South Africa: New Chapter, Old Verse

New Chapter, Old Verse

The plan, said President-elect Frederik W. de Klerk, opens nothing less than "a new chapter" in South Africa's history. Passed last week by the ruling National Party, the outline calls for constitutional reforms to be introduced over the next five years that would provide limited voting rights to the country's disenfranchised black majority. The accord envisions a federal system composed of Swiss-style cantons, where suffrage in local elections would be universal.

But most of the new chapter sounded decidedly familiar. There was no talk of changing the body of law that lies at the heart of South Africa's apartheid. There was...

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