It is amazing how people enjoy making these diatribes against Transkei, especially when they have nothing better to do. It is really deplorable to find the people who make these statements have limited knowledge of Transkeian history.
Why Transkei was included in Arthur Ashe's column of Oct. 17 is a mystery because she has nothing to do with the tennis match. It would seem as if some people enjoy what has become a favorite pastime of throwing a plethora of insults at Transkei. Is it because these people have facts to back up their statements or is it because South Africa has become too powerful to cope with and it is easy to relieve frustrations by calling Transkei a "phony state?"
Can Mr. Ashe substantiate his calling Transkei a "phony state" or is it something he picked up in The London Times or The Boston Globe? As much as he is a superstar on a tennis court, that hardly qualifies him as an authority on southern Africa.
The last time Mr. Ashe was in South Africa he spent all his time in the urban areas which constitute about 3.5 million blacks and forgot about the 18.5 million Africans who live in the rurual areas. He pretended he knew their plight. The majority of blacks that he ignored are the ones who have suffered oppression for years. Those are the people who have borne the yoke of apartheid and none of the superstars noticed.
Anyone who knows the South African situation could never persist under the illusion that Transkei made 22 million blacks lose their citizenship because they never had it. If people could ask knowledgeable Africans about this, they would get facts.
Much has been written about the question of South African citizenship and it has been agreed that blacks, as a matter of fact, have never been citizens of South Africa. Of the 22 million Africans, less than 50,000 know what a South African passport looks like and it is not because that would not have wanted to go out of South Africa to visit foreign countries. Besides, how many of the 22 million Africans can claim to have rights or privileges as all citizens do in democratic countries?
South Africa is committed to racism and has vowed to practice it "unto this side of eternity." In their vow they have also made it clear that Africans can never hope to participate in the national political system. Which means, in the so-called South African citizenship, theirs is to do and die and not to reason why.
Transkei, having been annexed to South Africa without her consent decided to take independence and manage her own affairs. However, since no one wants to listen to truth, it becomes clear that people must take what they read from the "white" press in South Africa.
Liberals would have everyone believe that there is a chance of blacks becoming citizens of South Africa when they know better. They have been benefitting more than anyone from the misery of Blacks in South Africa. Hence, their determination to discredit Transkei's independence.
Needless to say, South Africa has no intention of abrogating Transkei's constitution since it was written by Transkeians. Is Mr. Arthur Ashe agreeing with Mr. Marais Stein that Black people are not capable of taking care of themselves?
To call Transkei a "phony ministate" is either an eloquent mimicry of United Nations policy that has failed to solve the South African situation during its 34 years of existence or sheer ignorance on the part of Mr. Ashe. However, Transkei must and will continue to exist as an independent soveriegn state because her recognition by the international community will never be a prerequisite for her existence as a free nation.