JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, one of South Africa's most powerful black moderates, said today that the slaying of a supporter's wife shows that a civil war has begun among blacks.
Buthelezi, chief minister of the KwaZulu tribal homeland, issued a statement expressing shock at "the coldblooded murder" of Evelyn Sabelo, wife of KwaZulu legislator Winnington Sabelo.
She was killed and her three children were seriously injured when their home was attacked Friday night by assailants using a hand grenade and an automatic rifle.
"This indicates the lengths to which those who wish to make this country ungovernable wish to go in brutality and hideousness," said Buthelezi, whose opposition to political violence and economic sanctions has estranged him from many anti-apartheid militants.
"It is un-African for women and children to be targets in a war, and I am concerned about the extent to which this kind of crime will brutalize those who are at the receiving end," he said. "The black civil war I warned about had now materialized."