AT 'LEAST 26 leading Catholics, including five priests and two nuns remained in detention in South Africa this week. And other figures, such as top liberation theologian and Dominican Fr Albert Nolan, were in hiding.
But 21 seminarians, held three weeks ago after protesting against the arrest of two of their lecturers at Pietermaritzburg, were reported to have been released.
Those priests still in custody include Fr Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Secretary-General of the Southern African Bishops' Conference. Charges that he unlawfully possessed a firearm have been withdrawn. Also held are Fr Peter Hortop OP. Fr L Saliwa, Fr Gerald Van der Somfele, Fr Motsiri Mosai, Sr Bernard Ncube, and Sr Clare Harkin, OP, according to the latest reports from the Catholic Institute for International Relations.
Meanwhile Anglican clergy in white areas of Cape Town have been ordered by police to evict black refugees who have fled the partially burned out Crossroads squatter camp.
Although the Government says it is committed to eliminating "petty apartheid", it , is trying to remove the refugees on the grounds that blacks are not permitted to live in white-designated areas.
Further reports have come from Church sources of the June battles in Crossroads when conservative vigilantes (so-called witdoeke), allegedly backed up by police, destroyed the homes of thousands in Nyanga bush, Kit and New Crossroads — all areas bordering the main Crossroads camp — where more radical blacks live.
A report entitled The Reality of Crossroads, signed by 40 prominent Protestant clergy, details only incidents actually witnessed by three of the signatories. It claims that police have backed up vigilantes using tear gas, standing aside while they attacked groups of residents.