Three suspected members of the outlawed African National Congress were shot to death and seven were captured in gunfights Friday, hours after the arrest of seven others linked to recent bombings, officials said.
Also Friday, three dissidents who escaped from police custody and took refuge at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg 11 days ago rebuked U.S. officials for denying them direct access to the media.Their comments were relayed to reporters by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who visited the dissidents Friday.
Tutu said the men were not prepared to leave the consulate until the South African government meets their demands to lift the government's 27-month-old state of emergency and frees all political prisoners.
A fourth dissident who escaped police custody this week was allowed to join the trio, but a U.S. Embassy spokesman said the consulate had denied a fifth man, Max Mankazana, refuge when he appeared at the consulate on Wednesday.
Mankazana's father told reporters his son, who had not previously been in detention, was picked up by security police after he left the consulate, and police confirmed the man was in their custody.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Barry Walkley said Mankazana was interviewed by consular officials but that "his situation did not correspond to that of the others granted temporary refuge."
The shootings and the arrests of the suspected dissidents were announced a day after the government linked a scheduled weekend anti-apartheid conference of 75 opposition groups.