South Africa Win Some, Lose Some

Botha checks the opposition, but few blacks turn out to vote

No one can say that State President P.W. Botha did not thoroughly prepare for last week's segregated local elections. Determined to boost the number of black voters in order to prove that they preferred officially sponsored "reform" to violent revolution, the government banned 18 antiapartheid organizations in February for organizing a boycott of the racially divided balloting. In June the government declared it a crime to advocate a boycott, but many defiant black clergymen and academics urged one anyway.

Even more worrisome to the government's sense of security was the threat from the far-right Conservative Party, which has become the fastest-growing...

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