stable, egalitarian, and prosperous South Africa to their grandchildren. They want negotiations with the banned African National Congress, the main organization fighting white rule, and the release of jailed black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela.
Like most whites, they want the ANC to suspend violence - a move it refuses to make prior to negotiations - but are adamant that a solution is impossible without the group's participation.