New tribal fighting flared today when raiding Zulus armed with assault rifles shot Xhosas sleeping in a hostel, police said. The death toll from a week of bloody clashes rose to 363.
Police and witnesses said Zulus armed with AK-47 rifles raided a Xhosa hostel early today in Kwathema township. At least 21 people were killed, many of them Xhosas shot in their beds, they said.
Police in armored vehicles moved in after dawn to restore order and protect residents. Enraged Xhosas set fire to a hostel used by Zulus before being driven off.
Fighting also flared in Kagiso township where three people were killed late Sunday when a mob went on a rampage, police said. The tribal affiliations of the dead were not known.
Police today raised the death toll for the fighting from the past week to 363 dead with hundreds more injured. They said they were finding the bodies of dozens of people killed in weekend fighting.
“We just keep finding bodies. They’re everywhere,” a police spokesman said.
The new fighting came after Winnie Mandela warned that the African National Congress may be forced to resume its armed struggle to protect is supporters.
The wife of ANC leader Nelson Mandela charged the government was aiding the Zulu Inkatha movement in fighting against Xhosas, the independent South African Press Assn. reported.
“The government is working hand in hand with Inkatha,” SAPA quoted her as saying at the opening of an ANC office in Soweto.