South Africa I Am Proud to Give My Life

The execution of a poet touches off an angry rampage

The government had been warned that hanging Benjamin Moloise, 30, a black upholsterer and poet, would lead to bloodshed. The U.S. had asked State President P.W. Botha to "take another look" at the planned execution. The Soviet Union, the European Community, the 49-nation Commonwealth of Britain and the U.N. Security Council, among others, had also asked that Moloise's life be spared. But Botha refused all appeals for clemency, and last week, shortly after dawn, Moloise went to the gallows at Pretoria Central Prison. In Washington, White House Spokesman Larry Speakes told reporters: "We hoped that this action would not be taken."

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