The following is from an article by Bishop Tutu, the Nobel peace laureate, that appeared on this page on Sept. 23, 1981:
The indisputable point is that we who are oppressed will be free. That is not in question. The logic of history, even Afrikaner history, dictates that this is so. All that the whites can do is decide whether they want freedom to come reasonably, peacefully or through bloodshed and armed struggle. Those are the only options available.
(President P. W.) Botha can play a decisive role by opting for a bold policy of change. Anything else will fail. He can never satisfy the right wing. So he should go all out to win the world and the rest of South Africa by opting for political power-sharing.
Unrest, in the schools and on the labor front, is endemic in our country and will continue to be so until political power-sharing becomes a reality. More and more blacks are becoming disillusioned as those of us calling for change by peaceful means have our credibility eroded by the authorities' often brutal and excessive action. Calls for peaceful change are being answered by tear gas, police dogs, bullets, detention without trial and banning orders. The authorities are growing in intransigence; belatedly Botha wants to demonstrate that he is tough and cannot be trifled with.
He is too late because he has not come to terms with the determination bordering on recklessness of black youth who openly flaunt the emblems of the outlawed African National Congress. He cannot control the militancy of black labor unions, which are going to be the power to watch.
There will be more and more police harassment, bannings and detentions, but these will not deter those who are determined to be free.
Finally, a word about foreign corporations in South Africa. Multinational corporations are not yet involved in the business of helping to destroy apartheid. They have done some good things for their employees, but all within the framework of apartheid, and really no more than what a good employer should have been doing. Ultimately their efforts are improvement and not changes. They are making apartheid more comfortable rather than dismantling it.
The international community must make up its mind whether it wants to see a peaceful resolution of the South Africa crisis. If it does, then let it apply pressure (diplomatic, political, but above all, economic) on the South African government to persuade it to go to the negotiating table with the authentic leaders of all sections of the South African population before it is too late. Maybe it is too late, judging from the conduct of the Reagan administration. If so, then what (former prime minister John) Vorster called the alternative too ghastly to contemplate is before us. But hope springs eternal.