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By 1985 President PW Botha of South Africa had finished his removal of Petty Apartheid, the race-based socially harmful discriminatory laws. Even the so-called Immorality Act controlling relations over the “color-line” had been removed. Moreover, he had approved trade unions for black workers and acknowledged the permanent residence of those black people earlier administrations had considered Black Homeland citizens. Visitors to the country could see black people ride around in Mercedes sedans and exercise their union rights in quite militant fashion. The only significant apartheid laws that remained, were those governing racial registration and voting rights. In brief, the important legislated inequity that remained related to Political Power. If anyone in 2015 wonders why Black people in South Africa are not making huge economic strides today, it is because those strides were made in the 1980s. Ironically, they were made under white rule. But, as many of us learn in life, no good deed goes unpunished.

The African National Congress

These improvements did not help the Black National Socialist ANC party. It had been a loyal Soviet surrogate for years and its top structure had been trained in the Soviet Union and at specific Far Left Universities in the UK. At its core sat a coven of white Communists who did most of the thinking for the organization. The history of this core is described in AmaBhulu. As a  revolutionary organization, the ANC had been an embarrassment to the term. Its irritated Soviet sponsor considered it a “glorified mutual admiration society.” Its earlier leadership core was in jail for life for plotting a revolution and setting off a spate of bombs in the country. These included Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela, the founder of its hapless so-called “military wing”, Umkhonto we Sizwe. By mid 1985 the ANC had decided on a way forward as we shall see below.

Tutu and Robinson

And then there entered the arena the two men who actually toppled the government: Desmond Tutu, Anglican Archbishop; and Randall Robinson, a social agitator from the USA. Robinson’s penchant for exaggeration would eventually show many years later when he claimed that Hurricane Katrina survivors were reduced to cannibalism. He has also insisted that “restitution” be paid by the US government to all American Blacks. He eventually left the United States and went into voluntary exile on the island of St Kitts. Unfortunately, it would appear none of this extreme view was clear to Americans in 1984/5. Over that period he and Tutu  worked Americans up into a frenzy on the subject of South Africa [#1]. He has more recently returned to live “under white domination” in the United States as “Distinguished Scholar in Residence” at the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. It would seem St Kitts was less attractive than the United States.

The reader of this blog is left to consider what statements a younger, less circumspect, Robinson was capable of making regarding South Africa; a place far enough away for Americans NOT to be able to confirm facts for themselves by looking out the nearest window. When combined with the litany of outrageous statements of Desmond Tutu, his rhetoric formed a poisonous brew that played well to Americans of the time, particularly Democrats. Tutu’s comments have now been conveniently erased from US memory by the media. Fortunately, they may still be found in newspaper archives and are described in AmaBhulu, and suitable evidence provided.

The effect of these two men was to drive the US Business sector towards disinvestment from South Africa and politicians toward sanctions against the country. They were hugely successful. The South African government was completely and utterly outclassed in this domain, apparently thinking that fact and truth could triumph against the US Media and a US guilt complex about slavery.

Chase Manhattan

The first real international blow fell in July 1985 when Chase Manhattan Bank refused to roll over South Africa’s short term loans. A Peterson Institute for International Economics report on South Africa over the relevant period states [#2],

—”In the 1980s, the economic “sanction” that had the most impact on South Africa was the withdrawal of short-term capital, beginning with Chase Manhattan’s decision not to roll over its outstanding loans at the end of July 1985.”

With President Reagan in his second term, and up against a Congress in which both the House of Representatives and the Senate were controlled by the Democrats, Tutu and Robinson inflamed the United States against white South Africans to such a degree that even conservative Republicans [#3] were clamoring for comprehensive punitive sanctions against South Africa.  Even Chester Crocker, who was no friend of South Africa, describes the behavior of the United States politicians over this period towards South Africa as “sanctimonious and self-righteous”[#4]. A veto by President Reagan against sanctions was overridden by Congress; the first time in the 20th century that a presidential veto was overturned by Congress in a Foreign Affairs policy matter. It is instructive to recall what President Reagan said on the matter [#5]:

—“South Africa is not a totalitarian society. There is a vigorous opposition press, and every day we see examples of outspoken protest and access to the international media that would never be possible in many parts of Africa or in the Soviet Union, for that matter.”

The ANC’s strategy of Open Terrorism

When PW Botha offered the ANC an olive branch in the form of Mandela’s release for a promise to desist from violence, Mandela rejected this, and the ANC obviously felt they had drawn blood. This was a tragic mistake by PW Botha and it was to have profound consequences.

It is at this exact point that the ANC switched to open terrorism. The sheer scale of the shift in strategy can be seen from the following data:

 The ANC turns to open Terrorism in 1985 – The numbers
  Year Attacks on the Military Attacks on the Police Attacks on Civil Structures Terror attacks on Civilians Comments
1980 0 2 5 0
1981 3 4 20 5
1982 2 3 15 2
1983 0 0 33 7
1984 3 8 11 4
10 Feb 1985:  Mandela refuses to swear off violence if released as part of deal with President PW Botha
1985 7* 8 11 41 * Inc. 4 anti-tank landmines
1986 7 16 7 30* * Inc. 13 anti-tank landmines
1987 6 25 2 32* * Inc. 3 anti-tank landmines
1988 3 23 18 37

ANC attacks of the 1970s were so ineffectual that we simply ignore them.

