(en) Mandela Praises Suharto

L.Walt (029WALT@muse.arts.wits.ac.za)
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:30:19 GMT + 2:00


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South African President Nelson Mandela reently praised the achievements of the Suharto regime in Indonesia. During the course of his current visit to the country - the third so far- Mandela saluted the country's high levels of economic growth, and, consequently, its "high" level of social equality. It was, he stated, worthy of emulation. Mandela called on the two country's to strengthen their economic ties. Asked whether South Africa would supply the regime with arms if requested to do so, he replied that it would certainly do so (if requested) for purposes of "external defence".

Mandela was silent on the Suharto regime's brutal suppression of political dissent and trade unionism at home, as well as its coercive labour policies. Asked for comments on the Indonesian regime's occupation of East Timor, he stated that it was an internal affair that should be resolved through discussions.

Suharto took power in the 1960s, at which point he was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 500,000 leftists and activists. In the ensuing 30 years, the regime has been notorious for its political dictatorship, its murder of trade uinionists, its cheap labour policies, and its genocidal occupation of East Timor. At least 200,000 people- an estimated third of the East Timorese population- have died since Indonesia invaded in 1975.

The real link between South Africa and Indonesia that should be built is not a bosses' alliance, but workers unity and solidarity against capitalist domination.

L. W. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Anarcho-syndicalism in South Africa **UPDATED!!** http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7017/

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