Three ANC men die in Inkatha stronghold

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The Independent Online
THREE African National Congress supporters were killed after clashes erupted yesterday in Ulundi following the arrival in the KwaZulu capital, Inkatha's main stronghold, of an ANC convoy on an electioneering mission. A mob burned one canvasser to death and shot another in the most serious outbreak of violence since Inkatha agreed to join the election.

A police captain said a third ANC election worker was shot dead after taking refuge in a police station, but the circumstances were unclear. An ANC canvasser and four members of South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission were earlier reported to have taken refuge in the police station as a hostile 200-strong Inkatha crowd gathered outside.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Inkatha leader, cut short a visit to the Orange Free State and returned home yesterday evening to try and resolve the problem. According to the South African Press Association the stand-off ended shortly after Chief Buthelezi's arrival.

Seventy thousand frenzied ANC supporters and an unsolicited fusillade of gunfire greeted Nelson Mandela's arrival for his last rally in Soweto before South Africa holds its first democratic elections this week. As has been the ANC president's custom during the campaign, he went on a victory lap around the stadium, pursued by what a foreign reporter described as the biggest posse of TV cameramen and photographers he had ever seen.

Mr Mandela beamed, as well he might at the end of a week that had seen Inkatha's last-minute decision to take part in the elections and, with it, the virtual removal of the second to last remaining threat to stability under the ANC-led government that will inevitably emerge next weekend.

The last threat came from the white far right. That was all but removed yesterday morning when the government and the ANC signed an accord with General Constand Viljoen of the Afrikaner Freedom Front.

The accord makes provision for establishing a Volkstaat Council that would pursue plans for the creation of a white homeland. Whether the plans are put into practice depends on how much support General Viljoen is able to garner for a volkstaat from the voters.

The ANC said the accord eliminated the last threat of war - one reason why the sound of shots fired in the air wiped the smile from Mr Mandela's face. He scolded the gunmen. 'I must take the strongest exception to the firing at this meeting. It is clear that a level of criminality, even among members of the ANC, is here. If I find the people who are firing, I will not hesitate to expel them from this organisation.'

Mr Mandela, speaking off the cuff, then turned his attention to electioneering. The Indian and Coloured communities are where the greatest number of floating votes lie. He dedicated at least half of his speech to persuading Indians and Coloureds not to believe the 'propaganda' of F W de Klerk's National Party.

A new forgiveness, page 17