Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Situation in South Africa

March 13, 1986

In congressional testimony yesterday, Chet Crocker agreed to an assertion by Congressman Wolpe that, in a general sense, the ANC [African National Congress] is one of many organizations engaged in a struggle for freedom in South Africa. They are using a variety of means. Crocker also noted our longstanding opposition to the policy of violence of the ANC and our concerns about that organization's ties to the Soviet Union.

On majority rule: We have consistently called for a system of government that recognizes the rights of all South Africans, including political rights. The South African Government itself has recently acknowledged the need to provide for universal suffrage. It's up to South Africans to negotiate a constitution. A truly democratic constitution by definition provides for majority rule with protection for minority rights.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 9:26 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. Chester A. Crocker was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.