South Africa: Freedom For a Holdout

Freedom For a Holdout

In the 23 years since they received life sentences for sabotage, the eight men became potent symbols of black resistance to white minority rule. They were all senior members of the African National Congress, the outlawed antiapartheid organization. The only white among them was granted clemency in 1985 after agreeing to renounce violence. The rest refused to accept that condition. Last week Govan Mbeki, 77, became the first black in the group to be freed.

Mbeki emerged from his long incarceration unbowed. "The ideas for which I went to jail and for which the ANC stands," he declared, "I still embrace."...