South Africa's Justice Minister, James Kruger, has issued what appears to be a firm ultimatum to black students who have fled to neighbouring Botswana.
CU South African Justice Minister James Kruger Interviewed by reporter
REPORTER: "Mr. Kruger, will these children be prosecuted if they come back?"
JAMES KRUGER: "Well it has been alleged that there is approximately -- that there area few hundred scholars between the ages of 16 and 25 who have left South Africa illegally and have fled either to Swaziland or Botswana. Now we have evidence that there's a real possibility that many of them have been actually influenced -- either by misrepresentation, or they've been intimidated to leave the country. And because of that I am prepared to give them an opportunity of returning to South Africa by the 22nd of this month. If they do that we will not charge them with leaving the country illegally."
REPORTER: "But what about other crimes?"
"No, other crimes obviously the law must take its course. I'm only allowing these people to come back as a gesture because we have evidence that there may have been misrepresentation and three may have been influence to get them out of the country."
REPORTER: "It is reported that they felt that their education was being disrupted."
KRUGER: "There was definitely no education being disrupted excepting the education that they themselves disrupted. The police certainly didn't disrupt anybody's education."
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Background: South Africa's Justice Minister, James Kruger, has issued what appears to be a firm ultimatum to black students who have fled to neighbouring Botswana. Speaking about reports that more than 500 students fled to Botswana from the troubled Soweto township of Johannesburg, scene of violent riots and mass killings in recent months, he said they were 'influenced'. He told reporters at a news conference in Johannesburg on Monday (15 November) that if the students returned within the week they would be 'let off' possible charges.