South African Panel Urges Resettling of 42,000 Zulus to Make Room for Whites
Despite recent promises by the South African government that no more blacks will be forcibly resettled, a government commission recommended Monday that 42,000 Zulus be moved out of their traditional homes to make way for whites.
Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, leader of South Africa’s 6 million Zulus and chief minister of the Kwazulu tribal homeland, immediately rejected the proposals for reshaping and expanding Kwazulu as a formula for extending apartheid, South Africa’s system of racial separation and minority white rule.
Buthelezi, noting that the government has pledged several times this year to end forced resettlement, said: “It is tragic that the commission pursues its now-outdated mandate as though we were still living in an earlier era. This is finalizing a prescription for disaster.”
Six Deaths Reported
Meanwhile, during the continuing civil unrest, six more deaths were reported Monday. Three of the victims were black policemen.
The proposal to resettle Zulus was put forth by the government’s Commission of Cooperation and Development. It triggered warnings of a resurgence of violence in Natal province, where land would be taken to add to Kwazulu. More than 70 blacks and Indians were killed in Natal last month.
White businessmen and opposition politicians in Natal said that blacks will bitterly oppose any further resettlement and that most of those not yet in Kwazulu will fight against their incorporation into the homeland. They renewed their call for Natal and Kwazulu to be treated as a single entity, with whites and blacks sharing political power in what they hope would be a model for reintegrating such homelands into South Africa.
Even the central government appeared embarrassed by the commission’s recommendations, which President Pieter W. Botha requested after an earlier plan aroused strong opposition.
J. Christiaan Heunis, the minister for constitutional development and planning, emphasized that the proposals were those of the commission, and not of the government itself, and will be reviewed with Buthelezi and others before any are implemented.
Hendrik Tempel, the commission chairman, justified the “consolidation plan,” as it was termed, as an improvement on decade-old proposals that would have moved more than 500,000 blacks. Kwazulu, he added, would also get 1,470 more square miles of territory, though much of it is in nature conservation areas, and be reshaped in four major and 11 minor sections.
Nonetheless, the proposal seems to violate repeated pledges by senior Cabinet members that there will be no further wholesale or forced resettlement of blacks, particularly for such “ideological” reasons as the creation or consolidation of tribal homelands. Heunis is scheduled to elaborate on these promises at a press conference today.
The blacks who would be moved--from homes their families have occupied for two centuries--would come from “black spots,” which are black communities in areas designated for whites, as well as from white farms where they now work and live and from land that would be cleared to define Kwazulu’s boundaries.
‘Doomed to Failure’
“Any consolidation based on removals (of blacks) is doomed to failure,” Frank Martin, the senior member of the Natal provincial executive committee, said, calling on the government to reject the proposals. “People cannot be moved to suit someone’s political aims. These plans will not work.”
Ray Swart, leader of the white, liberal, opposition Progressive Federal Party in Natal, described the plan as “hell-bent on the apartheid road” and warned that it would fuel unrest, particularly in the Durban area, where many blacks oppose incorporation of their townships into Kwazulu.
“There will be serious problems if this proposal is not rejected,” Swart said. “Some of this land (that would be taken over by the government) has been owned by generations of the black community going back 200 years and more. This is nothing but criminal white piracy.”
In other developments, three black policemen were reported killed in the country during the weekend, but police said that one of the murders did not appear to be related to the racial unrest.
Further incidents, including numerous fire-bomb attacks, were reported Monday from Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown, King William’s Town and Johannesburg, with the police repeatedly using tear gas, rubber bullets and birdshot to disperse crowds in the black townships around those cities.
The police also reported arresting 25 black miners and dispersing others with tear gas and rubber bullets at Thabazimbi, 125 miles northwest of Johannesburg, during what they called an “illegal strike.”