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Wednesday, 7 January, 1998, 10:54 GMT
New move to prosecute Botha over Truth Commission refusal

The former South African president, P.W. Botha, is being prosecuted for refusing to testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is investigating alleged human rights abuses during the apartheid era.

Mr Botha, who is eighty-one years old, has been summoned by the attorney-general, Frank Kahn, to appear in court later this month on January 23.

Mr Botha has ignored three summonses by the Commission, which says he has vital information about state security activities during the apartheid era.

The former president faces two years in prison, a heavy fine or both, if found guilty.

His lawyers have indicated he will obey the latest summons.

The BBC correspondent in Johannesburg says the Commission has been criticised by many black people for its gentle interrogation of former apartheid era leaders while some white Afrikaaners complain it is harrassing them

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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