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Ciskei to cut South African tie

The Ciskei, one of South Africa's black tribal reserves, has decided to become "independent," Monitor correspondent Gary Thatcher reports. In making the announcement, Ciskei chief minister Lennox Sebe said the decision was made by "the people," not by himself. That is despite a recent opinion survey showing that 64 percent of the prospective "citizens" of the Ciskei have negative views on independence.

According to the poll, the overwhelming majority of Ciskeians favor a unitary government for South Africa, representing all areas of the country and elected on a one-person, one-vote basis. That, of course, is precisely what they will not get when the Ceskei is excised from South Africa. Ciskei's "independence" is thought by many to be a ploy of the white South African government to denationalize some 2.1 million black Ciskeian south Africans, of whom 1.4 million do not live in the Ciskei.

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It is unlikely that any nation other than South Africa will recognize the Ciskei's independence, since the independence process for the black tribal "homelands" runs afoul of several internationally accepted standards. Moreover, Ciskeians are unlikely to have any direct vote in the matter.

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