'Eminent Persons' Call for Stricter Sanctions against South Africa

Article excerpt

Sanctions against South Africa have been routinely flouted, often with the collusion of the countries that were themselves signatories to those agreements, an 11-member Panel of Eminent Persons concluded at public hearings on activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) in South Africa and Namibia (Geneva, 4-6 September).

The General Assembly, they stated, should thoroughly investigate such abuses and publicize the countries and companies involved.

Among the Panel's other recommendations:

* The mandatory arms embargo must be substantially strengthened, particularly with regard to "dual-use" items and technology transfer.

* Much closer official monitoring of oil flows to South Africa is required.

* A mandatory ban on imports of South African coal by all UN Member States should be instituted.

* Export of machine tools and capital equipment to South Africa should be banned.

* A comprehensive data base on financial flows into and out of South Africa should be developed, and mandatory disinvestment legislation should be broadened.

The three-day hearings, under the aegis of the UN Commission on TNCs, were convened at the request of the Economic and Social Council to examine the process of change that is under way in South Africa and to investigate international ion to accelerate the abolition of apartheid and to contribute towards the better functioning of post-apartheid society in South Africa.

The Panel heard a wide variety of views from representatives of Governments, the South African business community, trade union leaders, church organizations and the academic community. …