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Black Homeland Reported Calm After Cabinet Upheaval

September 26, 1987

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ The acting prime minister of Transkei was quoted as saying that calm returned Saturday to that nominally independent black homeland after the military forced eight Cabinet ministers to resign.

″Not a single person has been arrested or detained″ since Thursday’s shakeup, the independent South African Press Association quoted Dumnisani Gladstone Gwadiso as saying.

Gwadiso, a 35-year-old tribal chief, was named acting prime minister by Transkei President Tutor Ndamase on Friday.

Gwadiso stepped in for Prime Minister George Matanzima, who was in a South African hospital on Thursday when most of his Cabinet was forced to quit. Matanzima and other government officials recently were accused of corruption.

Ndamase said Friday that the change in prime ministers was not a coup and that Gwadiso’s appointment was only temporary.

Gwadiso said police were called to quiet minor unrest Friday night at the University of Transkei, but no arrests or injuries resulted, according to the press association. He said the homeland was ″quiet and normal″ on Saturday.

Transkei, with a population of 3.3 million people, mostly members of Xhosa tribes, was declared independent by South Africa in 1976. It is the oldest and largest of four nominally independent homelands, which other countries do not recognize as independent.

Matanzima was accused this month before an official Transkei inquiry commission of accepting a $500,000 bribe from a construction firm.

The Cabinet shakeup followed prolonged feuding between Matanzima, 68, and his brother, Kaiser Matanzima, who stepped down as Transkei’s president in 1968

George Matanzima expelled his 72-year-old brother from Parliament in May after the elder Matanzima accused him of corruption. The elder Matanzima, banished to a rural area, vowed to retake power.

″I’ve done everything I could do for a beloved brother, but, nay, what a disappointment,″ The Star, a Johannesburg daily, quoted Kaiser Matanzima as saying. ″He deserves a whipping on the bottom. ... The collapse of the government was expected, but not so soon after their assumption of duty.″

The elder Matanzima said that under his leadership, corruption was held in check.

″There were normal thefts by junior officials, but on a very small scale,″ he said.

The South African government has come under fire recently from critics who contend the homeland system is rife with corruption and mismanagement that is wasting substantial amounts of the large subsidies provided by South Africa.

In 1986-87, South Africa provided more than 60 percent of Transkei’s $450 million in revenues.

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