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Government Moves To Silence Slain Activist

January 20, 1989

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ The government has ordered an anti-apartheid activist to explain why he should not have his political activities restricted, even though he died last year, his father said Thursday.

Black student leader Caiphus Nyoka was shot 12 times when police raided his house on Aug. 24, 1987, in Daveyton, a township near Johannesburg. Police said they shot Nyoka, 23, when he attempted to reach for an object under his bed.

More than 1,000 people attended his funeral, which was monitored by scores of police.

The government sent a letter, dated Jan. 10, to Nyoka’s house stating that the activist was to be placed on a list of restricted activists, said his father, Abednego Nyoka.

″It’s such an insult,″ said the elder Nyoka. ″I have a death certificate from the government. Why are they doing this? They are making a mockery of his death.″

The letter said Nyoka had 30 days to show ″why your name ought not to be entered in the consolidated list.″

The letter added that if Nyoka wanted to stay off the list, he would have to prove he did not know that his organization was involved in activities that ″might render it to be declared unlawful.″

Nyoka was active in the Congress of South African Students, one of dozens of banned organizations fighting South Africa’s system of racial segregation.

The New Nation, a weekly aimed at black readers, reported Thursday that hundreds of activists recently received letters similar to the one sent to Nyoka.

The restrictions vary, but they often bar activists from participating in politics, speaking to journalists, or traveling from their hometown.

A spokesman for the Justice Ministry, Dirk de Villiers, declined comment on the matter.

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