South African trouble spots in black townships across the country have been tense in the wake of widespread rioting over the past two months.
South African trouble spots in black townships across the country have been tense in the wake of widespread rioting over the past two months. While some areas are reported returning to normal, there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence in new locations.
SYNOPSIS: The rioting across the country has claimed more than 200 lives since it began in Johannesburg's black Soweto township. The mess left behind by burning, looting and general vandalism is being cleared up in some places. But in the wake of the violence, which reached its height when 176 people died in one day, security police have been busy rounding up black and white opposition leaders, journalists and alleged subversives. Against the background of an apparent return to normality, marked by the gradual re-appearance of schoolchildren in previously-boycotted schools, the tension still runs high.
Those arrested in riots are beginning to appear in courts -- in some cases, the court hearings leading to further violence. In Belville Cape Town, on Monday (16 August) several hundred coloured students -- the South African term for people of mixed race -- gathered outside a magistrates' court. inside, 10 students were appearing on charges of public violence and arson. Heavily armed police dispersed the students. At first, the students were told by police
van loudspeakers to disperse within five minutes or face police action. According to Reuters news agency, violence followed when baton-wielding riot police charged into the crowd, clubbing demonstrators to the ground and breaking up the gathering by force. The students later returned to the University of Western Cape. According to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, who shot this film, there were no incidents and the gathering broke up peacefully. The court hearing was postponed for a month. Bail was refused and all the accused were remanded in custody.