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Massacre hostel goes

BOIPATONG (AFP) - The owners of the KwaMadala migrant labour hostel yesterday began demolishing the building which allegedly housed the perpetrators of a massacre in which at least 40 people died in the Boipatong township on 17 June.

Police who searched the hostel after the massacre found blood- covered spears and machetes and arrested a total of 78 hostel-dwellers, most of them supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party, the bitter rival of the African National Congress.

Bowing to pressure from the ANC and Boipatong residents, the iron- and steel-making company Iscor, which owns KwaMadala, agreed last month to close the hostel by September, and move its 600 residents, most of whom work in Iscor's nearby plant, to KwaMasiza, another hostel in the area.

Hostel-dwellers had been moved out of the demolished section last month, an Iscor spokesman said. But a cursory glance at the building just before it was demolished suggested that the residents had moved out in a hurry. Ceremonial Zulu sticks and shields were strewn across the floor of the former hostel rooms, and decorations were still stuck to the walls.