Troops and warplanes swept into southern Angola today to strike South-West African guerrillas who the military said were planning attacks on towns and military bases in the territory.
Gen. Constand Viljoen, the armed forces commander, said Angola’s Marxist government was informed of the strike against guerrillas of the South-West Africa People’s Organization and warned “not to interfere.” It was the second strike in 10 weeks inside Angola, where about 25,000 Cuban troops are based.
Viljoen gave no indication of the size of the force, its targets or how deeply it penetrated. Southern Angola is the base area of SWAPO guerrillas fighting for the independence of South-West Africa, a mineral-rich territory also known as Namibia that South Africa has controlled since World War I.
May Be Over in Week
“One follow-up can lead to another. . . . Hopefully (the strike) will be over within a week,” Lt. Gen. Ian Gleason, army chief of staff, said on government-controlled television.
After the last cross-border strike early in July, Viljoen said his forces killed 57 guerrillas and lost one man in a two-day operation. The July strike was the first since South Africa completed a negotiated withdrawal of its forces, a year late, from southern Angola.
Racial unrest persisted in South Africa today. Hundreds of high school students in Johannesburg’s huge black township of Soweto went on a rampage because of rumors that black leader Nelson Mandela had died in jail. Mandela’s wife said the rumors were false.
In Soweto, students streamed from Orlando High School and stoned vehicles in response to the rumors about Mandela, witnesses reported. Three armored vehicles moved up to the school, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the students.