Police leave was cancelled throughout South Africa this weekend (7 & 8 August) as the authorities stood by for a possible new outbreak of violence, following three days of rioting and demonstrations in Soweto and other black townships.
AV Soweto township
GV Damaged school buildings in Middleburg
GV School with broken windows PAN TO children playing
SV Children in classroom with broken windows
GV PAN damaged school buildings
GV EXTERIOR damaged University of West Cape buildings
SV Firemen cleaning debris and general damage to building in Natal Spruit township (5 shots)
SV Black workers on lorry
SV Man sorting through damaged school books (3 shots)
GV Cars in street with police road checks
GV and SV Soldier dealing with flames in building (3 shots)
GV Empty bus station(2 shots)
GV Workers walking through bus terminal
EUROVISION SATELLITE TELERECORDING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Police leave was cancelled throughout South Africa this weekend (7 & 8 August) as the authorities stood by for a possible new outbreak of violence, following three days of rioting and demonstrations in Soweto and other black townships.
SYNOPSIS: The wave of rioting started in Soweto - a black dormitory suburb of Johannesburg - last month. At the height of the disturbances 176 people died in one day -- most of them black, most of them children and most of them victims of police bullets. Over the past few days the trouble has spread to other townships in the Johannesburg area and also to the Middleburg township in the eastern Transvaal, where disturbances in schools have resulted in considerable damage. Elsewhere black demonstrators have been on the rampage, stoning and burning buses and trains and trying to force a stay-at-home by workers.
Buildings at the University of West Cape have also been damaged during the recent fresh outbreaks of violence.
Apart from the ongoing unrest in Soweto, another main flashpoint in the current disturbances is the Natal Spruit township, also near Johannesburg. More buildings were burn down by black school-children, supported at times by older people. The violence escalated after police stopped several thousand black people from arching into Johannesburg earlier in the week.
According to some news agency reports at least four people have been killed in the latest violence, but the police have denied this. They have also denied that a quantity of automatic weapons have been stolen from them. However, police chiefs have warned that the situation is still very serious. The government has appealed to black community leaders to help restore order, but most of their please have been ignored.
South African police have said that buses were set on fire in Soweto, but other buses taking blacks to work had managed to bypass roadblocks. Schools in the townships were open on Friday (6 August), but no children turned up for classes.