S. Africa Won't End School Apartheid : Policy: Two Cabinet ministers say neighborhoods and education should be divided by races. Otherwise, 'there will be . . . chaos.'

From Associated Press

The government remains committed to segregated neighborhoods and segregated public schools despite President Frederik W. de Klerk's announcement of major political reforms, two Cabinet ministers said today.

"Black people should be running their own education and white people should be running their own education," said Stoffel van der Merwe, the white official who oversees education for blacks.

Otherwise, he said, there will be "tremendous chaos."

Herman Kriel, minister of planning and provincial affairs, said the government has no plans to repeal the Group Areas Act, which mandates racial segregation of residential areas.

"We cannot allow the minorities that live here to be swamped by majority decisions," he said. "We believe community life is a right."

The two ministers spoke at briefings for journalists covering the start of Parliament. On Friday, in a historic speech opening the session, De Klerk lifted bans on the African National Congress and other militant opposition groups, declared a moratorium on executions, eased restrictions on the media and pledged to free ANC leader Nelson R. Mandela soon.

De Klerk said his intention was to draw black leaders into negotiations on a constitution that would extend political rights to the black majority. He said Sunday the government would implement major constitutional changes only after white voters were allowed to convey their views.

In a related matter, an attack on the British Embassy has increased fears that white extremists may begin lashing out in anger at the sweeping political changes proposed by De Klerk.

Assailants shot out windows at the embassy in Pretoria on Sunday, a day after right-wing graffiti was spray-painted on the building. The graffiti said: "The Struggle Begins--Order of the Boer (Afrikaner) People."

Police said they have never heard of the group but are investigating.

"It is suspected that the attack by the right-wing might have come about because we, the British government, have emphasized our support for the decisions announced by President De Klerk," embassy spokesman John Sawyer said today.

Right-wing whites accused the president of capitulating to the country's black majority and have vowed to resist the changes.

Robert von Tonder, leader of a group that seeks a whites-only homeland, said De Klerk's changes could lead to the formation of an underground guerrilla movement for whites.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
67°