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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 28, 1997)
South African police admit killing Biko
Black activist was “handled
robustly,” but police say they
did not intend to kill.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) —
After 20 years of denials, five white former po
lice officers have admitted killing black activist
The five plan to seek amnesty for the 1977
killing, which galvanized apartheid’s opponents
and exposed to the world the brutality of the
The officers will petition South Africa’s
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the panel
led by retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond
Tutu and charged with investigating apartheid
Reports that five men planned to file an am
nesty petition were published Monday in The
Port Elizabeth Herald. Truth Commission
spokeswoman Christelle Terreblanche con
firmed that the panel was expecting amnesty ap
plications related to Biko’s death.
A source close to the five men, speaking on
condition of anonymity, told The Associated
Press that the amnesty applications would as
sert that Biko was “handled robustly,” but there
never was any intention to kill him.
The Herald identified the former officers as
Col. Harold Snyman, who led the team that in
terrogated Biko; Lt. Col. Gideon Niewoudt, a
detective sergeant at the time; Ruben Marx^a
warrant officer; Daantjie Siebert, a captain; and
Johan Beneke, a warrant officer.
Biko, 30, died on Sept. 12, 1977. He had
been arrested and apparently beaten in Port
Elizabeth on the Indian Ocean coast. Denied
medical attention, he was driven in the back of
a police van nearly 700 miles to Pretoria, where
he died in prison. At the time, police denied
Urged black pride
The charismatic black leader developed a
wide following during the early 1970s, urging
South African blacks to take pride in their cul
ture and to fight for control of their country.
The white government labeled him a terror
At his funeral, pictures of his battered body
were widely distributed and later published
around the world. He came to symbolize the
victims of apartheid brutality.
“He was very broad-minded and working to
unify all the black organizations,” said Donald
Woods, a white former newspaper editor whose
friendship with Biko was depicted in the 1987
British film “Cry Freedom.”
The Thith Commission will investigate the
death and decide whether to grant amnesty to
the former police officers. The panel was given
the power to grant amnesty in order to promote
reconciliation after decades of white-minority
rule, which ended with the country’s first all
race elections in 1994.
Widow wants justice
Biko’s widow, however, wants justice for her
husband’s death. Last year, she and the families
of two other apartheid victims went to South
Africa’s highest court to challenge the
commission’s right to forgive certain crimes.
The court rejected their application, saying
amnesty was essential to learning the full truth
Residents see full
but Russia vows never
to allow secession.
GROZNY, Russia (AP) — Barely
two years after Russia poured troops
into this tiny Muslim republic,
Chechens voted triumphantly Monday
in elections dominated by the separat
ist leaders Moscow tried so hard to
The separatists have been running
the southern republic since the war
ended in August. Many residents saw
the presidential and parliamentary elec
tions as laying the groundwork for full
independence from Moscow.
But Russia has vowed to prevent
Chechnya from seceding. The two
sides appear headed for renewed con
frontation if the Chechens move to cut
all ties with Moscow, as they are al
most certain to do.
After the disastrous military cam
paign, Russia has no appetite for more
fighting. But it will try to put political,
economic and diplomatic pressure on
Chechnya to keep it in line.
Chechens were in a buoyant mood
as they headed to the px)lls in snow
covered towns and villages.
“This election is about our free
dom,” said Hassan Khalidov, a former
businessman who served as a rebel
fighter in Chechnya’s war against Rus
sia. “The Chechen people have waited
hundreds of years for this.”
Turnout was heavy at 450 polling
stations across the republic, with lines
of people forming well before some
stations opened. Polls were kept open
an extra two hours to handle the crush
before closing late Monday night.
Preliminary results from the presi
dential race were expected today.
Security was tight as soldiers with
automatic rifles guarded the polling
stations and told young men with guns
to leave their weapons outside. But the
atmosphere was relaxed and there were
no reports of trouble.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin and
other top officials insist that Chechnya
will not be permitted to secede, fear
ing that other ethnic groups in Russia
might try to follow its example.
The Clinton administration reaf
firmed its stand against secession.
While the State Department said Mon
day the election was a necessary step
toward reconciliation, spokesman
Nicholas Bums added, “We adhere to
a long-held principle that Chechnya is
part of Russia.”
Swiss ambassador resigns over offensive document
BERN, Switzerland — Switzerland’s ambassador to the United States
resigned Monday because of a leaked document in which he likened
handling the Nazi gold crisis to waging a war.
In the report, Carlo Jagmetti described the barrage of allegations
against Switzerland as a “war” that the country “must fight and win on
two fronts: foreign and domestic.” He also wrote of opponents who “can
not be trusted.”
Jagmetti did not name those opponents, but the newspaper that printed
the leaked document quoted him as saying Jewish groups and Sen.
Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y. “must be quickly satisfied.”
Jewish groups have claimed that Swiss banks hold up to $7 billion in
savings belonging to Jews who died in the Holocaust. Swiss banks say
the real amount is a tiny traction of that.
Nelson appoints Stephan to state Supreme Court
OMAHA — Gov. Ben Nelson appointed Lincoln attorney Kenneth C.
