South African Foreign Minister Roelof Botha said yesterday that country's whites "never ever" will accept black majority rule because that would be "negotiating our own destruction."
Appearing on the CBS Morning News in Washington, Botha branded as "the height of immorality" U.S. insistence that South Africa introduce a one-man, one-vote political system.
"You want us to accept this new commitment - a commitment to suicide," Botha said. "Forget it! No way! We shall not accept that not now, not tomorrow, never, ever."
Botha, formerly ambassador to the United States, met Tuesday with Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance on the problems of Rhodesia and Namibia (formerly Southwest Africa.)
The Carter administration privately has warned the government of Prime Minister John Vorster that race war in the subcontinent is inevitable unless South Africa's nearly four million ruling whites - outnumbered about five-to-one by nonwhites - introduce a voting system based on political equality.
In his televised appearance, Botha complained of immoralities in U.S. policies on several issues, and at one point he demanded: "Why do you not compare the situation of your (American) Indians with our blacks?"
He observed that Americans evidently forget it took them decades, even generations, to wipe out slavery. Americans, he complained, fail to acknowledge that "we in South Africa never have had slavery."
Botha charged that the United States has failed to understand that South Africa's white rulers have achieved, even though "we have made mistakes in the past."
The State Department in reply said: "It would be a misinterpretation of our policy to suggest that we are demanding the immediate implementation of any kind of policy. We have not demanded one-man, one-vote tomorrow.
"We believe that a peaceful and just solution to the situation in Southern Africa and South Africa will best be achieved by a movement toward full democratic participation by all citizens in the affairs of their countries. We clearly do believe that South Africa has to move forward a fully democratic system."