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2 Whites Die in Holiday Unrest in South Africa

October 12, 1987|From Reuters

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Two white men were killed, seven people injured and 14 others arrested during holiday weekend clashes in several Johannesburg suburbs, police said Sunday.

The two victims, both in their 50s, were stabbed to death outside Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday after a rugby match between a South African team and a touring squad from the South Pacific, police sources said.

Violent incidents in other eastern Johannesburg suburbs took place mainly in parks near working-class white neighborhoods where hundreds of blacks went to picnic on a national public holiday, police said.

Trouble Not Linked

Tear gas was used to disperse mobs of blacks in some of the areas, an official police statement said.

Parks and other public amenities are still segregated by apartheid race laws in many parts of South Africa. However, most Johannesburg parks have been integrated for several years. Use of these facilities by blacks is not unusual but still causes some white resentment.

Sam Bloomberg, a National Party representative for Bezuidenhout Valley, one of the affected areas, said "mobs ran amok" in his constituency.

Bloomberg said residents were threatening to form vigilante groups to "combat this influx into the area."

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