A Soviet spy held in South Africa was exchanged for eight Western agents and a South African soldier, Prime Minister P. W. Botha announced. Soviet Major Alexei Mikhailovitch Kozlov had been held by South Africa since July 1980, and was said to be a senior officer in the Soviet intelligence bureau, the KGB.
Mr. Botha told Parliament the exchange took place in Europe, following secret and protracted negotiations over many months. He said that among those released in exchange was South African soldier Johan van der Mescht, held in Angola since February 1978.
Mr. Botha gave no details of how or where the Soviet agent had been arrested, but said his job ''was to assess the damage caused by the activities of other organs of his government, notably those organs which train, finance, indoctrinate, maintain, and arm terrorist groups like the ANC (the outlawed black nationalist African National Congress), SWAPO (the South West Africa People's Organization) and others in southern Africa.''