Mandela warns of 'mass action' if Europe rescinds sanctions

February 09, 1991|By Jerelyn Eddings | Jerelyn Eddings,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Black leader Nelson Mandela warned yesterday that there would be mass turmoil throughout the country if the European Community lifted sanctions against South Africa, as it is contemplating.

Mr. Mandela said he doubted that the European Community actually would end the sanctions. But if it did, he said, it would be "a very serious mistake."

"If the EC decides to review sanctions, you can expect that mass action in this country is going to be the order of the day and that the situation is going to be so unstable that no wise businessman is going to want to invest in this country," Mr. Mandela said at a news conference in Cape Town.

Mass action is the term the African National Congress uses to describe its campaign of demonstrations, rallies, marches and boycotts aimed at pressuring the government.

Mr. Mandela denied that he was making a threat but said he was describing what he thought would happen in South Africa.

The ANC leader said he felt certain that President Bush, unlike European leaders, would consult the anti-apartheid movement if he decided to review the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1986.

Mr. Mandela also praised South Africa's President F. W. de Klerk for the "brave" steps he had taken to reform the country's system of racial discrimination.

But he said little had changed so far for most blacks living in South Africa.

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