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Black Child Burned to Death; Students Arrested for Demonstration

March 8, 1985

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Rioters set fire to a house in a rural black township of eastern Cape Province and a 7-year-old girl was burned to death, a police spokesman reported Friday.

Lt. Henry Beck said police were stoned during the rioting Thursday night in the Fort Beaumont township, and one officer was injured. The police responded with birdshot.

According to private monitoring groups, about 200 people, all but one of them black, have been killed in eight months of rioting against aspects of apartheid, the white-minority government’s race segregation policies.

Police said Friday they arrested 12 people, most of them white university students, on charges of organizing an illegal demonstration in November.

Cape Town police spokesman Capt. Jan Calitz said six men and six women were arrested on charges of attending an illegal gathering near the University of Cape Town on Nov. 14.

A student leader said those arrested in the raids between 2 and 3:30 a.m. Friday were protesting the detention of a foe of apartheid.

Colin Kahanovitz, vice president of the university’s student council, said the president, Christine Berger, was among those arrested for attending an outdoor protest against the detention of Kate Philip, president of the National Union of South African Students.

Outdoor protests are illegal in South Africa.

Miss Philip, a prominent white anti-apartheid campaigner, was released without charge later.

″We see these arrests as an attempt to harass legitimate opposition to the apartheid policies of the government,″ Kahanovitz said.

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