Crocodile Fears

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South Africans still tread warily around the aging "crocodile," which is why when P.W. Botha appeared in court today, the authorities didn't know what to do with him. Former president Botha -- known as "the big crocodile" because of his harsh methods -- appeared on contempt charges arising from his refusal to testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigating apartheid-era crimes. Even though the 82-year-old patriarch remains unapologetic about apartheid, authorities are likely to cut Botha a deal involving some form of private testimony, says TIME Johannesburg bureau chief Peter Hawthorne: "He's too old and infirm to be put in jail."

It's not only Botha's victims who want to see him called to account: "The hit men from the old security forces who are serving prison sentences are outraged that they've had to take a fall while their leader has gotten away with it," says Hawthorne. Now the hit men want to see some crocodile tears.