Right-wingers, planning to create a new international organisation, are trying to lure such names as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Jacques Chirac to an elaborate R280 000 conference in Johannesburg next month.
Their plan is to launch an international right-wing students’ federation called “Youth for Freedom”. This ‘choice of name links the new group to the ultra-conservative “Citizens for Freedom”, an American organisation that was behind the gathering of right-wing guerrillas in Jamba southern Angola, two weeks ago.
At that meeting were four organisations which shared the broad aim of overthrowing their governments: Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Laos and Angola. It was not only Savimbi’s army, the foreign visitors and the press corps who attended, however; Russell Crystal, president of the “moderate” National Students’ Federation, hosts of next month’s proposed conference, was there too.
It seems that Southern Africa is becoming a conference venue for expensive international get-togethers of right-wing organisations. Those setting up the new group have asked Nobel Prize-winning writer Solzhenitsyn, American diplomat Kirkpatrick, and French centre-right leader Chirac to address the conference.
Local figures who have also been approached include the State President P W Botha, and the Inkatha leader, Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. Crystal was in the USA this week making arrangements for the launch. He was not available for comment. About 100 delegates from 55 countries have been invited to attend the conference, which is to be held in Johannesburg from July 14 to July 17. Total cost of the venture will be about R280 000-R200 000 alone in air fares and R50 000 in hotel accommodation.
The Weekly Mail has been led to understand that not much of this money will come from membership dues of students belonging to the NSF and that its exact Santos is something of a mystery. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be helping with ultra-sophisticated translation facilities.