Stephan on Monday to fill (me of the two vacancies on the state’s highest
Stephan, 50, works for the Lincoln firm of Knudsen, Berkheimer,
Richardson, Endacott and Routh where he focuses on labor and employ
Nelson now has appointed four of the seven members of the state’s
highest court, with the expected appointment of a fifth coming soon.
Stephan beat out five other opponents for the position representing
the Lincoln district. Among the other nominees was Sharon Lindgren, a
former assistant state attorney general. Had she been chosen, Lindgren
would have been the first woman on the court.
Nebraska is one of three states—Wyoming and New Hampshire are
the others—that has never seated a woman on its highest court, accord
ing to the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Va.
Stephan replaces retiring Judge Dale Fahmbruch of Lincoln. The
other vacancy was left by Judge David Lanphier, who was ousted last
November by voters.
New toys' bite back at germs j
A doctor wonders if
the products are
necessary, or just
play on parents’
PAWTUCKET, RJ. (AP) — Par
ents who worry that their children
suck up germs when they suck on
their toys have a new weapon
against evil microbes.
Hasbro’s Playskool division in
troduced 15 anti-bacterial toys
Monday. The toys are covered with
an anti-microbial agent used for
years in hospitals.
luyo atv uv&y iciuvtu,
they’re chewed on ami drooled on,”
said Anna Dooley, vice president of
marketing for Playskool. “But they
also roll all over the floor. The dog
may take an interest in them. They
get passed from one child to an
The company said it was encour
aged by the reaction to the anti-bac
terial 1 -2-3 High Chair it introduced
last May. The tray is treated with a
process called Microban, which
permanently bonds germ-killing
pellets to plastic or fiber.
Hasbro officials said it stops
mold, mildew, fungi and a range of
bacteria that can cause sore throats,
skin infections and stomach ail
Treated toys include the Roll ‘n
Rattle Ball, Busy Band Walker and
an activity toy shaped like a cellu
A doctor who questions the need
for anti-bacterial toys said they may
tap unfounded parental fears.
“People may think it’s a great
idea, but I haven’t seen anything in
the medical literature that says we
should be doing this,” said Dr.
David Carter. Carter practices in
Pawtucket, where Hasbro is based.
Hospitals have used Microban
products for more than a decade on
things like surgical drapes, mat
tresses and pillow covers.
The anti-bacterial toys won’t
eliminate all germs but provide ex
tra protection, according to Glenn
Cueman, president and chief execu
tive officer of Microban Products
Co. of Huntersville, N.C.
“If a toy is covered with gunk, it
has to be wiped off — it’s common
sense,” Ms. Dooley said. “We’re
just providing an additional tool for
parents to help protect their family.”
Cosby admits having affair
NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Cosby
admitted in a television interview Mon
day night that he had an affair with the
mother of a 22-year-old who claims to
be his illegitimate daughter.
Cosby denied to Dan Rather on
“The CBS Evening News” that he is
the father of the young woman, Au
tumn Jackson. But in a potion to air
Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Rather asked
if there was a nossibilitv he could be.
“There is a possibility,” Cosby said
in a transcript. “If you said, 'Did you
make love to the woman?’ the answer
is yes. 'Are you the father?’ No.
“On the birth certificate, it’s not my
name,” Cosby said in part of the inter
view aired Monday night. “I had not
spoken to the mother during her preg
nancy nor her delivery nor some 14
months until we finally spoke.
“Never—she never called me and
then one day when I called her for a
second rendezvous, she came and she
made the announcement.”
- Cosby, who has been married to his
wife Camille Tor 33 years, went back
to work Monday on his CBS show
“Cosby” for the first time since the Jan.
16 slaying of his 27-year-old son Ennis.
. He entered the Queens studio by a back
door and made no comment.
Federal prosecutors charge that on
the day Ennis Cosby was shot to death
changing a flat tire in Los Angeles,
Jackson and Jose Medina, 51, sent a
fax to Cosby’s representative demand
ing money. She and Medina were ar
rested in Cosby’s lawyer’s office after
allegedly trying to negotiate a $24 mil
In his first interview since Ennis
Cosby was slain, Cosby told Rather his
life must return to normal.
‘Tthink it’s time for me to tell the
people that we have to laugh—we’ve
got to laugh,” Cosby said.
“But I just want the people to know
—those who watch me, those who are
with me—it’s over for looking at me
to do anything but go back to that
which I am.”
Outside the studio in Queens, a
Bronx teacher, Lonnie Tait. said that
despite Cosby’s admission he had an
affair, he is still “a great remodel for
black children.” She delivered a large,
hand-deeorated sympathy card from 12
children enrolled in an after-school
One child wrote: “You’re our hero.”
"i Daily y A
Questions? Comments? Ask for the
section editor concerned at472-2588,
or e-mail dn 9 unlinfo.unl.edu
Managing Editor: Paula Lavigne
News Editors: Joshua Giliin
Night Editor Anne Hjersman
Opinion Editor: Anthony Nguyen
AP Wire Editor: JohnFulwider
Copy Desk Chief: Julie Sobczyk
Sports Editor: Trevor Parks
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080)
is published by the UNL Publications
Board, Nebraska Union 34, 1400 R St,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, Monday through
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