South Africa Playing for Time

Reagan, Thatcher and Botha do not budge as pressure for sanctions grows

In terms of style, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and P.W. Botha have little in common. Yet through the years, the amiable U.S. President, the iron-willed British Prime Minister and the pugnacious South African State President have each demonstrated an uncanny ability to tough their way through political adversity, often using the sheer force of personality to get their way. As the international calls for economic sanctions against South Africa grow, however, all three leaders resemble conductors who are fast losing control of their orchestras.

This week the three will be forced to continue playing for time. Reagan is scheduled to make...

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