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Defense manipulation charged in South Africa

A secret document published Sunday indicated that the South African military had developed plans for intervening in the parliamentary system to help the government increase the defense budget.

It set out plans to manipulate the news media, blunt opposition attacks in Parliament and mute criticism of the government, according to the Johannesburg Sunday Times which printed extracts of the military paper.

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Opposition members of Parliament were incensed. Harry Schwarz, chief opposition spokesman on defense, said that if the report was correct he would demand the resignation of those who had political responsibility.

A South African Defense Force spokesman said Prime minister Pieter Botha, who is also defense minister, had asked to be briefed on the document, "about which he had no knowledge."


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