A look at noteworthy addresses in...
A look at noteworthy addresses in the Southland. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, chief minister of Kwazulu and president of the Inkatha Freedom Party in South Africa, spoke Wednesday to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council about constitutional developments in South Africa. Buthelezi, political leader of the Zulus, is a longtime political foe of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela. From his prepared text: Power Sharing and Decentralization “We are looking toward an electoral system that truly reflects the multiplicity of political beliefs. . . . That is why we advocate proportional representation, weak central government, strong regional governments, alliance politics, and that minority concerns be recognized. All these, we believe, will result in a kind of political interdependence that effectively nurtures power sharing rather than single party winner-takes-all politics.”
Minority Rights “We believe it to be important that the future constitution embodies within itself a range of measures whose collective impact will satisfy minority fears. A constitutional state guaranteeing, through an independent judiciary, the review of legislation and executive action is a must. It is also vital that a bill of individual rights be guaranteed by the constitution. To this we must add a constitutionally entrenched devolution of power to regional government and to local government to bring government as close as possible to those it serves.”
Impact of International Communism’s Demise “One has only to look to the constitutional proposals being advocated by some of the major players just six or seven years ago. . . . (Proposals that included) a strongly centralized, all-powerful government; . . . strict control over numerous aspects of civil society and a socialist economy were the hallmarks of both the ANC on the left and the ruling National Party on the right. Both parties would have taken us down a constitutional cul-de-sac in which the country would have been torn apart.
Now, however, this is not to be. An important factor in this change has been the international demise of communism. The rise of (former Soviet President Mikhail S.) Gorbachev was so vital to us in South Africa. His limited implementation of perestroika and glasnost might well have cost him his job, but the transformations he was able to bring about had important implications for both the South African Communist Party/ANC policy, and in turn for the National Party policy.”
Looking Ahead * Thursday: Nobel laureate Francis H.C. Crick, (Physiology/Medicine, 1962) will speak at Cal State Northridge at 3:30 p.m. at the University Club. Crick will discuss his role in the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA. For more information call (818) 885-2129.
* Friday, Feb. 21: Jack W. Lydman, former U.S. ambassador to Malaysia, will speak at 7:30 a.m. at the City Club in Los Angeles. Sponsored by the Asia Society/Southern California Center. For more information call (213) 620-9662.
Announcements concerning prominent speakers in Los Angeles should be sent to Speaking Up, c/o Times researcher Michael Meyers, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles CA 90053