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S. African Whites Told to Evict Blacks Seeking Sanctuary

June 23, 1986|From Times Wire Services

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Authorities bulldozed sections of the demolished Crossroads squatter camp today and began ordering whites to evict the camp's black refugees from churches and schools in white areas where they have sought shelter.

An Anglican clergyman, the Rev. Geoff Quinlan, said police arrived at his All Saints Church in Cape Town's white suburb of Plumstead today and gave him a summons to appear in court on charges of "harboring blacks."

More than 60 women and children have found shelter in his church's hall and Quinlan was ordered to evict them.

"I can pay an admission of guilt fine of 300 Rand ($175) on proof that the blacks have left," Quinlan said. "I am not going to do anything. I will not pay the fine and I am not going to move the people off."

Aid workers said most of the squatters appeared intent on defying a government order to leave the white areas today.

Barred From Entering

Police Col. Chris Swart said Sunday that no one would be allowed to enter sections of the Crossroads camp that were burned to the ground in battles between rival black groups vying for control of the settlement. At least 65 people were killed and up to 8,000 shanties burned in battles at the camp last month and earlier this month. About 70,000 people were left homeless.

An aid worker said Sunday's order barring entry to razed sections of the camp appeared aimed at preventing squatters from rebuilding shanties there.

In the Natal province city of Pietermaritzburg, the government today dropped all charges against four anti-apartheid activists who had been on trial for treason since October, marking the total collapse of a 13-month-old case that initially involved 16 defendants.

Natal Atty. Gen. Michael Imber gave no reason for requesting that the case be halted.

Other Charges Dropped

Charges were dropped against Thozimile Gqweta, president of the South African Allied Workers Union, and three other leaders of the union. The four had been accused of high treason for allegedly furthering the African National Congress' campaign to topple the government.

Charges against 12 other activists arrested in the case in May, 1985, including top leaders of the United Democratic Front anti-apartheid coalition, were dropped in December.

In London, the British government reversed its policy today by inviting ANC President Oliver Tambo to have talks with a Foreign Office minister. There was no immediate word from Tambo, who is in London. Until now, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government has shunned the ANC on grounds that it engages in terrorist activities.

Officials said two blacks were killed by fellow blacks Sunday, bringing the toll to 57 in 11 days of the nationwide state of emergency.

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