by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

Most Americans have heard of Lech Walesa and Poland’s Solidarity movement; few Americans have heard of Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s African National Congress.

The U.S. media have provided substantial coverage to Walesa’s heroic fight against a communist society; they have provided little coverage to Manela’s equally heroic fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa — a symbol of racist oppression for many Americans and other people throughout the world.

Despite international ostracism for its racist policies, some 600 North American companies continue to do business with South Africa with U.S. investments estimated at about $10 billion; despite a 1982 U.N. resolution outlawing export of dangerous products to other countries, the Upjohn Company reportedly still provides the South Africa regime with U.S. outlawed drug, Depo Provera; despite the potential for nuclear confrontation and holocaust, blest Germany, Israel and the U.S. provide South Africa with nuclear technology.

In September, 1983, the State Department approved an application by Westinghouse to bid on a $50 million ten-year contract to maintain and supply South Africa’s two nuclear stations. Western intelligence sources believe that South Af’rica is capable of producing nuclear weapons and that it may have tested a nuclear device in the South Atlantic in 1979.

One reason few Americans may have heard about Nelson Mandela, the widely respected political leader in South Africa, may be because of the official and unofficial relationship between South Africa and Washington, D.C. South Africa spends considerable sums of money to maintain those relationships.

Justice Department documents show that 31 agents, some with close ties to the Reagan administration, now represent South African interests in the United States, compared with 22 in 1979. The Department’s records reveal that South African lobbying strategy embraces a wide array of social and official contacts on Capitol Hill and in the Reagan administration.

Baskin & Sears, a prominent Pittsburgh law firm, has been paid half a million dollars since 1981for its services to South Africa. The firm is head by Philip Baskin, a Mondale fund-raiser, and John P. Sears, the original director of Reagan’s 1980 campaign.


i.d.a.f. NEWS NOTES, published by the U.S. Committee of the International Defense and Aid Fund for Southern Africa, October, 1983; DAILY WORLD, 9/15/83, “South Africa, Poland, and the U.S. Press,” by Tafataona P. Mahoso; WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL WEEKLY EDITION, 3/26/84, “South Africa’s Capital Connections.,” by Rick Atkinson.