The consul for the South African government in Los Angeles, Hank Roodt, told skeptical students at Utah State University that political reform was under way in his country.
"Reform has started and the day will come before long when white domination fades from the political scene," Roodt said Wednesday, reiterating a theme he addressed at Weber State College earlier this week.Members of USU's Students Against Apartheid have urged the school's institutional council to withdraw investments from companies doing business in South Africa.
But Roodt said, "Divestiture and sanctions hurt the very people they are intended to help."
He said sanctions reduce employment and business opportunities for the nation's majority black population and. He said `sanctions imposed by the United States in 1986 have caused the loss of more than 200,000 jobs, most of them held by blacks.
Roodt suggested a better alternative would be to "put your money where your mouths are" by investing in black-owned and managed businesses in South Africa.
Local elections were held in South Africa in October 1988. Roodt said that although black voter turnout was only around 25 percent, the elections illustrate democracy is beginning.