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S. Africans favor Botha reforms

An overhwleming number of white South Africans support Prime Minister Pieter Botha's reformist stance on apartheid even if it splits the ruling National Party, according to a nationwide opinion poll published Sunday. The poll in the Johannesburg Sunday Times newspaper comes after one of the most turbulent weeks in National Party history, with the issue of relaxing the country's racial separation policies polarizing it.

The poll showed that 85.5 percent of the registered National Party members supported Mr. Botha, leader of the "Verligte" (enlightened) moderates, as party leader. Only 6.4 percent backed his right-wing challenger, Public Works Minister and powerful Transvaal party leader Andries Treurnicht, head of the "Verkrampte," or anti-change, wing, which is opposed to any dismantling of the laws that enshrine white supremacy.

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