Current Crisis in South Africa
This is an almost complete transcript of Hearings featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1984. The text was scanned from a book issued by the U.S. Government Printing Office and is in the Public Domain. What follows is the first 11 pages of the 20 page document, containing all of Desmond Tutu's opening statement and most of the comments.
Source: The current crisis in South Africa: hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, second session, December 4, 1984. United States. Congress. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Subcommittee on Africa. Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1985.
THE CURRENT CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, I984
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, Washington, DC.
The subcommittee met at 8:30 a.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard Wolpe (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. WOLPE. The subcommittee will come to order. A little more than a year ago, I called a hearing to order concerning the internal political situation in South Africa. At that time, I observed that "Americans were becoming increasingly aware of the threat posed by the apartheid system to both our national values and interests." This observation was made in response to the administration's constructive engagement policy which promised regional peace and development, independence for Namibia, and an end to apartheid in South Africa. It was, even then, very clear to many of us in the Congress that this policy had been an utter failure and that the options embraced by the Reagan administration in hopes of alleviating a worsening situation in South Africa had, in fact, merely made matters worse.
Sadly, it appears—from the reports in this morning's papers—that the administration still fails to understand that its policy of constructive engagement with South Africa, whatever the intentions of that policy may have been, has only served to give a sense legitimacy to apartheid and to invite greater repression by South African authorities. The administration claims its policies seek to prevent violence and to encourage evolutionary change in South Africa. But when the American Government uses its veto power in the United Nations to block resolutions condemning South African aggression, or when our Government remains conspicuously silent in the face of South African Government atrocities, or when high level administration officials publicly defend the recent constitutional changes in South Africa as evidence of forward movement, the real message that is conveyed to South African authorities is that they now have a much freer hand to do what they will.
Under the policy of constructive engagement, the Afrikaaner regime knows, in advance, that there will not be any real cost imposed on the South African-American relationship, no matter how many black trade union leaders are imprisoned, no matter how many black communities are terrorized by massive army search and seizure operations, and no matter how many people are killed by South African police.
The tragedy of current American policies is that whatever their intentions may have been, their effect has been to make the American Government an apparent accomplice to the brutality and repression of South Africa’s apartheid system. That is why we in the Congress must continue to press the administration to rethink its approach to South Africa, and why we must—in this session of Congress—finally enact the package of economic sanctions that passed the full House last year.
The crucial question before us today is whether or not our Government and the international community will continue to tolerate South Africa’s political violence against its own people without bringing appropriate pressures to bear against that government. Americans everywhere are crying out for an end to policies that effectively lend U.S. support for the evil apartheid system.
Every time a State legislature or a city council votes for divestment, another segment of America speaks out against apartheid. Every time the Free South Africa movement holds a demonstration throughout the country, a segment of America strikes a blow against apartheid. Millions of Americans are asking to stand up and be counted in the struggle to end apartheid. They do so in solidarity with the great masses of people whom our guest today has said have their noses rubbed in the dust daily in South Africa.
Clearly, the American people are making the struggle for human dignity in South Africa their struggle. Can we ask anything less of the American Government?
We are deeply honored to have Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace laureate and Bishop-elect of Johannesburg, as our sole witness to discuss the current crisis in South Africa. In 1981, Bishop Tutu, a very gentle and wise man, wrote the following words:
The indisputable point is that we who are oppressed will be free. That is not in question. The logic of history, even Afrikaaner 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. 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. 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 * * * but hope springs eternal.
Now, 4 years later, Bishop Tutu’s prophetic thoughts serve to remind us of the inadequacy of our own understanding of the South African nightmare and to prompt us as never before to take more definitive courses of action to support peaceful and comprehensive change there.
If our own national commitments to justice and full racial and civil equality are to prevail, we must empower ourselves and our National Government to disassociate ourselves from apartheid by every means necessary. Black and white Americans together must pay heed to Bishop Tutu's words so that we will not increasingly become party to an evil blight—apartheid—that causes oppression and suffering among millions of our fellow human beings in South Africa.
Bishop Tutu, we are truly grateful that you could come before us at this critical moment of history to share your witness with us.
