Anti-apartheid Afrikaans writer and poet, Breyten Breytenbach, shocked spectators in the Pretoria Supreme Court on Friday (21 November) by pleading guilty to charges under South Africa's terrorism act.
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Background: Anti-apartheid Afrikaans writer and poet, Breyten Breytenbach, shocked spectators in the Pretoria Supreme Court on Friday (21 November) by pleading guilty to charges under South Africa's terrorism act.
Mr. Breytenbach, 36, was accused of conspiring to overthrow the white government and replace it with a black government and a Communistic society. The maximum penalty is death.
Mr. Breytenbach's decision to plead guilty to the main terrorism charge took observers by surprise.
After a half-hour adjournment, Transvaal Attorney-General Percy Yutar announced he would accept the plea and said the decision would shorten the trial considerably.
The poet's guilty plea was made as he lodged certain amendments to the indictment. The amendments deleted, among other things, Mr. Breytenbach's alleged aim of wanting to establish a Communistic society and limited the charge to that of establishing a black government.
The trial is expected to last about one week.