South Africa: Avoiding Martyrdom

To some South Africans it seemed that world opinion had finally taken effect on their nation's stubborn racist masters. Eight men accused of membership in the revolutionary Umkonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) group had been convicted of sabotage, a crime that carries the death penalty. But last week the eight—six black, one white and an Indian—were sentenced to life imprisonment. Another white defendant was acquitted but immediately rearrested on other charges.

Black leaders elsewhere in Africa denounced the life sentences as inhuman, but the fact remains that the outcome could...

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