ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Oct 19, 1977
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(South Africa) Recent mos. of relative press freedom and relative freedom for black orgs. ends in South Africa. Govt. closes down 2nd largest daily newspaper, "The World", which is black paper, and detains edition; 18 black orgs. are banned and number of black leaders are arrested. Among orgs. banned are those for black unity and leadership in Soweto; typical of leaders arrested is Natato Matlana. (Film of Matlana shown, as he spoke at memorial for dead black leader Steve Biko.] At center of crackdown is justice minister James Kruger. [KRUGER - says government adamant about clearing up country once and for all and reaching point of total stability, so normal lives can go on as before.] Though crowds aren't stirred up by actions, some white students protest and some are arrested; newspapers will be almost unanimous in denouncing government action, especially closings of newspaper. M.A. Johnson is editor-in-chief of "The Citizen", conservative and frequently pro-government newspaper. [JOHNSON - reads from Thursday's lead editorial, which says it's sad day for press in South Africa with closing of 2 papers, "The World" and "The Weekend World.] World's" sister paper for whites, "The Star", calls government action sign of failure; if other reaction is this strong, government may have to back down, or it could mean fewer newspapers in South Africa.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
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