Zulu anger builds against SA army

ARMY units are scheduled to fan out into the violence-racked townships and rural villages around the northern Natal town of Eshowe today amid rising hostility among supporters of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party towards the South African Defence Force, writes Karl Maier.

'The people are feeling a great deal of fear because the army is here,' said B I Zulu, the strongly pro-Inkatha chief in the Gezinsila township outside Eshowe. 'They fear they are being forced into elections they do not want.'

The army units in Eshowe, consisting of 600 mainly white reservists who arrived in a big convoy of tanks and armoured troop carriers on Thursday, geared up yesterday to launch the first major attempt to halt the low-level civil war between Inkatha and the African National Congress.

Troop strength has reached 3,000 in Natal, but SADF spokesmen have said they expect a far bigger contingent to arrive in the next week. The fighting has claimed at least 133 lives since 31 March, when President F W de Klerk declared a state of emergency in Natal province and the KwaZulu 'homeland' it surrounds.

Up to 2,000 civilians fled their homes yesterday around the southern Natal town of Port Shepstone amid a renewed upsurge of fighting there. Gunmen killed five people when they attacked a village at the Izingolweni kraal on Thursday night. Police recovered spent shotgun, AK-47, and other rifle cartridges at the scene. Four people were reported killed on Wednesday in townships north of Durban.

Ironically, these were relatively mild days in Natal: the average daily death-toll has been about 17.

But the mood against the SADF among Inkatha supporters in Natal and in black townships around Johannesburg continues to worsen.

Inkatha accused the SADF of killing an Inkatha youth leader, Jeff Sibiya, 'in cold blood' yesterday during an arms raid on the Buyafuti hostel in Katlehong on the East Rand. 'The army has continued where MK (the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, Spear of the Nation) and the self-defence units failed - to eliminate the IFP leadership. This is an election war against us,' Inkatha's Transvaal chairman, Temba Khoza, said.

Colonel Chris du Toit, commander of Group 41, said Sibiya was killed during a gunfight sparked when his soldiers came under fire from the hostel-dwellers. The soldiers, who entered Katlehong in January to halt political violence, were searching for weapons, which Col du Toit said had been arriving in the hostels in the past two weeks. The raid netted four AK-47 automatic rifles, ammunition and SADF and police uniforms, he said.

'We know very well they are fighting us because we are Zulus. We have the right to defend ourselves against any enemy,' a local Inkatha leader, Gertrude Mzizi, said. 'Even if we are unarmed and have to use our teeth, we will bite the soldiers.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine