South African Justice Minister Jimmy Kruger, under mounting pressure to resign over the mysterious death of black leader Steve Biko died as a result of a hunger strike.

The embattled minister disclosed three days after Biko's eath Monday that he was fed intravenously after refusing food or drink for a week.

He did not give any other cause for the death but said this should await the result of an autopsy, which is under way.

His new announcement came as protests by blacks and anti-government whites mounted both within South Africa and abroad over Biko's death.

Editor Donald Woods of the East London Daily Dispatch, the country's most outspoken liberal white journalist, told a thousand persons at a protest meeting at Johannesburg's white Witwatersrant University that Biko would not kill himself by starvation.

He challenged Kruger to "tell the truth now" and prove everything possible was done to prevent Biko's death, or resign.

Later, more than 200 students and a number of teachers at the all-white University of Cape Town signed a petition demanding Kruger's resignation.

Calls for Kruger's resignation also have come from opposition members of Parliament.

The Afrikaans daily Die Transvaaler, whose editor Willem de Klerk is a widely-respected commentator on South African political affairs, said it regarded the "Biko affair . . . in a very serious light."

Biko, 30, widely regarded as founder of the "black consciousness" movement here, died three weeks after being picked up by security police definite detention without trial. He under sweeping laws that allow in-was the 20th person to die in police custody in South Africa in the past 18 months.

The 1,210 students at the all-black miles south of Johnannesburg, were arrested during a memorial service at the school's athletics field when podown on them.

The students walked peacefully into police vans and judges later released the 460 women on their own recognizance. The 750 men were jailed un-University of Fort Hare in Alice, 450 lice backed by attack dogs swept till a hearing Sept. 26 - one day after Biko is to buried.

At the University of the Western Cape for a person of mixed race, white journalists were ordered out as students shouted. "Those white pigs must leave, they are the same people who murdered Biko."

The Black People's Convention, a leading black activist group, scheduled Sunday memorial services that are expected to attract thousands of blacks in the segregated townships around Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Philip Potter, said Biko was unofficially "put to death."

The two small international university organizations in Geneva, the World University Service and the International University Exchange Fund, called for a judicial inquiry into Biko's death.