Police surrounded a zulu hostel patrolled the black township or Soweto on Thursday (26 August) to try and stop a wave of violence that has cost at least 23 lives in three days.
CU's & SV's Zulus with spears, batons and other weapons (4 shots)
GV Troops clearing roadblocks (2 shots)
SV & CU Petrol bombs, metal rods and dustbin lids used as shields (4 shots)
SV Black African being arrested (2 shots)
GV PAN Troops firing tear gas into crowd (2 shots)
GV Coloureds stoning cars (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Police surrounded a zulu hostel patrolled the black township or Soweto on Thursday (26 August) to try and stop a wave of violence that has cost at least 23 lives in three days.
SYNOPSIS: Zulus, wielding spears, clubs, axes and other weapons had been fighting against other blacks. It was an apparent backlash against militants trying to enforce a strike by Soweto's 200,000 people who work in Johannesburg's white areas. The zulus were angered mainly by militant students who stoned and taunted them for not joining the strike. The last straw was when the zulus, living in a hostel, returned from work to find that attempts had been made to burn it down. The strike caused heavy black absenteeism from Johannesburg's industrial area for three days running. The township was relatively calm on Thursday but at one stage on Wednesday (25 August) police had a difficult time as they tried to bring the violence under control. 20 bodies were found in the riot-battered township, making the official death toll 23 in three days. But unconfirmed reports, quoted by Reuters, put the toll at 36, with hundreds of blacks hurt or maimed. A number of arrests were made but police did not disclose how many.
Violence was also reported from Cape Town where people of mixed race, usually referred to as coloureds, stoned buses, ambulances an police cars in the Bonteheuwel township. The violence lasted many hours, with crowds attacking police who responded with tear gas. Major rioting around Cape Town had previously been confined to black townships and police said it would be a serious development if violence became widespread in coloured communities. At one stage in the rioting, a large crowd of coloureds moved on to the main road bordering the township and stoned whites in passing cars. Two persons...a young girl and a bus driver....were injured by stones thrown through a bus window. Police said hooligans were exploiting the already tense situation in South Africa.