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S. Africa Drops Charges Against Anaheim Man

Times Staff Writer

Charges of interfering with police officers were dropped Thursday in Cape Town, South Africa, against Ronald S. Minor of Anaheim, one of five U.S. citizens arrested last weekend during a nationwide state of emergency, according to his father.

U.S. State Department spokesman Bruce Ammerman said he was unaware that the charges had been dropped against Minor, but added, “That’s good news.”

Ammerman said three of the four other Americans arrested last week have been released.

Benton L. Minor, a music professor at California State University, Fullerton, said his son telephoned Thursday to say that he had been to court and that all charges against him and a female companion had been dropped.

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Aided Screaming Woman

On June 14, Minor and a female companion had gone to the aid of a black woman who was screaming for help as she was being forced into an automobile by two white men, the elder Minor said.

The men turned out to be police officers in civilian clothes. Minor and his companion, a South African citizen whose name was not available, were held a few hours, then released on their own recognizance.

Minor, a trombonist in the Cape Town Symphony, has lived in South Africa for almost three years.

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A Villa Park High School graduate who attended Cal State Fullerton, Minor originally moved to South Africa to take a job with an orchestra in Durban. He returned to Anaheim in January, but went to Cape Town in April for a job with that city’s symphony.

Identify Missionary

The fifth American, whose identity was withheld by the State Department, was identified Friday as Charles R. Zechman, 50, a missionary, originally from Lewisburg, Pa., and a resident of South Africa since 1981.


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