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
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

IT Support - Hampshire - £24,000

£19000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone