Students Perspectives on South Africa


At a unique occasion in January 1971 the leaders of diametrically opposed student organisations met for a week in the first research worshop of the Abe Bailey Institute of Interracial Studies at the University of Cape Town.

This book contains the papers presented at this microcosm of South Africas fiercist ideological conflicts - 'verligtes' against 'verkramptes', moderates against extremists, Black Power against White ideals, liberals against conservatives, nationalists against non-nationalists. The workshop was of inestimable value for its very rarity.

The forceful voices of the Black militants are heard in papers by Steve Biko and Barney Pityana, two of the most able Black student leaders of recent years. Their views were described in the press as 'something of a revelation', one report being headed 'Black Power Pleas Rock the Cape'. Not since 1960, when the major African political organisations were banned, has White South Africa been given such acute insights into millitant African opinion South Africa.

Other chapters describe the historical background to Afrikaner-English differences, the development of the Afrikaanse Studentebond, and the breakaway of  the moderate Afrikaans students from this right-wing organisation. Full attention is given to the liberal ideals and programme of the National Union of South African Students, and its failure to meet the aspirations of Black militants.

Seymour Martin Lipset, Professor of Government Sociology at Harvard University and an international authority on student movements, has contributed a perceptive preface, setting these essays in their wider context.

This book will be of to students and to professional historians, political scientists, and sociologists.