Black Rage, White Fist

Mass arrests and bloodshed mark South Africa's state of emergency

Day after day, the number of detainees grew--first 500, then 800, finally 1,000. Police jeeps and trucks rumbled through the dusty, despair-ridden black townships that surround South Africa's towns and cities, stopping at this house and that. A man was pulled out here, a woman there. The security forces arrested political activists, church workers, students, labor organizers, youthful militants--anyone, it seemed, who might conceivably lead a protest against the white minority government of State President P.W. Botha. At times the detentions seemed carefully planned, at others indiscriminate: near Johannesburg, 22 bus passengers were taken into custody as they returned from a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!