Durban_bombsThe scale of the ANC bombing in 1985/1986 can be judged from the map above of the various explosions around just Durban. The author’s mother lived in Amanzimtoti at the time and worked in Durban. Both of those locations are shown on the map. In AmaBhulu, the reader gets to live this situation based on her experience. Of the various cases, the most infamous were likely the SANLAM Center bombing in December 1985 and the Magoo’s Bar bombing in May 1986.

To give the reader some concept of the mindset of the ANC, it is instructive to realize that they have in recent years repeatedly tried to get a local road past the center named after the Sanlam Center bomber, Andrew Zondo, eventually succeeding. They have pushed the Magoo’s Bar bomber, Robert McBride, into senior jobs in the National Police Structure. In the SANLAM Center attack women and children were killed, and in the Magoo’s Bar a number of young ladies. Fortunately, McBride can be relied upon to repeatedly embarrass both himself and the ANC.

Imagine appointing Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as Police Chief. What could possibly go wrong with that?

What Pres. Reagan knew and Congress ignored

The changed strategy of the ANC was apparently too complex for the US Congress to comprehend, but it did not escape the attention of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). A Special Intelligence Report of 1986, now declassified in heavily redacted form, stated [#6] (p.15),

—“Most ANC bombings since late last year have been directed against civilian rather than government targets. A recent ANC statement specifically noted that white farmers and urban white males were considered by the ANC as part of the government’s “security forces” and were valid targets for ANC operations.”

By any civilized human’s standards, this is terrorism pure and simple. The US State Department agreed with this author and the ANC was listed as a terrorist organization. This is also a good point at which to remember that the “military wing” of the ANC had been a creation of Nelson Mandela. He had fought the ANC top brass to create it.

Please do click on that CIA link. It is hugely informative and vividly sketches what the ANC really is. It contains interesting statements, such as “We estimate that perhaps as much as 25% of the ANC’s total membership now belongs to the SACP (South African Communist Party)”. Most particularly (p.9),

—”The ANC’s tactics of revolutionary violence are not consonant with US policies designed to promote non-violent change. Most troubling is the SACP’s strong position in the ANC’s leadership and the ANC’s pro-Soviet, Anti-US posture.”

In what must surely be the understatement of the century, given that Mandela’s leadership role in the SACP was actively edited out of “his” autobiography by his American ghostwriter, Rick Stengel, now an Under Secretary in the Obama Administration, the CIA report states (p.19):

—”Historically, the SACP has preferred to conceal the Communist allegiance of some senior ANC officials…..”

Nothing has changed in any of these statements. The ANC operatives openly yell “Bulala AmaBhulu. Kill the whites!“, the SACP is where it always was, and the posture is still anti-US. What is different is that the Soviet Union is gone and the ANC is sidling up to Communist China. Russia has become  a center of white racism (a report from the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy via the School of Russian and Asian Studies), and it is now the US Media that conceals who the Communists are or were. Concerned US citizens ought to ask why. Why is their media doing this and who gains from it?

Republicans and Democrats may well think themselves on the right side of history, but the next few years will show them the true consequences of their actions. It is truly perverse that both Republicans and Democrats would today hail President Reagan as one of their greatest leaders ever, but they mysteriously thought him ill-informed and misguided on the subject of South Africa. This is odd indeed, considering he was the one who had all the resources of the intelligence services backing him up. Those US Congressional members who helped overturn their own President’s veto can now stare into a mirror and see themselves more clearly. When they really had to stand and be counted, they made the political coward’s call and set in motion the destruction of South Africa. There were most certainly matters inside the country that contributed, but few things in life have as devastating an effect as public desertion by your kin.

Holding out

Fortunately, PW Botha of South Africa held out until the Soviets had been chased out of nearby Angola. Four-and-a half months after the Soviets rolled out of Afghanistan, he started negotiations with Nelson Mandela. All of which may be read in AmaBhulu. For additional support of this view, we turn again to the Peterson Insitute for Economics [#7]:

—”…the end of the Cold War and the fading of the communist threat removed an important disincentive to negotiations for the Afrikaners.”

In 1985, this author thought PW Botha insane for going up against the whole world, but he was right and I was wrong. In hindsight, South Africa would have erupted in flames if he had caved under that pressure while the Soviets were breathing down our necks. He was a most unlikable man, but he was right. One could say some people play draughts (checkers), but PW played chess. It was with good reason that Nelson Mandela exhibited so much respect at the death of PW Botha, and Tutu—ostensibly the man of God—did not.


#1. Chester Crocker, High Noon in Southern Africa, (1992), p.258
#2.  Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism, Case 62-2: UN v. South Africa (1962-1994: Apartheid; Namibia), Case 85-1: US, Commonwealth v. South Africa (1985-91: Apartheid), http://www.iie.com/research/topics/sanctions/southafrica3.cfm
#3. Chester Crocker, High Noon in Southern Africa, (1992), p.253
#4. Chester Crocker, High Noon in Southern Africa, (1992), pp.253-278, See particularly p. 263
#5. Press Meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, (10:30am) September 9, 1985
#6. The African National Congress of South Africa: Organization, Communist Ties and Short-term Prospects, SNIE-73-86; July 1986
#7. Case Studies in Sanctions and Terrorism, Case 62-2: UN v. South Africa (1962-1994: Apartheid; Namibia), Case 85-1: US, Commonwealth v. South Africa (1985-91: Apartheid), http://www.iie.com/research/topics/sanctions/southafrica3.cfm