Before inviting you to make your testimony before this committee, I would like first to call upon my ranking minority member, and good friend, distinguished colleague from the State of New York, Mr. Solomon.
Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Chairman, I first welcome Bishop Tutu, and congratulations, Mr. Chairman, on your reelection.
However, Mr. Chairman, I do find it difficult to constrain myself when I hear some of your remarks—and I know they are meant sincerely. But when I hear the statement that "Americans are crying out against U.S. support for the apartheid system," Mr. Chairman, I know of no American, no Member of Congress, certainly not myself, certainly not President Reagan, certainly not anyone in the administration that I know of—and I know just about everybody in the administration—who supports an apartheid system. I think we all abhor it. But I don't think this is the place to debate it.
I personally fought the 14th Street bridge traffic to get here on time—and I was the only member on time this morning—because wanted to hear Bishop Tutu.
Bishop, may I commend you because I would like to have you at all of our subcommittee hearings and meetings, because usually there are only two or three here—my distinguished colleague, the chairman, is always here and I am always here. But rarely do we have a large group of Members of Congress at our public hearings. So I thank you for attracting them this morning.
Mr. Chairman, I join you in welcoming our distinguished witness and certainly congratulate Bishop Tutu on the occasion of his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Bishop Tutu, I applaud your commitment to the principle of nonviolence and to the goal of establishing a nonracial society in South Africa, which I think we all want to see achieved. I trust that your receiving of the Nobel Prize will serve to strengthen all of those people in South Africa who are seeking nonviolent pluralistic solutions to the problems afflicting your country.
The road in South Africa is leading toward an eventual resolution of the racial conflicts there, and I think that that is inevitable and certainly irreversible.
What is yet to be decided, however, is whether the ongoing drama in South Africa will find its resolution in a spirit of reconciliation or in a horror of retribution. I trust that all of us will do our share in finding peaceful solutions to this very difficult dilemma.
In that spirit, Bishop Tutu, I most certainly welcome you to our subcommittee hearing. Thank you, sir.
Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much, Mr. Solomon. Are there any other members who would like to make initial remarks? Let me yield to my distinguished ranking member, Mr. Crockett.
Mr. CROCKETT. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Bishop Tutu for joining us this morning and I wish to reserve any further comments.
Mr. WOLPE. Thank you very much.
Bishop Tutu, we would be pleased now to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF BISHOP DESMOND M. TUTU, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE
Bishop TUTU. Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, thank you very much for your very warm welcome and your words of congratulations. Thank you, too, for the great honor of addressing your influential subcommittee. May I pay warm tribute to yourself and your colleagues for your commitment to the struggle for a just and truly democratic and nonracial society in South Africa, the hope of all of us who have the vision of a new kind of society in that beautiful but so sadly tortured land.
May I add a special word of appreciation to those Members of Congress and others who have been participating in the protests at the South African Embassy and the South African consulates throughout the United States in the Free South Africa movement. I hope that we note this is a peaceful, nonviolent strategy to effect changes in the policies of the U.S. Government and within South Africa.
The oppressed in South Africa and the lovers of freedom there are deeply thankful for this demonstration of solidarity with the exploited, the voiceless, and the powerless ones. The protest is not, might I point out, anti-South Africa. It is decidedly anti-apartheid, anti-injustice, anti-oppression, which are not the same thing. It is one of the ironies of the South African situation that I can be here, in this great and free land, the land of the brave and home of the free, address so august a body as this; and yet, in my own country, the land of my birth, I would not be able to speak to a comparable body because I and nearly 23 million other black South Africans are victims of the politics of exclusion.
Here I am, a bishop in the church of God, 53 years of age, who some might even be ready to risk calling reasonably responsible, and yet I cannot vote in my motherland; whereas, a child of 18 years of age, because she is white, and only very recently colored and Indian, can vote. More of this later.
Mr. Chairman, I should have come to this country at the beginning of September to start my sabbatical of 4 months as a visiting professor at the General Theological Seminary in New York. My wife and I had to postpone our departure from South Africa because of the heightening crisis there. I called on the then South African Prime Minister, Mr. P.W. Botha, now state President, and other senior cabinet ministers, to meet with church leaders to try to deal with what I feared was likely to be a tragic situation. Mr. Botha did not respond, though a delegation of church leaders was able to wait on two senior cabinet ministers.
