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Johannesburg Hospital Tightens Security to Protect Zimbabwean Activists

The hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, where three senior officials of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change are being treated for injuries sustained while in police custody last month have tightened security following an apparent attempt late last month to abduct one of them.

Sekai Holland, secretary for policy and research for the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, told VOA that unidentified men came to Milpark Hospital on March 25 and said they were there to relocate Grace Kwinjeh, the faction's deputy secretary for international relations. Kwinjeh has been operated upon for a brain contusion and a split ear lobe resulting from a beating received while in police custody.

Both women are also receiving treatment for extensive and multiple soft tissue injuries to the back, shoulders, arms, buttocks and thighs, MDC sources said. Tsvangirai's spokesman, William Bango, is also receiving treatment at the hospital.

Holland, who has undergone extensive surgery on a broken arm and leg, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the opposition faction and hospital authorities remain concerned about possible threats to their safety.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...