South Africa sent troops into the Ciskei homeland today to suppress riots by mobs that burned factories and looted shops after the territory's authoritarian president was ousted in a military coup.
Foreign Minister Roelof F. (Pik) Botha said his government intervened at the request of Brig. Gen. Oupa Gqozo of the Ciskei army, who seized power in a military coup Sunday in the nominally independent homeland.
Doctors at Cecilia Makilwane Hospital said three people had been stabbed to death and dozens of others injured in the rioting.
Botha said South Africa intervened after mobs threatened to attack government buildings in the Ciskei capital of Bisho. He gave no details and did not say whether South African forces were involved in fighting with rioters.
There was no immediate word from Gqozo's junta on the developments.
Botha had said earlier that South Africa would not "entertain any request" to intervene. He did not say whether South Africa will recognize the new government in Ciskei.
More than 50 factories, many of them owned by Israeli and Taiwanese firms, were set ablaze today as major rioting and looting flared for a second day in Mdantsane, a sprawling township and industrial area in eastern Ciskei near the South African city of East London, officials said.
Mobs attacked and burned businesses and shops in Ft. Jackson, Dimbasa and Zwelitsa, they said.
Gqozo said Sunday after the coup that the ultimate aim of the new government of Ciskei is to reincorporate it into South Africa.
Gqozo said all security forces, including police and prison service officers, support the new Council of State.
But order was not being kept today as hundreds of looters, many of them drunk, broke into shops, removed the contents and then set buildings ablaze with firebombs, officials said.
"All the shops and factories were burning. . . . Everybody was looting and there was complete chaos," an employee at a local hotel said.
Some onlookers tried to stop the looting, but the local police made little effort to intervene, eyewitnesses said, adding that some shots were fired, apparently by security forces, but there were no reports of injuries.
Residents said that the factories were a symbol of the oppressive rule of the old government.