Inkatha executes five ANC Zulus

Five Zulu youths loyal to the ANC were executed yesterday in Natal province, South Africa's bloodiest political battlefield, after being lured into an Inkatha area by a promise of peace talks.

The killings, in revenge for the deaths of eight Inkatha men outside the ANC's Johannesburg headquarters on Monday, brought the March death toll in Natal to 266, according to the Human Rights Commission.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC's secretary-general, said it was clear Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party was 'determined to drown the country in blood'.

Mr Ramaphosa is a key figure in the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), which called on Tuesday night for a state of emergency to be declared in Natal and the homeland that lies within its borders, KwaZulu. President F W de Klerk, who met his cabinet yesterday, called an afternoon press conference at which it had been expected that he would give the government's stamp of approval to the proposal of the multi-party TEC. However the press conference was postponed at the last minute, and without explanation, until nine o'clock this morning.

The speculation in political circles last night was that Mr de Klerk simply did not know how best to deal with the growing belligerence of Chief Buthelezi and his nephew, the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, both of whom have called on their supporters to boycott the general elections due in four weeks.

On Tuesday Chief Buthelezi, leader of the only black party not taking part in the country's first democratic poll, warned of a 'final struggle to the finish between the ANC and the Zulu nation'.

The distinction would have mystified many Zulus, 70,000 of whom marched in Durban on Friday in support of the ANC. The conflict in Natal is not so much ethnic, the participants on both sides being being Zulus, as a struggle for power between ANC progressives and Inkatha conservatives.

The five young ANC men were lured to their deaths in KwaMashu, a large black township outside Durban. Inkatha officials had invited them to a migrant workers' hostel to talk peace.

Nine youths in all went to the meeting in the hope of defusing the violence in KwaMashu. According to survivors, upon arrival at the hostel they were met by three men in a mini-bus. They were dragged into a room at gun-point, kept there for two hours and then ordered to leave the room one by one, whereupon they were met by a hail of AK47 bullets. 'I came out and I ran. There was a big crowd of people with AK47s and I ran right through them,' one of the four survivors said. He added that an Inkatha Youth Brigade leader had told them earlier he was very angry about Monday's killings in Johannesburg.

The response of the ANC in Durban yesterday only increased fears that the violence in Natal will escalate during the run-up to the elections. Spokesman Dumisani Makhaya warned that ANC members would not take this latest attack lying down.

The ANC leader, Nelson Mandela, was in no mood yesterday to buckle to armed Inkatha pressure for the elections to be suspended pending agreement on Chief Buthelezi's confusing demand for the establishment of a 'Zulu kingdom'. In the same way that the white right have proved unable to explain what they visualise when they call for a separate Afrikaner state, so the government and the ANC - who between them command the support of 85 per cent of the population - have been unable to fathom what the Inkatha leader wants.

Under the new constitution agreed by the majority of South Africa's political parties, Natal will have an elected provincial parliament and the Zulu king will continue to be the king, with the same powers he has enjoyed for more than 20 years within the KwaZulu homeland, under the guidance of his uncle the chief minister.

Mr Mandela said yesterday he could only conclude that King Goodwill was labouring under 'a misunderstanding' as to his future status under an ANC government. The ANC president declared: 'An attempt to postpone the elections or drown them in blood cannot be countenanced.'

The only effective response, ANC officials were saying yesterday, would be to send in the army.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935