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South Africa and college activism

If colleges and universities withdraw their moneys from South African companies and firms doing business in South Africa, there will be thousands of black South Africans out of work and reduced to abject poverty [``Diverse groups gear up for US apartheid protest,'' Oct. 11]. Apartheid is wrong, but disinvestment is not the way to change such an abhorrent system. Edward Rigby, Boston I congratulate the students of Stellenbosch University on their brave move toward negotiations with the African National Congress. This country, its people, and its government need to learn the lesson of humility. Part and parcel of a racist's ideology is the perpetrator's self-righteous and judgmental nature. The government needs to recognize the atrocities the present system are responsible for and move fast to dismantle it. Individuals need to remove beliefs that threaten or prejudice fellow human b eings. Jeremy T. Campbell, Cape Town University of Cape Town

The article ``South Africa: Sanctions or partition?'' (International Edition, Aug. 3-9; National Edition, July 30) states, ``Partition could work, if the whites would give the blacks enough land and enough of the natural resources of the area to make life economically viable . . . .''

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Such a statement bears criticism for obvious reasons: The entire continent of sub-Saharan Africa -- its ``land and natural resources'' -- has already been given to blacks over the years as the empires slunk away, and as far as I am aware there is not one instance of life having been made ``economically viable''! It would appear that a similar fate awaits South Africa, once the Western world succeeds in imposing its will -- as it has done already on the state once known as Rhodesia. J. Walsh, Harare, Zimbabwe

The editorial ``Acknowledging apartheid's end,'' Oct. 22, supports the release of Nelson Mandela and negotiations with the African National Congress as preconditions for the resolution of apartheid. It would not be a ``positive action'' to release Nelson Mandela. Communism thrives on upheaval and unrest, and both Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress -- a communist-controlled organization -- advocate the violent overthrow of the Republic of South Africa. Douglas J. Oliver, Needham, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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