Anglican Bishop Desmond M. Tutu met today with President Pieter W. Botha for the first time in six years to discuss South Africa's two-day-old state of emergency as the government cracked down on press coverage and human rights groups said arrests have passed 2,000.
Tutu's session with Botha this morning in Cape Town was arranged at Tutu's request. Afterward the bishop, the 1984 Nobel Peace laureate and the leading black moderate clergyman campaigning against apartheid, said he had not emerged with any optimism from the session and condemned the new emergency measures announced by Botha yesterday.
"My own view is that this is not likely to help restore law and order and peace and calm," said Tutu. "If we have calm it will be brittle, superficial and sullen, and at the slightest chance it will be broken again."
Police today seized copies of two local newspapers and ordered the expulsion of a CBS News cameraman. They also briefly detained two American television camera crews. A government official warned that journalists faced severe penalties if they violated the nationwide emergency's sweeping restrictions on press coverage.
"So I want to tell you this: We're not kidding, we're serious about this," David Steward, chief of the state Bureau for Information, told reporters at a press conference in Pretoria. "We expect the media to play by the rules, tough as they may be. We will not hesitate to take action against any media which contravenes these rules."
The government reported that eight more blacks had been killed -- seven by other blacks, one by police -- in the civil unrest that has claimed more than 1,600 lives over the past two years. Security forces have sealed off the black township of Soweto to nonresidents. Crossroads, the sprawling black shantytown outside Cape Town and the scene of recent black factional warfare, is under a cease-fire negotiated earlier this week by Tutu.
Officials declined to supply further details about the violence and refused to release the number or names of those detained.
"We have decided that it is not in the interests of the security of the state to have the names released," said Steward.
Human rights activists estimated that the number of arrests exceeded 2,000 in the new crackdown, which was designed to short-circuit plans for mass demonstrations next Monday, the 10th anniversary of the Soweto uprising in which at least 600 blacks died.
A spokesman for the Detainees' Parents Support Committee said his group had compiled a list of 500 names of detainees and "for every one we hear of, there are plenty of others we haven't heard about."
Those detained include trade union leaders, church officials and political activists. Under the new restrictions, they can be arrested by any policeman or soldier and held without charge for 14 days. The detentions can then be made indefinite with a written order by the law and order minister.
Steward said today that the release of the number of detainees was under consideration but warned that journalists publishing the names of those detained without official permission could be subject to prosecution. He said the next-of-kin of those detained would be informed of the arrests.
Under the new rules, which are in effect indefinitely, journalists are prohibited from filming, tape-recording or photographing incidents of unrest or police action. They are also banned from publishing "subversive statements," a broadly defined term that lawyers here said could encompass virtually any public criticism of the government outside courts of law and Parliament.
Violations of the emergency measures are punishable by up to 10 years in jail and an $8,000 fine.
White opposition leader Colin Eglin, head of the Progressive Federal Party, told Parliament that the emergency regulations meant South Africans were living in a "police state." He called the measures "the most severe clampdown on civil liberties and the most far-reaching denial of freedom of speech and assembly and the press in the history of South Africa."
The newspapers confiscated by police were the Sowetan, a daily newspaper owned by the Argus Company and aimed at the urban black audience, and The Weekly Mail, a small tabloid published by former staff members of the Rand Daily Mail, the liberal Johannesburg daily that folded last year.
Both newspapers featured blistering front page articles today condemning the new restrictions. A front-page editorial in the Sowetan, under the headline "Government Must Quit," called the emergency measures "madness." The newspaper also printed a list of names of some of those detained, in violation of the restriction against unauthorized publication.
The Mail's lead article predicted the emergency would lead to "sanctions, repression and a news blackout as the government steers South Africa down a road to nowhere."
CBS cameraman Wim de Vos, a Dutch national who provoked the government last year by filming an incident in which police drew out rock-throwing blacks, then suddenly opened fire on them, was ordered to leave South Africa by Tuesday midnight by Home Affairs Minister Stoffel Botha.
The minister's telex to CBS gave no reasons for the expulsion but said de Vos could seek to appeal it before Monday. De Vos was arrested on Wednesday while covering a demonstration in downtown Cape Town and was charged with obstructing the police and resisting arrest.
Two American TV camera crews, from CBS and ABC, were briefly detained by police in Johannesburg while videotaping interviews with local residents on their views of the new emergency and on the possibility of economic sanctions. Steward said police were investigating whether the crews had been "involved in the dissemination of subversive comment" in violation of the new regulations.
Police also announced a ban on funerals in townships outside Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
Tutu said his 90-minute meeting with Botha had been "friendly, and that is not conventional communique language." He said the two men had agreed that they shared an identity as "South Africans, Christians and anticommunists." But he said they had disagreed over what he described as the government's "insensitive and provocative" ban on events planned for Monday to commemorate the Soweto incident.
He said he emerged from the meeting "feeling no better in terms of optimism on coming out than I was going in -- but I am not saying I am despondent either."