Law: Taking Apartheid to Court

With U.S. help, legal activism is on the rise in South Africa

In the conservative farm belt of South Africa's eastern Transvaal, Jotham Zwane, a local black leader and successful hauling contractor, was becoming a problem for whites in neighboring Amsterdam. After leading a protest in his township, he was arrested and released. But later, when his home and three trucks mysteriously burned one night, he was rearrested, convicted of being "idle and undesirable" and banished from the area. The local authorities then moved to seize his land and what was left of his house.

For most black South Africans, such a story would have ended in forcible dispossession. In Zwane's case, his...

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