From remarks in the Senate Dec. 15 by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):

On Dec. 1, I received a letter from Piet Koornhof, South African ambassador to the United States. The letter opened with a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes: "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose, a time to live . . . and a time of peace." Apparently, in South Africa, this is the season to restrict freedoms, ban citizens and reverse the little progress that has been made in resolving South Africa's deepening domestic crisis.

Over the weekend, Govan Mbeki was banned. He has been confined to his home town, Port Elizabeth, and has been prohibited from giving press interviews or writing for publication. I find this action . . . bitterly ironic in light of additional comments included in Ambassador Koornhof's letter. He stated South Africa was on the road to "achieving a new constitutional system in which everyone has the right to participate -- as symbolized by the release of Govan Mbeki . . ."

. . . The actions of the South African government over the past few months leave me with the clear impression that they are engaged in a dangerous game of political chicken. They have cynically calculated that by keeping important political figures from galvanizing action within South Africa and by keeping the rest of the world in the dark about internal events through repressive press censorship, the world will forget about what is happening in South Africa. I guess they figure that if our collective conscience is not pricked by violence captured on news footage, South Africa will fade from memory. . . . {F}or the benefit of those who operate under this false assumption {I} say we will not forget, give in or give up.