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S. AFRICA FREES PROMINENT ANTI-APARTHIED ACTIVISTS

Seven prominent anti-apartheid leaders detained for almost three years without charge were released from prison this week. Taken into custody in 1986 at the beginning of the current state of emergency, all had joined hunger strikes by detainees earlier this year.

Among those released Wednesday were the Rev. Sipho Gogola of the Interdenominational Ministers Association of Southern Africa; Lulu Johnson, former president of the Congress of South African Students; and Denis Neer, an official with the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

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All seven have held top positions in anti-apartheid groups around Port Elizabeth, one of the most militant black areas in the country. However, the highest-ranking opposition leaders in the area remain in detention.