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
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - An outstanding high level opportunity...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick