S. Africa Won't Allow U.S. Lawmakers to See Mandela

January 07, 1986|Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The government today refused permission for a U.S. congressional delegation to meet with jailed guerrilla leader Nelson Mandela as part of the lawmakers' four-day, fact-finding tour.

"No visit will be allowed," Prisons Service Col. Andries van Vuuren told Associated Press by telephone.

No reason was given, but the government has said it does not allow politicians to meet with Mandela, who is held in Cape Town's Pollsmoor Prison.

Van Vuuren said he believed that the government's decision had been relayed to the six Americans, four of whom are blacks.

The U.S. delegation is made up of black Reps. William H. Gray (D-Pa.), Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), Charles A. Hayes (D-Ill.) and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), and white Reps. Peter H. Kostmayer (D-Pa.) and Lynn Martin (R-Ill.).

They had said when they arrived late Monday that they hoped to visit Mandela, serving a life term in prison for his 1964 conviction of plotting sabotage to end white rule.

Also today, firings were suspended at the world's second-largest platinum mine, where 20,000 black workers were dismissed Monday after a five-day walkout over wages. The strike was termed illegal by management. (Story on Page 6.)

General Mining Union Corp., owners of the Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. mine in the nominally independent black homeland of Bophuthatswana, said it did not follow through on a Monday threat to fire another 10,000 today.

The corporation said 7,000 of the remaining 10,000 reported for work and no action had been taken against the 3,000 remaining off the job.

The Impala platinum mines near Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, produce about 40% of South Africa's platinum.

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