Africa Notes: Inside South Africa: A Status Report - June 1985
June 30, 1985
The character of South African politics has undergone a sea change in the last five years. Simple oppression of blacks by whites has given way to a contest between reform and violent rejection of the nature and scope of the reforms being instituted by the government of President P. W. Botha. The truism that reform is likely to create greater turbulence than brute oppression appears to be applicable, at least on the surface, to today's South Africa, where people are now dying in political violence at the rate of more than 80 a month. Compared with the mass riots of 1976, the scale of unrest is not great, but its extent is more wide-ranging and the tempo is rising.