At least two people died in new outbreaks of rioting in South Africa's black townships on Monday (21 June), as racial violence spread to the Pretoria area.
At least two people died in new outbreaks of rioting in South Africa's black townships on Monday (21 June), as racial violence spread to the Pretoria area. The overall casualty toll rose to 128 dead and 1,112 injured in the worst racial conflict in white-ruled South Africa's history.
SYNOPSIS: Rampaging crowds of Africans set fire to scores of building near Pretoria, as policemen tried to deal with other blazes. White firemen refused to enter many districts for fear of being attacked by rioters. And police were careful not to become isolated for the same reason. Unofficial police sources, placed as many as four people killed and many black students wounded, in the latest troubles. Meanwhile, the South African Government has repeated that it will not tolerate the violence and will deal severely with the rioters.
After what was officially described by the government as a quiet weekend, bus fare increases were said to be the flashpoint for the latest violence. The violence affected many black businessmen. Shopkeepers tried desperately to save their goods from burning in wrecked stores. And the police reported cases elsewhere of black looters being killed by other blacks. Meanwhile, black leaders have accused criminal elements of increasing the strife.
Hundreds of heavily armed police moved into the Pretoria area to contain the rioting. Army units were also placed on alert. After week's violence, the government said it had hoped there wold be time for tempers to cool over the original cause of the troubles the compulsory teaching of the Africans language in black schools.
Near Mabopane, a white farmer was wounded as rioters ransacked his property, burned it to the ground, and slaughtered livestock. Nearby, two blacks were shot dead and vehicles were overturned and burned. Mabopane was the worst trouble spot. Several hundred rioters roamed through the township, burning buildings and sacking shops. Meanwhile, the government has announced that black schools may apply to drop Afrikaans teaching. However, the move - regarded as a gesture of goodwill by the government - has received a mute response from the black community. And leaders of several Black African states have warned that the violence was only a signal of worse trouble to come.