South Africa: The Crocodile Flip-Flops

The Crocodile Flip-Flops

In the wake of a stroke, State President P.W. Botha, 73, stepped down in February as leader of South Africa's long-ruling National Party, seemingly | signaling his intention to retire. But last month he returned to his presidential office, haughtily dismissing talk of a national election later this year that would pave the way for his formal departure. Both his party and his expected successor, Frederik W. de Klerk, 53, were displeased. Under their pressure, the State President, known unflatteringly as the Great Crocodile, flip-flopped on both counts last week.

Botha told Parliament he will shortly set an election date for...

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