Violence continues in South Africa

By DAVID O'SULLIVAN   |   Sept. 15, 1991
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Factional violence in South Africa's black townships entered its second week Sunday, just one day after political and religious leaders signed a historic peace accord.

Fighting between members of the Zulu-backed Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress raged into early morning Sunday following a day in which 17 people were slain and more than 40 were wounded.

At least 140 people have been killed and more than 600 injured since the fighting flared last Sunday.

Leaders from across the political and religious spectrum Saturday signed a 10-chapter National Peace Accord In Johannesburg, aimed at stopping the black township violence.

Fighting at a gold mine in Evander, 75 miles east of Johannesburg Saturday morning left 15 people dead and 34 injured, said police spokesman Maj Dave Bruce.

Two more people were killed and eight injured Saturday night. One man was killed and a companion was injured when gunmen shot them as they walked past a hostel in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg. Police also found the body of a man with stab wounds in Thokoza, east of Johannesburg. The body had its stomach ripped open and its eyes gouged out.

Bruce said five men were injured Saturday night when unknown attackers lobbed a grenade into a house in the township of Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.

Five people were hurled from moving trains in two separate incidents Saturday afternoon. Two men were seriously injured after assailants threw them from a commuter train on the western outskirts of Johannesburg. Three people were hurled from a train in Soweto. Only one was injured. He claimed supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party were responsible for the attack, but police were unable to confirm the allegation.

Police arrested 13 people for attempted murder Sunday after a gunman in their group shot and wounded a shopowner in the Bekkersdal township, west of Johannesburg.

At the Winkelhaak mine near Evander, fighting broke out in two hostel complexes Saturday morning. Five men were killed at one of the hostels, 10 at the other. Mine security guards used teargas to separate the warring factions. Mine owners Gengold blamed the violence on tribal differences and launched an inquiry into the incident.

The leaders signing the peace accord Saturday pledged to do their utmost to make it work and bring other groups into it.

But they acknowledged that the accord was only a first step towards solving the problem.

'We are under no illusions that this accord is a magic wand,' African National Congress President Nelson Mandela told delegates after he signed.

President Frederik de Klerk said, 'The signing of this peace accord is but a first step on the arduous road to peace.'

Police later reported a group of knife-wielding attackers stabbed an Inkatha supporter to death and injured three others as the group made its way home from the peace convention Saturday afternoon. The police said armed hostel dwellers attacked a small group of Inkatha supporters, but the residents denied they were involved. They said Inkatha supporters lived in their hostel, and were unlikely to attack their colleagues.

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