Main SA union accuses police of harrassment

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(First Edition)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuter) - South Africa's biggest trade union yesterday accused the police of harassment after its leader was arrested for the second time this year on gun possession charges. A spokesman said the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) believed police were targeting Moses Mayekiso, its secretary-general, as part of a campaign against union officials. NUMSA has hundreds of thousands of members, most of them black.

Mr Mayekiso was arrested on Wednesday in Alexandra township after two shooting incidents. He was charged on Thursday with possession of a firearm in an area of unrest and was released on 50 rand (9) bail. He belongs to Nelson Mandela's African National Congress and the South African Communist Party. In May he was arrested and charged with illegally owning two handguns. He said then he carried a gun because of threats to his life and because authorities had not responded to his application for a firearms licence.