S. Africa Police at Funerals Use New Mild Policy

From Times Wire Services

Police Saturday followed the South African government’s new hands-off policy toward protest, keeping a low profile as hundreds of dissidents buried a 5-year-old girl and two youths they say were shot by police.

Riot police in an armored vehicle followed the half-mile-long funeral procession of 13-year-old Patrick Muller to a cemetery in Cape Town’s mixed-race Belleville South township. They made no effort to intervene.

In nearby Khayelitsha township, 600 mourners buried a 5-year-old girl, Nomthunzi Matshebelele, and Mlungiseleli Qhathazana, an 18-year-old boy, both killed by gunfire.

President Frederik W. de Klerk, who set the tone last week by allowing anti-apartheid protest marches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, announced a major reshuffle of his 17-member Cabinet on Saturday night that appeared tailored to the political reforms and power-sharing negotiations with blacks he has promised. De Klerk kept only six members from the current Cabinet.