South Africa's state-run radio has urged black leaders to accept President P.W. Botha's offer to negotiate the country's political future with him and said Archbishop Desmond Tutu should be included in the talks.
Radio South Africa echoes government views and its implicit recognition of Bishop Tutu as a representative of black opinion came as a surprise.
The radio has often advised Bishop Tutu, the anti-apartheid activist and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, to stay out of politics.
Mr. Botha's appeal to black leaders was made in full-page advertisements published in major English and Afrikaans Sunday newspapers.
Yesterday, Radio South Africa quoted comments made by Bishop Tutu last week in Trinidad that not all non-violent options for change in South Africa have been exhausted. "The new initiative...by the state President is precisely one viable option for Archbishop Tutu and others," it said.
Bishop Tutu, who is visiting the United States, usually supports the views of the African National Congress, which has waged a 26-year armed campaign against white rule.
In Tokyo, an executive of the ANC dismissed Mr. Botha's appeal for talks.
Paul Raveloson, one of 30 executives of the Lusaka-based ANC, told a press conference: "The recent call by Botha to hold talks with moderate black leaders cannot save the nation from the crisis."
Mr. Raveloson, in Japan for two weeks at the invitation of the Japan Asia, African and Latin American Solidarity Committee, said: "The ANC is not opposed to negotiations. But a certain climate must be built up before negotiations.
"We think such a climate will come into existence if Botha takes three or four steps."
Mr. Raveloson said the Government must release political prisoners including ANC leader Nelson Mandela, recognize the ANC as a legitimate organization, lift the state of emergency and declare publicly it is ready to negotiate.
In Johannesburg yesterday, trade union sources said the leader of a black South African trade union involved in a long, violent dispute with state employers, has been detained by police.
They said Justice Langa, president of the South African Railway and Harbor Workers' Union, was picked up by a plainclothes policeman outside a Johannesburg building housing several anti-apartheid organizations.
(text of May 27, 1987 Globe and Mail article)