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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
SA right-wingers 'tortured by rap'
Album cover for Kwaito group, TKZee
Kwaito is a South African mix of house, hip-hop and traditional rhythms
A group of alleged white extremists facing treason charges in South Africa has complained about being forced to listen to "black" music while on remand in prison.

The men are being held in Pretoria's C-Max prison, where Metro FM radio station is played throughout the day.

The BBC's Hilary Andersson in Johannesburg says Metro FM plays extremely loud music, including Rhythm and Blues, rap and South African kwaito, aimed at a young black audience.

Lawyers for several of the 22 men on trial said this was a form of "psychological torture".

Some of my clients have suffered breakdowns
Paul Kruger
Defence lawyer
"We have men sitting here in tears and who are busy cracking," attorney Rudi Lubbe, told the Pretoria High Court on behalf of his client Tom Vorster.

The men are accused of involvement in attacks on government installations on behalf of a white supremacist organisation, the Boeremag or Afrikaner Force.

Defective sound system

"The music resounds through the halls all day," said another lawyer, Paul Kruger.

"Some of my clients have suffered breakdowns, which affect their ability to stand trial."

Frederick Johannes Naude, one of the accused, arrives at court
The trial has been repeatedly delayed

The lawyers said that prison authorities had refused to take any notice of their clients' complaints.

Judge Eben Jordaan refused to make a ruling without hearing both sides of the story.

The matter was adjourned for the court sound system to be repaired after the accused, legal counsel and the judge complained they could not hear each other, reports the South African Press Association.

The trial was supposed to start in May but has been repeatedly postponed.

Last month, a judge refused a request to make South Africa's last white President FW de Klerk testify on the validity of the multi-racial constitution which ended apartheid.

The men face a total of 42 charges, including high treason, murder, attempted murder, terrorism and the illegal possession of weapons.

They are accused of the murder of Claudia Mokone who was killed in a bomb blast in the black township of Soweto last December.

Prosecutors say they also conspired to kill Nelson Mandela by blowing up a car transporting the former president to a public event.




SEE ALSO:
SA police seek 'extremists'
12 Mar 03  |  Africa



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