The government on Tuesday suspended the anti-apartheid Weekly Mail for four weeks, saying the newspaper aimed largely at liberal whites was a "threat to the safety of the public."

The decision by Minister of Information Stoffel Botha marks the third time this year he has suspended an anti-government publication.The Weekly Mail, with a circulation of about 22,000 nationwide, is considered by many to be the best-written newspaper in South Africa.

Since it was established in 1985, the newspaper has been a combative opponent of the white minority government, known for aggressive reporting and sassy political commentary.

Botha has sent several warning letters to the newspaper in recent months, saying it contained "subversive propaganda."

In a statement Tuesday, Botha said: "The Weekly Mail continued with a systematic or repetitive publishing of matter which in my opinion has . . . the effect of causing a threat to the safety of the public or to the maintenance of public order, or is causing a delay in the termination of the state of emergency."

The newspaper is prohibited from publishing until Nov. 28.