Director of TransAfrica to speak at NIU

By Julie Listek

NIU students and faculty can get a look at South Africa Nov. 20 when the executive director of the TransAfrica Organization speaks on the topic, “Update on Conditions of the Apartheids in South Africa.”

TransAfrica is a non-profit organization concerned with human and political rights of those living in Africa.

Executive Director Randall Robinson will speak at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Student Center’s Carl Sandburg Auditorium. The program is sponsored by the Black Graduate Student Association.

Center for Black Studies Director Admasu Zike said Robinson is one of the most qualified people to speak at the program because he “single-handedly led the fight against the apartheid and is responsible for the removal of Mandella from jail.”

“In 1984 Robinson was and still is a point man in creating sanctions on South Africa,” said Don-Terry Veal, Black Graduate Student Association president. “He just came back from South Africa so he will give us a birds-eye view on what is going on since the new policies of Bush’s Administration in South Africa.”

Robinson will lead discussions in topics such as the U.S. involvement with apartheids, the present conditions in South Africa because of this and the reinvestment policies of the Reagan and Bush Administrations.

The reinvestment policies, which deal with the Bush Administration, are part of the lifting of sanctions that occured when South African Leader Nelson Mandella was released from prison.

Because sanctions were lifted, the United States is now allowed to sell services and goods to South Africa once again. Before these sanctions were lifted, the U.S. was not allowed to do this.

Zike said Robinson feels the decision to lift sanctions was premature because South Africa has not proved worthy to deserve this.

“South Africa is the only country one human can be legally discriminated against,” Zike said. “I feel the Bush Administration’s decision has given comfort to the biggest biggots and racists, because he (Bush) is a symbolic figure that may be giving people the wrong message.”