South Africa Bashing Heads Before Balloting

The government cracks down hard on the eve of elections

"Go to blazes!" That was South African Defense Minister Magnus Malan's response last week to those who criticized his army's latest commando raid into black-ruled Zambia. The soldiers had allegedly attacked installations of the outlawed African National Congress, South Africa's largest black political movement. But Malan's angry words, uttered only days before South Africa's white voters were set to go to the polls this week, epitomized the attitude of State President P.W. Botha's government toward all opposition, both domestic and international.

The raid into Zambia, where South African soldiers killed five people in the town of Livingstone, near Victoria Falls, undoubtedly...

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