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Careful Steps for South Africa

Having lived in South Africa before the pernicious and divisive system of apartheid was started, I feel the article "Pretoria Ends Apartheid System," June 19, which acknowledges the progress made by President De Klerk's government in ending the legal basis for apartheid, is timely. I also salute the constructive attitude of that day's editorial "Next Steps In S. Africa" in calling for the release of black prisoners and the improvement of African education.But we should all remember the sabotage, indiscipline, and widespread strikes in the African schools and understand that the slogan "liberation before education" has done a lot of harm. Senior men like Oliver Tambo should explain to the young militants the great importance of education now that negotiations have started for the building of the new South Africa. And although all sensible people want to see rapid steps toward black-white reconciliation, we must realize that some of those still detained have taken part in the bestial necklace executions. We must ask ourselves whether such criminals ought to roam in new South Africa as free persons. Howard Fry, Dulverton, England

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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