South Africa Students Clash With Police; Denmark Curbs Trade
Police used whips, fired tear gas and arrested more than 50 people Friday as college students, both white and black, staged anti-government protests in South Africa’s two biggest cities.
At the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, confrontations between students and riot police flared in some of the worst political violence ever at one of the country’s predominantly white colleges.
Police said 48 Witwatersrand students and staff members, both blacks and whites, were arrested while marching toward a nearby police station to protest the arrest of a black student Thursday.
In Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, more than 100 white women fanned out Friday to stage picket protests against new security legislation giving police broad new powers to contain unrest.
In Cape Town, five arrests were reported as more than 100 students demonstrated in the downtown shopping district against today’s Republic Day holiday, when the nation observes the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of South Africa after it broke with the British Commonwealth.
President Pieter W. Botha, whose cautious program of racial reforms has been under attack from both left and right, is scheduled to dedicate a reconstructed park today in Cape Town.
Meanwhile in Copenhagen, the Danish Parliament voted Friday to prohibit Danish investment in and trade with South Africa in protest against apartheid.
Passed by Denmark’s Folketing on a 76-5 vote with 65 abstentions, the restrictions are the strongest in a series of measures imposed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland in an attempt to isolate the Pretoria regime.
Friday’s decision by Parliament was taken against the wishes of the country’s Conservative-led minority coalition, which abstained in the final vote.
“The trade ban leads to unemployment in Denmark without causing any damage to South Africa,” Prime Minister Poul Schlueter said during Friday’s debate.