fifty years ago January 29, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (January 29, 1971): Churches against apartheid(From an Editorial)

While the British Premier, Mr. Heath, is busy asserting his Government’s right to sell arms to South Africa, Mr. Vorster’s regime is going on with its ruthless implementation of apartheid. It has now attacked important members of both the Anglican and Catholic churches. The Dean of Johannesburg has been imprisoned for his outspoken attacks on racialism and the Government is preparing to expel Father Cosmas Desmond who wrote a book underlining the horrors of resettlement of people according to the colour of their skin. The Father wants to go to London to visit his parents and the Government is not willing to grant him a visa to return. But if he stays on, he may find himself in prison pretty soon under one or the other of South Africa’s apartheid laws. Apart from this, the security police is closely watching all churches where priests with conscience are looking out for opportunities to permit inter-racial worship of God. Africans have been turned away from “whites only” churches, and “coloured” clergymen of the Dutch Reformed Mission have been specially warned not to do any propaganda against segregation. Apart from all this religious apartheid the Government has also moved against some whites in an Orange Free State small town for alleged intimacy with African women, though when one of the arrested committed suicide, it withdrew the cases against the others.

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