Ten more die in KwaZulu/Natal party violence

The killing started early yesterday around the town of Mandini in South Africa's troubled KwaZulu/Natal province. As people were going to school and work, gunmen struck in three different areas. At least 10 people were killed.

Initial reports spoke of a massacre but police said they were unsure if the same gang was responsible for all three attacks or if they were unrelated.

So far no "official'' motive has been given. However, in KwaZulu/Natal non-political killings are rare. And in Mandini, one of the province's most notorious flash points for violence between supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), every act of violence is political.

"Although we don't know for sure the motive for the killings, given the context of the situation in Mandini, there is very little doubt that that they were political," Senzu Mchunu, provincial head of the ANC in KwaZulu/Natal, said.

While police from Durban, 56 miles south, were flown to the scene yesterday, the ANC and Inkatha were busy with their own investigations, trying to establish if the victims were their members, so as to blame the other side. Once again, the spiral of violence and reprisal killings in KwaZulu/Natal threatens to spin of control.

Today the New York-based Human Rights Watch Africa group releases a report which warns that the violence in KwaZulu/Natal has the potential to derail South Africa's entire democratic experiment. "Although the monthly death toll has declined from the catastrophic heights seen before the elections of April 1994, the figures remain high enough to undermine the process of national reconstruction," a summary of the report said.

While both the ANC and IFP had committed atrocities, Human Rights Watch blamed senior Inkatha members for promoting the violence for their political benefit.

On Monday the Human Rights Committee, a South African group, said 78 people were killed for political reasons in the Inkatha-ruled province last month, an increase of 37 per cent on March. The death-toll since the elections stands at more than 1,000. Yesterday's shootings indicate that violence is not abating, in spite of more conciliatory language by ANC and Inkatha leaders over the past few days.

The ANC and IFP have been trading accusations and threats over the issue of international mediation on the powers and functions of provinces and the status of the Zulu monarch.

The IFP has demanded that the ANC and the formerly ruling National Party honour an agreement signed days before the April 1994 election. This deal, which convinced the IFP to end its boycott of the poll, called for international mediation on outstanding constitutional issues.

Yesterday the Inkatha leader, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said political violence would decline once the government had dealt with the international- mediation issue. He blamed the violence on the anti-mediation stance of the ANC: Inkatha was the victim, not the begetter, of the violence.

President Nelson Mandela, who only a week ago opposed international mediation, now agrees that there must be foreign intervention. The parties are to meet to consider the issue later this week.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
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

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

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
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam