Inkatha Leader Killed Outside Home
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ A local leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party was killed today as he left his home near Johannesburg to go to work.
Police said Samuel Motha was shot in the head. His wife found his body when she went to investigate the sound of gunshots.
More than 10,000 blacks have died in political violence in South Africa over the past three years. A bitter rivalry between Inkatha and the African National Congress has been blamed for most of the deaths.
Also today, police reported finding the bodies of seven people, including two police officers, in townships around Johannesburg. All had been shot to death Tuesday or today, they said. Two other men were killed in a shooting in a township in Natal, to the south.
Late Tuesday, a mob armed with assault rifles used a sledgehammer to smash into a black workers’ hostel and then opened fire, injuring three people, police said.
The attack on workers at a metal factory south of Johannesburg was the second in six weeks. On Aug. 22, 12 blacks sitting outside the factory hostel were killed when a group of men opened fire.
As many as 20 assailants with automatic rifles and pistols used a sledgehammer to smash a large hole in the hostel wall, Lt. Deon Peens said. Once inside, they began firing randomly at hostel dwellers.
Three residents were hospitalized with bullet wounds. A fourth was injured when he jumped off a balcony to escape, Peens said.
The gunmen escaped.
Inkatha accused the ANC of carrying out the attack and said most hostel dwellers are Inkatha supporters. The ANC denied it, saying the hostel is occupied mainly by its supporters.
The ANC says elements opposed to reforms, including right-wingers in the security forces, are collaborating with Inkatha to instigate unrest and disrupt plans for an April election.
Inkatha opposes the election and has boycotted political negotiations, accusing the ANC and government of ignoring dissenting views and plotting to take power.