YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

S. Africa Violence Kills White Guard at Mine, Three Blacks

December 25, 1985|From Times Wire Services

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — One white man and three black men died in racial violence Tuesday, one day after a terrorist bomb killed five whites and injured 61 at a shopping center in Amanzimtoti, south of Durban.

A white security officer was killed by rioting blacks, and two black men were killed by rubber bullets in unrest at a gold mine west of Johannesburg, police said.

Another black man was shot dead after a gasoline bomb was thrown by a mob besieging a policeman's house in Soshanguve, central Transvaal, they added.

Black Militants Blamed

The government has blamed the outlawed, militant anti-apartheid African National Congress for the Monday bombing, which took the lives of three women and two boys. Initial reports had put the death toll at six.

The African National Congress has not acknowledged responsibility for the incident. Its official spokesman, Tom Sibina, issued a terse "no comment" to press inquiries at the organization's exiled headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia.

However, Johnny Makatini, a national executive member of the group, hinted in a U.S. National Public Radio interview Tuesday that the attack may have been an unauthorized action by a congress militant.

Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, the anti-apartheid activist who won last year's Nobel peace prize, said in a statement: "All right-thinking people must be appalled at all the violence taking place around us."

But he added: "If we did not have the injustice and oppression of apartheid . . . we would not have this spiral of violence."

Newspapers, including those regarded as liberal in their racial views, strongly condemned the bombing.

The Cape Times, which recently defied press restrictions to publish an interview with ANC President Oliver Tambo, said in an editorial Tuesday that "those who would act as apologists for such deeds must be convinced that they are grievously wrong."

Los Angeles Times Articles