Prime Minister Pieter Botha electrified the South African Parliament by calling a general election and announcing the arrest of an alleged Soviet spy. Mr. Botha's announcement of the April 29 election ended mounting speculation as to his intentions of combating a looming split in the governing National Party over racial reforms and a record number of vacant parliamentary seats.
Earlier the prime minister has announced the arrest of a man he said was a senior Soviet intelligence officer, Maj. Alexei M. Kozlov. Shortly before making the announcement, Mr. Botha said, "The Russians are determined to get control of South Africa's mineral wealth." It is only the second time the fiercely anticommunist South African government has announced the arrest of a Soviet spy.