Three black political prisoners who fled a hospital and took refuge in the U.S. Consulate five weeks ago walked out free men today after intercession by jailed nationalist leader Nelson Mandela.
The anti-apartheid activists, Murphy Morobe, Mohammed Valli and Vusi Khanyile, left the consulate’s 11th-floor offices in central Johannesburg with a South African government pledge that they will not be rearrested. Mandela had urged the three to put the government’s pledge to the test.
A large crowd greeted the group with shouts of “ Amandla! " (freedom) as the three, dressed in business suits and giving clenched-fist salutes, walked to a waiting car on Johannesburg’s Market Street.
Police armed with truncheons and shotguns were at the scene as the three appeared but made no move to stop or question them.