JOHANNESBURG : Tardy in South Africa

Despite frenzied, last-minute efforts, the South African government isn't going to make its deadline today for granting indemnity to political exiles and freeing political prisoners.

So far, the government has freed 650 prisoners and promised not to prosecute 4,000 exiles. It says it still is considering amnesty applications from 200 prisoners, but the ANC counts 1,300 political prisoners whom it says should be freed immediately.

As yet, President Frederik W. de Klerk has not released anyone convicted of crimes involving murder or serious injury--a category the ANC believes is covered by the definition of political prisoner. Government officials say those cases will be referred to a judicial committee responsible for making recommendations to de Klerk.

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