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Zimbabwe Blames Fatal Apartment Bombing on South Africa

May 12, 1987 GMT

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) _ A bombing that Zimbabwe blamed on neighboring South Africa wrecked an apartment in suburban Harare and killed a woman, authorities reported today.

Minister of State for Security Emmerson Munangagwa said of the Monday night explosion: ″From our intelligence we know that South Africa is responsible.″

The bombed building in the Avenues suburb remained sealed off by police today as forensic experts went through the debris.

South Africa denied responsibility. A defense force spokesman in Pretoria called the accusation ″no more than an absurd attempt to yet again try to use South Africa as a scapegoat for their (Zimbabwe’s) own deteriorating internal security situation.″

A neighbor, who demanded anonymity, said he thought the bombed building housed a family from the African National Congress, a guerrilla movement fighting to overthrow the government and end apartheid in South Africa.

Munangagwa said the apartments were occupied by Zimbabwean civilians.

The dead woman was identified as Mrs. Tsitsi Chiliza.

Four other people in the bombed second-floor apartment escaped injury. The Herald newspaper, controlled by the state-owned Mass Media Trust, said the survivors were a brother of Mrs. Chiliza, a young boy, a baby girl and the maid.

The Herald quoted army bomb disposal experts as saying they believed the bomb was placed in the apartment ceiling. Neighbors said the ceiling was repaired about three weeks ago after a leak was reported.

Mrs. Chiliza’s mother, Valencia Marechera, said her daughter was a Zimbabwean and was married to a Zambian.

Last week, Zimbabwe rejected a charge by the Pretoria government that its territory was used by guerrillas who planted a land mine that killed one person and wounded 11 at Messina in South Africa.