South Africa: Immaculate Confinement

So sweeping are South Africa's penal codes that almost everything is against the law. Under the Prisons Act, for example, it is a criminal offense to "misrepresent" conditions in South African jails—which the Verwoerd government, of course, adjudges to be always immaculate. Last week, a court in Durban agreed. After a four-month trial, Magistrate M. E. Goodhead found Harold Strachan, 40, a bearded art teacher who has served three years as a political prisoner, guilty of building an "edifice of lies" about prison brutality. To improve its case against Strachan, the government...

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