Advertisement

LEADERS IN CONFRONTATION : Pieter W. Botha<i> President of South Africa : </i>

Tall and bald at 70, Botha has spent virtually his entire adult life in the service of the ruling National Party, which he joined as a teen-ager. . . . He dropped out of law school in 1935 in order to devote all his energy to party affairs. . . . For years, he has been known as a hard-liner, but not so much in racial as in military matters. . . . As minister of defense for more than a decade, he was fiercely determined to make South Africa militarily independent, and he rammed through defense budgets that grew from about $100 million to almost $2 billion annually. . . . With that money, he acquired a wide range of sophisticated weapons and carried out an intensive program of training in counterinsurgency--and in the process became known as “Piet Wapen,” or “Pete the Weapon.” . . . Since 1978, first as prime minister and then as president under the new constitution of 1983, he has supported efforts to shorten the reach of apartheid. . . . Opponents on one side see this effort as too little, on the other as too much.

Desmond Tutu Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg

The son of a Bantu schoolteacher and a domestic servant, Tutu wanted as a boy to study medicine. . . . There was no money for medical school, so he became a teacher, and later a clergyman and recently Archbishop-elect of Cape Town. . . . Now 55, he has fought tirelessly to overturn the system that allows 4.5 million whites to dominate more than 23 million blacks. . . . A decade ago, when he saw trouble brewing in the black ghetto of Soweto, outside Johannesburg, he and other black leaders tried to channel the black discontent into peaceful demonstrations. . . . He even warned Prime Minister Vorster that violence could erupt, but his warning was ignored. In the rioting that followed, about 600 blacks were killed. . . . White officials tended then, as they do now, to regard Tutu as a troublemaker if not a subversive. But others, abroad as well as in South Africa, see him as he sees himself, as a peacemaker. . . . For his effort in the campaign to end apartheid, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1984.


Advertisement
Advertisement