by David K. Leonard, American Friends Service Committee
Berkeley, California, United States
June 8, 1978
Publisher: American Friends Service Committee
4 pages
Type: Testimony
Coverage in Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
David Leonard, chairman of the Southern Africa Sub-committee of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in this region, is also Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. AFSC has had staff in Southern Africa continually since 1957--first in Rhodesia and then in Zambia--working for a peaceful and just solution to the region's racial problems. Leonard’s involvement began in 1963 when he was hired by the Salisbury, Rhodesia YMCA to organize multi-racial programs, and he went on to work at the YMCA in Kitwe, Zambia and then taught at the Universities of Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Leonard says that the Republic of South Africa being a racist and oppressive government is unquestioned, and there is a very wide coalition of U.S. churches urging divestment from corporations that invest there. AFSC is a partner in this call for divestment, with the National Council of Churches, the United States Catholic Conference, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the United Presbyterian Church of the USA, the United Methodist Church and others. This moral judgement is relevant to the decision of the Board as fiduciary trustees of a constitutionally secular institution. This is because investments in South Africa are not sound in the long run; if Americans continue to invest in South Africa, we run the serious risk that their assets will be held hostage to the white political system and that U.S. businessmen will request U.S. military involvement against African liberation forces. Also, divestment is one of the few remaining instruments of pressure that offer any prospect of peaceful change in the region. The testimony mentions the renaming of the Ministry of Bantu Administration to the Ministry of Plural Relations, European civilization, dissenters, the crime of so-called terrorism, the charge sheet of Sipho Buthelezi,  the forces of African national freedom, Western democracy, Judeo-Christian heritage, South African black leaders, the white establishment, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa William Bowdler, employees of U.S. firms in Port Elizabeth, the Polaroid Corporation, U.S. business executives, and Black economic progress.
Used by permission of American Friends Service Committee.
Collection: Miloanne Hecathorn papers