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Silenced South Africans

To the Editors:

The list of outrages inflicted upon black South Africans by the white government continues to lengthen, alas. We have learned that those two extraordinary artists John Kani and Winston Ntshona were recently placed under house arrest in their native land. These are the black men who collaborated with white author Athol Fugard in writing the plays Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island, and who performed them to great acclaim in Britain and the United States, winning in the process last year’s Tony Award for the best acting of the season.

The two men are forbidden to be seen with more than five people, which means of course that these consummate actors may no longer perform plays before an audience. We believe that their plight should be widely known and not passed over in silence. In the face of such unconscionable behavior by South African officialdom, we urge all those who cherish artistic and political freedom to communicate their indignation to Ambassador Johan S.F. Botha, Embassy of South Africa, 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008.

Caldwell Titcomb, Elliot Norton, Kevin Kelly, Arthur Friedman, Carolyn Clay, Larry Blumsack

(The signatories are senior theater critics for six Boston newspapers.)

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