Like the vague charge of "vagrancy" in the hands of a determined U.S. cop, South Africa's Suppression of Communism Act provides Premier Johannes Strydom with a handy gimmick for arresting anybody he deems undesirable. The difference is that a hoodlum pulled in by a U.S. cop can usually get free in the morning.

One day last week, using the Suppression of Communism Act as their excuse, the special security police charged with imposing Strydom's will on his country swooped down on scores of homes throughout the cities of South Africa and arrested 140 people: clergymen, trade unionists, doctors, lawyers and private...

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