Forty-nine blacks and a white policeman were killed in some of the most vicious factional fighting since violence erupted in townships around Johannesburg a month ago, police said today.
A predawn bombing damaged the offices of the governing National Party but caused no injuries, police said.
The deaths occurred overnight and early today in the townships ringing Johannesburg, where battles between rival black groups have claimed about 700 lives in the last month.
Worst hit was Tembisa, northeast of Johannesburg, where 25 bodies were found, police said. Also, 13 people were killed in Vosloorus, seven in Tokhoza and one in Katlehong--all townships southeast of Johannesburg.
The policeman was killed and three colleagues seriously wounded when they were ambushed with assault rifles while driving through a squatter camp in the Soweto township.
Also in Soweto, three blacks were killed when their yellow van was riddled with gunfire from AK-47 rifles. The attackers apparently mistook the van for a police vehicle, most of which are yellow.