I have still tried to engage the South African Government in dialogue, despite their unrelenting efforts to vilify and discredit the South African Council of Churches and its employees, despite the government's strictures that we were fomenting revolution at a time when the government was allegedly embarking on the road to reform. We reckoned the situation was too serious to try to be scoring debate points, and subsequent events have borne out our apprehensions.
The Nobel Peace Prize is a global indication of the South African Council of Churches and those associated with it that the world recognizes that we are true agents of justice, of peace, of reconciliation, and that we in the South African Council of Churches stand between South Africa and disaster.
We had an emergency meeting of the South African Council of Churches Executive Committee and leaders of the SACC member churches. We visited some of the trouble spots. I accompanied those of the meeting who went to Watervill, a black township.
We visited one home where the old lady there said she looked after her grandson and the children of neighbors whilst their parents were at work. She told us that one day the police chased some boycotting black schoolchildren who disappeared among the township houses. The police then drove down her street. She was in the back of the house, in the kitchen. Her charges were playing in the yard in front of the house. Suddenly her daughter dashed into the house, calling to her to come quickly.
She says she rushed into her living room. Her grandson had fallen just inside the door, dead, shot in the back. He was 6 years old.
A few weeks later a white baby was killed in a black township. Two such deaths, Mr. Chairman, are two too many-the high cost of apartheid.
The new constitution is an instrument of the politics of exclusion I referred to earlier. Seventy-three percent of South Africa's population, the blacks, have no part in this constitution, which mentions them quite incredibly only once. How could this be seen as a step in the right direction? How could this be regarded as even remotely democratic? Its three chambers are racially defined. Consequently, racism and ethnicity are entrenched and hallowed in the constitution.
In the parliamentary committees the composition is in the ratio of four whites to two coloreds to one Indian, and even if your arithmetic is bad, you know that two plus one can never equal let alone be more than four. Thus white minority rule is perpetuated and entrenched in this constitution. Coloreds and Indians are being co-opted to perpetuate the oppression of the vast majority of South Africa's population.
Mercifully, they rejected this monumental hoax to hoodwink the world into thinking that South Africa's apartheid-mongers are changing—for only 20 percent of colored and Indians participated in the August elections. It has been a dangerous fiddling, while our Rome burnt.
The oppressed have protested this politics of exclusion and they have done so peacefully. They have staged stayaways and demonstrations against the new constitution, against sham black local government, against increases in rent, against increases in the general sales tax, against the inferior education foisted on blacks. The South African Government has reacted violently and with a mailed fist—against a popular and mass movement of peaceful protest it has reacted with violence.
It has detained the leaders of the election boycott movement. It has arrested the leaders of the trade union movement who staged the most successful legal strike for political reasons, all without due process, without preferring charges, and having the evidence tested in open court. The writ of habeas corpus in many instances no longer exists in South Africa.
Last week 12 people were arrested for protesting legally and peacefully by displaying banners and picketing, and these included people of the caliber of John Dugard, a law professor at Witswatersrand University and the director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies. Journalists have been subpoenaed under the Internal Security Act to testify against the organizers of the stayaway. This is a country that is lauded as being the bastion against communism, as the upholder of Western white Christian civilization and its values.
I have said that blacks deplore communism as being atheistic and materialistic. But they would regard the Russians as their saviors, were they to come to South Africa, because anything in their view would be better than apartheid for the enemy of my enemy is my friend. When you were in a dungeon, and a hand is put out to unlock the door and get you out, you don't ask for the credentials of the owner of the hand. After all, the West was not too finicky in accepting the Russians as allies against Naziism.
Twenty-four blacks were killed during that 2-day strike in November. Six thousand were sacked from their jobs. There was not a squeak of protest from the Government of this country. When a priest in Poland went missing, and then his body was found, there was an outrage in this country and the media quite rightly gave it all extensive coverage. When 12 black South Africans are killed by the South African police, and 6,000 people are sacked, you are lucky if you get that much coverage. There was no expression of outrage and concern. That is part of constructive engagement.
