The African National Congress has rejected an offer by Coca-Cola Co. to support Nelson R. Mandela’s U.S. tour because the company sells its soft-drink concentrate in South Africa, tour organizers said today.
“This company is still profiting from apartheid, and hence we cannot have any relationship with it, even if it’s on humanitarian grounds,” said Tandi-Luthuli Gcabashe. She is coordinator of an international Coke boycott launched by the American Friends Service Committee and a member of the Atlanta reception committee for Mandela.
Mandela will be in Atlanta, where Coca-Cola is headquartered, on June 27 to visit the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Coke divested its bottling plants in South Africa in 1986 but continues to ship its concentrate to that country, where it commands an estimated 70% of the soft drink market.