April 16, 1998 |
Last-minute hopes of averting a divisive courtroom showdown between former President Pieter W. Botha and a truth commission examining apartheid-era crimes were dashed Wednesday when he rejected a deal negotiated by his lawyers. "Even if they destroy me, they cannot destroy my soul and my convictions," the erstwhile apartheid leader told journalists after his trial got underway in George, his longtime political base. Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond M.
April 7, 1998 |
It costs $7 a year to attend the public school here, a faded red-brick campus where officials can't even afford to mow the playing field. But amid the prickly weeds and teeming anthills, Jacob Sebatane is plotting his future as an international rugby star. Sebatane, 18, got started last year by writing to the South African Rugby Football Union, the game's rich and powerful governing body. I want to play rugby, he wrote, but my school has no money. Can you help?
January 24, 1998 |
A regional judge Friday postponed a criminal hearing for former President Pieter W. Botha, but the 82-year-old champion of racial separation used his much-anticipated court appearance to lecture South Africans about the country's "very dangerous route" under its black leadership. Victor Lugaju, the black magistrate presiding over the case, ordered Botha to return next month to court in George, in the former president's home district, to enter a plea on a contempt charge.
January 23, 1998 |
At the corner of York and Courtenay streets at the center of this erstwhile timber town, museum guard Ben Rasi stands watch over a hand-carved ivory AK-47 rifle, hunting trophies of buffalo, wildebeest and kudu and a dazzling array of gold, silk and other collectibles from around the world. The P. W. Botha Collection, housed in a two-story annex to the George Museum, is the former South African president's grandiose tribute to himself.
January 8, 1998 |
In a highly charged confrontation between South Africa's old and new guard, authorities announced Wednesday that former President Pieter W. Botha will be prosecuted for refusing to testify at a government hearing about crimes of the apartheid era. Regional prosecutor Frank Kahn ordered Botha to appear in court Jan. 23 on charges of ignoring a subpoena from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
February 7, 1997 |
Images reminiscent of South Africa's bitter past reappeared Thursday when mixed-race rioters looted, burned tires and fought police in townships around Johannesburg to protest alleged discrimination by the black-led government. At least one person died, and more than 100 were injured, including six police officers, in the worst racial unrest since President Nelson Mandela defeated Frederik W. de Klerk and came to power in 1994.
October 23, 1996 |
A poster taped to the wall of a steamy City Hall auditorium here warns, "The Truth Hurts, but Silence Kills." But inside the hall, dramatic confessions by a top apartheid police general and five former security police officers to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission suggest the bitter silence of apartheid is finally ending.
October 22, 1996 |
Retired Police Commissioner Gen. Johan van der Merwe testified that officials at the highest levels of the apartheid government planned and sanctioned attacks on its opponents. It was the first testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which top police officials from the former white government confessed to crimes against anti-apartheid groups without first being tried and convicted in court.
October 13, 1996 |
Desmond Tutu has retired as Anglican archbishop, but in many ways the spiritual leader of the anti-apartheid struggle remains South Africa's moral spokesman. So Tutu's comments carried a sharp sting after the politically charged acquittals Friday of the most senior officials ever tried for apartheid-related crimes. Former Defense Minister Magnus Malan and his top military and intelligence chiefs were cleared of 18 murder, attempted murder and conspiracy charges.
October 11, 1996 |
The mass murder and conspiracy case against former Defense Minister Magnus Malan and other top military chiefs of the apartheid regime appeared close to collapse Thursday after a judge acquitted six key defendants and branded the main prosecution witnesses as liars. Full acquittals now seem likely when final verdicts are delivered today in the most significant political trial of the post-apartheid era.