ANC mass action starts to roll in memory of Hani: Blacks vent sorrow and anger at leader's assassination in protests. John Carlin reports from Johannesburg

THE African National Congress announced the start yesterday of a week- long campaign of mass protest in response to a clamour from its supporters for channels to vent their sorrow and anger at the assassination of Chris Hani.

A national stayaway from work is planned tomorrow, when memorial services will be held in cities and townships all over the country, and marches are scheduled for the rest of the week in Johannesburg and other cities.

Nerves were fraught yesterday both in ANC and government circles at the dangers such actions might hold but, after a weekend which registered sporadic incidents of violence, the feared catastrophe did not materialise.

A shop was burnt down in Kagiso township, west of Johannesburg, and in Katlehong, to the south-east, journalists were shot at and a number of vehicles burnt. But in neighbouring Vosloorus a five-mile march by ANC supporters, though tense, passed off peacefully. In Cape Town some 10,000 ANC marchers, some of them armed, descended on a police station, but again no incidents were reported.

One of their leaders, indicating that the greater dangers lie ahead, told the crowd: 'If any of our people are shot when we march again on Wednesday we will burn down Cape Town.'

For all the rhetoric and the massing of angry people, the police said that no injuries had been reported anywhere yesterday. At least six people died over the weekend however, including three white men burnt to death near Cape Town in an attack believed to have been a response to the killing of Hani, the ANC's most popular leader after Nelson Mandela.

'People are very, very angry. It is necessary for their anger to be channelled,' the ANC Johannesburg regional chief, Tokyo Sexwale, said yesterday, explaining plans for 'rolling mass action' around the country.

The first demonstration is planned in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, today, to coincide with the scheduled appearance in court of the Polish emigre Janusz Walus, who is to be formally charged with Hani's murder.

Mr Walus, 40, who came to South Africa 11 years ago to flee from Communism, was arrested within minutes of the shooting. Police found that a weapon he was carrying was the one which killed Hani. The gun had been stolen by Piet Rudolph, then secretary-general of Eugene Terreblanche's far-right Afrikaner Resistance movement (AWB).

Yesterday Mr Terreblanche said that Mr Walus had been a member of his organisation since 1986. Mr Terreblanche, who persistently exhorts his members to war against 'the Communists', said he only disapproved of the attack because it was an assassination and not a killing in a real war. He added: 'If it had been a proper battle I could have killed Mr Hani myself.'

The police have appointed a team of 14 detectives to follow up all possible clues in the murder. Particularly alarming was the discovery of an alleged hit-list in Mr Wallus's Pretoria home including the names of Nelson Mandela and the South African Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, seen in right-wing circles as the most dovish member of the cabinet.

The one political group in South Africa that has not lamented the death of Hani is the World Apartheid Movement which is known to have a shadowy network of far-right contacts in Europe. The WAM leader, Koos Vermeulen, said his organisation sympathised with Mr Walus and would provide him with financial support for his court case.

The ANC, however, aware of the depth of feeling stirred up by the assassination, issued a statement late on Sunday calling on its supporters not to carry out attacks against whites. People should remember that the reason Mr Walus was caught so promptly was the quick thinking of a white woman, the ANC said. It was one of Hani's neighbours who wrote down the registration number of the car Mr Wallus was driving and immediately phoned the police.

The anxiety in the white population was expressed yesterday by Johannesburg's Afrikaans establishment newspaper, Beeld. Beeld warned: 'One rash outburst now, one stray bullet, one act of vengeance can bring down the delicate structure of negotiations and unleash satanic forces.'

(Photograph omitted)

Everyone's worst nightmare, page 18

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits