Statement by Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs McFarlane on Apartheid in South Africa

August 15, 1985

Apartheid is a system that has long plagued South Africa, and it must be ended. A cycle of violence and repression has engulfed South Africa; this too must end. South Africa must find peace with itself and develop a system of government which accommodates the legitimate rights and needs of the black majority and provides for justice, equality, respect for fundamental rights, and, most importantly, government based on consent.

The South African President has made an important statement, and we are studying it carefully. We hope that the steps President Botha has outlined will advance the end of apartheid. He has called for negotiations on a new constitutional structure and has recognized the principle of participation and the responsibility of all South Africans in their country's future. We look for early implementation of those principles through a process of negotiations between the South African Government and the leaders of South Africa's other communities. The President's statement advances new ideas on citizenship. These ideas and other ideas contained in the speech must be clarified.

The tragedy of South Africa can only be resolved if negotiations begin quickly and produce concrete progress. The United States looks to the South African Government and all South Africans to explore every opportunity for negotiation and reconciliation.