Stir mounts over death of S. African labor leader


Controversy is growing over the death in jail of a white South African trade union leader after Helen Suzman, an opposition politician, said he had been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Mrs. Suzman read a letter from an unidentified detainee which alleged that Dr. Neil Aggett had been stripped and beaten. Police said Dr. Aggett, the Transvaal secretary of a Black Workers' Union, who was found dead in his cell Feb. 6, committed suicide. It was the first death of a white man in security police custody.

Meanwhile, a new government report on the mass media in South Africa calls for severe limitations on the ownership of newspapers and on their employees - a move that could spell the end to press freedom here. It recommends making it illegal for any individual to own more than 1 percent of a newspaper and would license employees of the mass media.

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