I believe we are being told that this administration is not being soft on apartheid. Heaven help us when they do decide to be soft.
Would the reaction and the silence have been so deafening if the casualties had been white? Would the reaction and the silence have been so deafening if the casualties had for instance been Jewish?
The South African Government has uprooted over 3 million blacks and dumped them as if they were rubbish in Bantustan homelands and not even an uncustomary protest by the State Department could stop them from uprooting 300 families from Mogopa. Just now a community, the people of Kwangena in the eastern Transvaal, faces the threat of being uprooted. It is the same community, one of whose leaders, Saul Mkhize, was killed protesting the removal of his people from Driefontein.
Mr. Chairman, we are being turned into aliens in our fatherland, because an alien cannot claim any rights, least of all political rights. They don't know that I am a South African, for I travel on a travel document that describes my nationality as undeterminable at present. The South African Government with impunity, in the full glare of international publicity, is dealing callously with the women of the KTC squatter camp near Capetown, where their flimsy plastic coverings are destroyed every day so that these women are reduced to sitting on soaking mattresses with their household effects strewn around their feet, and whimpering babies on their laps in the bitter Cape rain because they want to be with their husbands, they want to be with the fathers of their children, and it is illegal for them in this Christian Western civilized country, to lead a normal, stable family life. This is the kind of system that those who invest in South Africa are purchasing. This is the kind of system that the Reagan administration's constructive engagement is encouraging and supporting, encouraging the white racist regime into an escalating intransigence and repression.
It is no use for South Africa entering into nonaggression pacts with foreign countries when it carries out acts of aggression against its own civilian population, when it sets the army on defenseless civilians. It is no use having détente only for external consumption when the South African Government refuses to talk with our real leaders inside the country and those in exile. For the problem of South Africa is not outside that country. The problem of South Africa is inside South Africa. The problem of South Africa is the system, the repressive and unjust system of apartheid.
Mr. Chairman, our people are peace loving to a fault. They have sought to change South Africa's racist policies by peaceful means since 1912 at the very least, using conventional peaceful methods of demonstrations, petitions, delegations, and even a passive resistance campaign. As a tribute to this commitment of our people to peaceful change, the only two South Africans to have won Nobel Peace Prizes are both of them black.
The response of the authorities, as I have said so many times before, has been police dogs, tear gas, guns, death, detention, and exile. Protesting peacefully against the past laws, 69 of our people in the Sharpville 1960 march were massacred, most of them shot in the back, running away. In 1976 our children protested peacefully against Bantu education, singing songs in the streets, and over 500 people were killed. Many of our children are in exile, most of whose whereabouts are unknown to their parents. Now in the most serious protest against apartheid, nearly 200 of our people have been killed, most by the authorities who are using the army, as I have said, against a peaceful civilian population, and the West does not appear to care.
Constructive engagement goes on. Namibia we were told 4 years ago would be independent because of constructive engagement. Namibia, 4 years later, is not independent. The United States has provided a recalcitrant South Africa with a further reason for dragging its feet by linking Namibian independence with the withdrawal of Cuban troops from a sovereign state, Angola, and in the meantime people are dying, people are suffering needlessly. Constructive engagement has worsened our situation under apartheid. Four years ago I said this policy was an unmitigated disaster for us blacks. Four years later I have no reason to alter my original assessment despite what Dr. Chester Crocker is reported to have said.
It is giving democracy a bad name, just as apartheid has given free enterprise a bad name.
Mr. Chairman, we are talking about a moral issue. You are either for or against apartheid, and not by rhetoric. You are either in favor of evil or you are in favor of good. You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You cannot be neutral. Apartheid is evil, is immoral, is un-Christian, without remainder. It uses evil, immoral, and unchristian methods. If you have supported the Nazis against the Jews, you would have been accused of adopting an immoral position. Apartheid is an evil as immoral and un-Christian in my view as Naziism, and in my view, the Reagan administration’s support and collaboration with it is equally immoral, evil and totally un-Christian, without remainder.
