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Pastor Clashes with Police as He is Deported With South Africa

March 8, 1986

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A West German missionary ordered out of the country for anti-apartheid activity had a hard time leaving Friday night because police kept seizing him while he waited for his flight.

Authorities detained about 60 black students who were holding a peaceful demonstration in support of the Rev. Gottfried Kraatz before he arrived at the airport.

Police also grabbed Kraatz when he arrived and began complaining about the detentions of the students, but let him go when a local reporter pointed out that he was there for deportation.

Two other policemen took the Lutheran pastor in hand 10 minutes later, but a superior intervened.

″It seems to me that nothing normal can be done in this country,″ Kraatz told reporters. ″My friends came to say goodbye to me, a pretty normal occurrence in everyday life, and what happened? They were taken away by police.

″Can’t people even express their feelings, their emotions, without being greeted by violence?″

The Rev. Allan Boesak, a leading critic of apartheid, was among well- wishers who came to see off Kraatz and his family.

Kraatz’s supporters began singing as his flight was called, and the 44- year-old priest walked to the plane shouting ″Amandla 3/8″ (Power), the South African black nationalist slogan.

The white-minority government said it kicked him out because he was involved with the United Democratic Front, the largest anti-apartheid movement in the country, and had actively involved himself to anti-government activities.

He had been here five years, ministering to a mixed-race congregation near Cape Town. He defied the deportation order for a time and continued to preach, but announced Thursday he was giving up the fight because he had no chance of defeating the expulsion in court.

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