Letter from Bill Sutherland To Dave Elder
by American Friends Service Committee
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Undated, persumably mid to late March 1975 or a little later
Copy of a letter from Bill Sutherland to Dave Elder dated March 1, 1975 that was circulated by Jim Bristol of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Sutherland discusses meetings with President Kaunda, ANC (S.A.) representatives, and Paul Hopkins of the Presbyterian Church. When he presented his credentials to Kaunda, Kaunda said he approved the LAD program and regarded the this program and the ISD as necessary and complementary. Sutherland asked for updates about specific actions such as the campaign against IBM, Coalition activities, and repeal of the Byrd amendment. The African National Congress (S.A.) is anxious that the campaign for the release all political detainees be stepped up with emphasis on Abram Fischer, who has become paralyzed. The ANC also is tying the release of female political prisoners with international woman's year. The ANC points out that, while Vorster is urging Ian Smith to release prisoners, he is detaining more people himself. Major questions surfacing are: 1. Will the non-white population inside South Africa be sacrificed by the so-called détente? 2. Will the present negotiations result in a neo-colonial solution for Zimbabwe with whites retaining economic control? 3. Does a detente with South Africa mean a resumption of economic relations which, given the present economic balance, points towards a vassal relationship for most of the black states? Central Africa is approaching South Africa for economic support. There is some resentment by the liberation leaders because they think leaders of state are playing too dominant a role. Lesotho has attacked Zambia for being "soft." Vorster is being attacked by his right wing, and there is supposed to be a secret group planning to assassinate him. Vorster is being more ruthless in dealing both with students, the Black Peoples' Convention, and his own right wing. The letter mentions the Lusaka Manifesto and Sékou Touré.
Used by permission of American Friends Service Committee.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root