South Africa Unexpected Courtroom Triumph

Pretoria drops treason charges against twelve activists

Grinning broadly, their fists clenched in the air, six United Democratic Front leaders were greeted with cheers and shouts by the crowd that had gathered at Johannesburg's Central Methodist Church. As the leaders were embraced by Nobel Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu, six other U.D.F. members received a similar reception 300 miles away in the coastal city of Durban. The occasion: the unexpected dismissal of treason charges against the twelve by the South African government. Though four of the 16 people on trial still face charges, the collapse of the case against most of them was a rare victory for opponents of...

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