Statement on the
Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986
October 2, 1986
Senate vote should not be viewed as the final chapter in America's efforts, along with
our allies, to address the plight of the people of South Africa. Instead, it
underscores that America -- and that means all
of us -- opposes apartheid, a malevolent and archaic system totally alien to
our ideals. The debate, which culminated in today's vote, was not whether or
not to oppose apartheid but, instead, how best to oppose it and how best to
bring freedom to that troubled country.
deeply regret that Congress has seen fit to override my veto of the
Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. Punitive sanctions, I believe, are
not the best course of action; they hurt the very people they are intended to
help. My hope is that these punitive sanctions do not lead to more violence and
more repression. Our administration will, nevertheless, implement the law. It
must be recognized, however, that this will not solve the serious problems that
plague that country. The United States must also move forward
with positive measures to encourage peaceful change and advance the cause of
democracy in South Africa.
is the time for South Africa's Government to act
with courage and good sense to avert a crisis. Moderate black leaders who are
committed to democracy and oppose revolutionary violence are ready to work for
peaceful change. They should not be kept waiting. It would be tragic to lose
this opportunity to create a truly free society which respects the rights of
the majority, the minority, and the individual. There is still time for orderly
change and peaceful reform. South Africans of good will, black and white,
should seize the moment.
H.R. 4868, which passed over the President's veto on October 2, was assigned
Public Law No. 99 - 440.