In court you are guilty as an accessory before or after the fact. Constructive engagement is saying blacks are dispensable. Why should this administration respond so quickly and so decisively when something is done against Solidarity in Poland, applying sanctions at the drop of a hat, and yet when similar treatment is meted out to black trade unions in South Africa, all we get is convoluted sophistry?
America is a great country, with great traditions of freedom and equality. I hope this great country will be true to its history and its traditions, and will unequivocally and clearly take its stand on the side of right and justice in South Africa, for what the United States decides and does has a crucial bearing on what happens in other lands. Many lives will be saved, many blacks will be won for democracy in South Africa if the United States is true to her real self.
I said 4 years ago that to protest constructive engagement I would not see any representatives of the Reagan administration. I relented because I thought I could persuade them of the folly and the danger of constructive engagement, and because of an educational program for black South Africans in which I was involved.
I have failed to persuade Dr. Crocker, a good and very intelligent man, and others. So I want to state here that I will not see anyone of the Reagan administration as of today unless constructive engagement is abandoned. I may see the President of this country or the Secretary of State if they do invite me to meet with them.
Mr. Chairman, I am deeply saddened. What have we still to say which we have not said. What have we still to do which we have not done to persuade people that all we want is to be recognized for who we are, human, created in the image of God.
How must we say that we don’t want to drive white people into the sea, that we want to live amicably with them in a nonracial, a truly democratic South Africa.
I hope this great country, with an extraordinary capacity sometimes for backing the wrong horse, will for once break that record. Will you please for a change listen to the victims of oppression? We shall be free, and we will remember who helped us to become free.
That is not a threat. It is just a statement of fact. We want so desperately, so eagerly, to be friends with the United States, after South Africa is liberated, for all its people, black and white, as it shall. Thank you.
Mr. WOLPE. Bishop Tutu, I think that the response to your words that was just made is as clear a statement of how moving your testimony has been to those of us who have heard it today. I think that in very large measure it has been your words and your inspiration that these past many years, that is responsible for this extraordinary mobilization that is occurring all across this country now, with Americans increasingly beginning to understand the extent to which the struggle that is in process in South Africa must become our struggle as well.
It is certainly my hope that your presence in the United States these past few days, your testimony before our committee today, will advance that understanding.
I think I would make one other plea and that is to the administration. There is no question that the vast, vast majority of Americans, across party lines, across ideological differences, oppose apartheid.
There needs to be an understanding, however, that policies that are being pursued, some of them I think well intended, are not having the effect of advancing the cause of the elimination of apartheid. It would be my plea and my hope that the administration will, without defensiveness, really take to heart the advice and the counsel that you have shared with us this morning.
It is always difficult to change positions, to admit that we have engaged in actions or initiatives that are not—have not produced the desired effect. But I think it is the test of leadership, the test of statesmanship to make corrections when corrections must be made.
I know that there is within this Congress a bipartisan commitment to work with the administration, to seek together the modification of policies that are in place right now so that we will at one and the same time develop initiatives that are truly consistent with American principles and values on the one hand, and that will also be equally consistent with American national interests in being identified with the cause of social justice within South Africa.
We will be having continuing hearings in the weeks and months ahead with the administration, with others, and I hope that collectively we can develop a new consensus that will allow us to pursue a more effective foreign policy in our relationships with South Africa.
I made my own remarks earlier. I would like to provide the remaining time of this hearing to my colleagues, to invite them to ask whatever questions they might care to offer or any statements. Congressman Solomon.
Mr. SOLOMON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Bishop Tutu, I also thank you for your testimony here today. I would perhaps ask for a clarification. I assume that when you criticize the constructive engagement policy of the U.S. Government that you are also equally criticizing other countries that have a similar constructive engagement policy. I refer to most European countries, Britain, France, Israel, all of which carry out a great deal of constructive engagement policies with South Africa, the same as we do.
It is difficult for me, because I share the same goals that you do, to eliminate apartheid completely. It is difficult when I talk to people like Chief Buthelezi, Reverend Hendrickse, Reverend Boesak. It is confusing to me as a Member of Congress to hear the different viewpoints of the black community in South Africa. Many of those voices are demanding different things than you are demanding here. They seem to think that in spite of the immediate crisis that is taking place, there are different approaches to the problems. Other countries that I talk to, European countries, Israel, and so forth, have said the same thing.
