7. U.S. MEDIA NEGLECT SOUTH AFRICA POLITICS
Most Americans have heard of Lech Walesa and Poland's Solidarity movement;
few Americans have heard of Nelson Mandela and South Africa's African
The U.S. media have provided substantial coverage to Walesa's heroic
fight against a communist society; they have provided little coverage
to Manela's equally heroic fight against the apartheid regime in South
Africa -- a symbol of racist oppression for many Americans and other
people throughout the world.
Despite international ostracism for its racist policies, some 600 North
American companies continue to do business with South Africa with U.S.
investments estimated at about $10 billion; despite a 1982 U.N. resolution
outlawing export of dangerous products to other countries, the Upjohn
Company reportedly still provides the South Africa regime with U.S.
outlawed drug, Depo-Provera; despite the potential for nuclear confrontation
and holocaust, blest Germany, Israel and the U.S. provide South Africa
with nuclear technology.
In September, 1983, the State Department approved an application by
Westinghouse to bid on a $50 million ten-year contract to maintain and
supply South Africa's two nuclear stations. Western intelligence sources
believe that South Af'rica is capable of producing nuclear weapons and
that it may have tested a nuclear device in the South Atlantic in 1979.
One reason few Americans may have heard about Nelson Mandela, the widely
respected political leader in South Africa, may be because of the official
and unofficial relationship between South Africa and Washington, D.C.
South Africa spends considerable sums of money to maintain those relationships.
Justice Department documents show that 31 agents, some with close ties
to the Reagan administration, now represent South African interests
in the United States, compared with 22 in 1979. The Department's records
reveal that South African lobbying strategy embraces a wide array of
social and official contacts on Capitol Hill and in the Reagan administration.
Baskin & Sears, a prominent Pittsburgh law firm, has been paid
half a million dollars since 1981for its services to South Africa. The
firm is head by Philip Baskin, a Mondale fund-raiser, and John P. Sears,
the original director of Reagan's 1980 campaign.
i.d.a.f. NEWS NOTES, published by the U.S. Committee of the International
Defense and Aid Fund for Southern Africa, October, 1983; DAILY WORLD,
9/15/83, "South Africa, Poland, and the U.S. Press," by Tafataona
P. Mahoso; WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL WEEKLY EDITION, 3/26/84, "South
Africa's Capital Connections," by Rick Atkinson.