Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : Anaheim Man Freed From South African Jail : COUNTY
An Orange County man found himself in a jail in Cape Town, South Africa, last week but was released after charges were dropped.
Ronald S. Minor, 31, of Anaheim, recently traveled to South Africa for a job playing the trombone in a symphony orchestra. On June 14, Minor said, he tried to aid a black woman who was screaming for help as two white men forced her into an automobile. Minor said he repeatedly asked the men for identification and was finally told they were police officers.
Minor said he and his South African companion were arrested and detained for several hours for allegedly interfering with police during South Africa’s nationwide state of emergency.
“It made me think,” Minor said in a transatlantic telephone interview. “I broke no law and I just wonder what they would have done if I were black. I am white and I know I am privileged here.”
Minor was one of five U.S. citizens arrested last week in South Africa.
Minor said he will decide soon whether the incident has influenced him enough to leave the country.
His father, Benton L. Minor, a Cal State Fullerton music professor, said that although his son does not particularly care for the treatment of blacks in South Africa, he is not involved in any political opposition group in that country.
“He’s really too much into his music to be involved in political activities,” the father said.
Meanwhile, U.S. State Department officials said they were unaware that charges against Minor had been dropped and that three of the four other Americans arrested during last weekend’s turbulence have been freed.