Letter: Self-governing 'solution' will encourage violence in South Africa

Click to follow
Sir: In favouring the idea that 'regional, ethnic and tribal differences' in South Africa make it imperative for that country to be divided into 'self-governing nations' to avoid a 'powder keg that is sure to explode', both Richard Dowden (22 March) and Mark Morton (Letters, 26 March) seem unaware that that is exactly what was proposed by a leading South African in the Seventies. President B. J. Vorster said that when his regime's plans for a 'constellation of self-governing national states' in South Africa had reached fruition, 'the justification of apartheid will be complete'. These 'states' were the alleged 'homelands'.

Generations of white autocracy in South Africa have created mass migrations, tribal regrouping, inter-marriage and other complexities among black South Africans. Add the fact that the black 'homelands', including Kwazulu, are either fictions, or eroded white inventions, and what is really likely to cause explosions, as both Bophuthatswana and Ciskei have already shown, is this belief that omelettes can be unscrambled by legislation. Apartness hasn't worked, on any scale.

The Rev Morton's claim that F. W. de Klerk has been 'successfully wooed by Nelson Mandela' to reject the 'self-governing nations' solution, is to misunderstand the facts. Mr Mandela failed to get his concept of a properly unitary South Africa accepted, while Mr de Klerk has continued to fund the discredited 'separate states' or alleged 'homelands', a system long denounced by Mr Mandela.

Yours sincerely,


Uxbridge, Middlesex