The world this week

Wednesday June 5: With the help of 56 Republicans who ignored the pleas of their President and crossed the floor, the US Congress overwhelmingly approved a bill imposing partial sanctions on South Africa. But President Reagan retains the right to a last word on the subject — he may still veto the bill.

Thursday June 6: Unita’s Jonas Savimbi hosted a secret, but very public get-together of right-wing guerilla groups from around the world. Organised by Citizens for America (with help from the local National Student Federation), the bush gathering was attended by leaders of the Nicaraguan contras, the Afghan Mujahedin and the Ethnics Liberation Organisation of Laos. They signed a joint Declaration of the Democratic International. As part of the continuing clashes between UDF and Azapo members, the Port Elizabeth house of journalist Mona Bbadela was fire-bombed. [See story on clashes, PAGE 11]

The children of two widows of Saul Mkhize, the Driefontein anti-removal leader shot dead by a policeman last year, were granted an out-of court settlement of R38 000 by the Minister of Law and Order.

Saturday/Sunday June 8/9: South Africa’s emerging trade unions met in Soweto to continue their protected unity talks, now in their fourth year. No statement was released, but another meeting is due to take place next week in Johannesburg.

Monday June 10: The government announced that it was relaxing certain restrictions on the movements of blacks with urban rights. The qualifying period for blacks living in urban areas was reduced from 15 to ten years. The right of Section 10 blacks to move from one area to another was also extended. Opposition groups were sceptical about the overall value of such improvements. (See story on PAGE 6 “Influx reforms ‘piecemeal”)

Monday June 10: Nominations took place for the Zimbabwe elections. Prime Minister Robert Mugabe appeared set to repeat his victory of 1981. Doubts were raised over the candidacies of Abel Muzarewa and Ndabaninge Sithole. (See story on page 6 “The cock and the bull show”)

Monday/Tuesday, June 11: The UDF and the National Forum announced a special June 16 committee to coordinate commemoration services. They announced that — as a sign of mutual respect they will hold a joint service at Regina Mundi on Sunday.

Monday, June 10: Norway announced that it would restrict trade with South Africa. The move could disrupt vital shipments of crude oil to South Africa.

Tuesday, June 11: Twenty-two people — including two of the UDF’s most senior staffers appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of high treason. The charges relate to the unrest in the Vaal Triangle last year and suggest that the UDF played a key role in the unrest. The 22 “, refused bail, but intend to appear against the decision. (See story PAGE 3).

The Kannemeyer Report on the Uitenhage shootings was tabled Parliament. The report concluded that the shootings could have been avoided if police had not interfered with funeral arrangements before the shooting. The PFP said report was a devastating indictment, of the police. The UDF said it was a “whitewash”.

Wednesday June 12: Hand grenades were thrown at the houses of two Labour Party MP’s, Mr Luwellyn Landers and Mr Fred Peters and the Langa police station a came under attack. The “Western Cape Suicide Squad” claimed responsibility for the attacks on the MPs.

Wednesday June 12: The UDF claimed at a Press conference that it had uncovered a plot by white mercenaries to abduct political leaders. On their hit list were Desmond Tutu, Frank Chikane, Percy Qoboza, Amanda Kwadi, Sath Cooper, George Wauchope and others.

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