So I guess what I am asking you is why cannot all of you get together and present the same kind of testimony to us, so that we would know which direction to go in? I personally think that constructive engagement has been working.
Just as a last statement—-because other members want to talk, and I think you have to get back to my State of New York for a further engagement today—when you testified, about an unmitigated disaster, and you seemed to say that the Reagan administration and those of us who sincerely support constructive engagement as a way of doing away with apartheid, you seem to be saying that we are evil, and even un-Christian. Those were the words that you used. And I hope that you were not saying that I am un-Christian or evil or that President Reagan is but perhaps that our policies may lead that way. But not individually, I hope you were not saying that.
Bishop TUTU. Thank you very much. I am utterly consistent in my criticism. I am criticizing you here because I am in the United States. When, for instance, Mr. Botha went to Europe, I wrote very sharp letters to Mrs. Thatcher, I wrote to Chancellor Kohl, I wrote even to the Pope, and said that I condemned without any reservation their willingness to have met with Mr. Botha, because I and many others in our country interpreted that as lending a legitimacy to the leader of a government that was treating us as, in my view, the Nazis treated the Jews. So you can be quite satisfied that there is a consistency in my approach. The United States, second, is the leader of the Western family of nations, and what the United States tends to do has an important bearing on what her allies do.
Therefore, if we can get to change the policies of the United States toward South Africa, that would have an important ripple effect with their allies.
I must add very quickly that I am not—I am not even accusing the South African Government of being un-Christian. I am saying their policies are un-Christian. That has also been underlined by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches—most churches in the world now have condemned apartheid as heretical.
I am merely saying that the collaboration with an evil system carries over to the collaborator. I am not calling in question at all your integrity, your Christianity, your goodness. I mean you are all nice people. The trouble is that you are doing something that is horrible to our people. Now, very quickly, I don’t think that you could complain about diversity of opinions.
The vast majority of blacks who do not operate within the system are quite clear about their attitude toward the U.S. policy of constructive engagement. The people that you have quoted—Alan Boesak, you could not put in a category that says constructive engagement is good. Nor could you do that with all the people who are members of the United Democratic Front, or all the leaders of the trade union movement and the people who are leaders of the National Forum.
Some of the blacks that you refer to would be people who operate within the system. I am not surprised that there would be differences of opinion. But the vast majority of our people would not repudiate me.
Mr. SOLOMON. Bishop Tutu, thank you so much for the clarification, carry on your good work.
Bishop TUTU. Thank you.
Mr. WOLPE. Before turning to my distinguished ranking member, Mr. Crockett, I would like to also take note of the presence in the chamber today of our distinguished colleague and my very good friend from the State of Michigan, Senator Carl Levin and Congressman Joe Addabbo from New York, as well as other members of our committee. Delighted to have you join us today. Mr. Crockett.
Mr. CROCKETT. Mr. Chairman, in deference to the senior Senator of my State of Michigan, I would like to give up my time to Senator Levin for whatever comments or questions he would care to make.
Senator LEVIN. Thank you very much, Congressman Crockett.
I really just have one brief comment. It seems to me that our policy of constructive engagement is not succeeding in eradicating or eliminating the evil of apartheid. It is simply a balm for our collective guilt.
It is aimed at making us feel better. It is not working in South Africa. We should be listening to the spiritual representative who is here today, who is so eloquent rather than the minority voices in South Africa. This administration has so far refused to do that.
I want to commend you, Bishop Tutu, for your eloquence, your courage, your persistence, your wisdom, your kindness, your decency, your gentleness—even your sense of humor in the face of an unswerving and unmitigated evil that you face.
I hope you are able to persuade this administration that its course is wrong. The best way for that to happen would be for you to be invited to the White House. I am, on the Senate side, going to urge my colleagues that we ask the President to invite you to the White House.
We have recently written a letter, Senator Hatfield and myself, to the Ambassador from South Africa expressing our opposition again to the policies of his government. It is not the first letter. I am afraid it won’t be the last. We also support the peaceful demonstrations in Washington and around this country in opposition to those policies.