Mercenaries: No Grounding the Geese

South Africa spares the leaders of a coup attempt

The atmosphere in the Pretoria courtroom last week was hardly serious. The five defendants, decked out in colorful beach shirts and khakis, smiled and waved to security policemen as they appeared briefly in the dock to be freed on bail. They had good reason to be happy. Despite international anger, the South African government opted to deal lightly, almost casually, with their crime: the hijacking of an Air India jetliner the previous week, after an abortive attempt to overthrow the socialist government of Seychelles....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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