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Strauss Welcomed in South Africa

January 20, 1988 GMT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ South African officials today welcomed Franz Josef Strauss, a West German politician whose visit has been condemned by anti-apartheid groups in his country.

Strauss, the governor of Bavaria, opposes economic sanctions against South Africa. He was scheduled to meet today with President P.W. Botha, travel to Mozambique on Thursday and return to South Africa on Friday.

Strauss arrived at Cape Town’s airport aboard a West German air force plane and was greeted by Foreign Minister Roelof Botha.

Strauss is leader of tht government of neighboring Mozambique.

Relations between Mozambique and South Africa are strained by Mozambique’s contention that South Africa supports rebels of the Mozambique National Resistance. South Africa denies helping the rebels.

At the airport, Strauss said his trip would give him ″an objective assessment″ of the region, but he declined to give details of his mission.

He said he would meet with religious, political and labor leaders of all races while in South Africa, but he mentioned no names.

Opposition leaders in West Germany have demanded that Strauss meet with anti-apartheid leaders and raise human rights issues during his trip. Otherwise, they said, the trip might convey the message that West Germany had little concern for South Africa’s black majority.

Under apartheid, South Africa is a racially segregated society in which the 26 million blacks have no vote in national affairs. The 5 million whites control the economy and maintain separate districts, schools and health services.