Three generals defy De Klerk

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The Independent Online
JOHANNESBURG - Three police generals implicated in a gun- running and hit-squad conspiracy have defied an order by President F W de Klerk to take immediate leave with pay until an international panel investigates the charges, writes Karl Maier.

The generals have used the notorious bureaucracy of South Africa's security establishment to stay at their posts. Under police regulations there should be an exchange of letters with General Johan van der Merwe, the Police Commissioner, one of the main architects of the 1985 state of emergency. He has said the three men are innocent of the conspiracy to arm and train members of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party and his KwaZulu 'homeland' police, to damage the African National Congress and derail South Africa's transition to democracy.

President de Klerk said yesterday that if they did not leave, Hernus Kriel, the Law and Order Minister, would dismiss them.

Chief Buthelezi has met the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission and promised to allow it to set up voting booths and permit other parties to conduct their campaigns in KwaZulu in next month's elections, despite his public call for a boycott of the polls.