Black leader Nelson Mandela Saturday accused government agencies of covertly fomenting a wave of factional black violence that killed as many as 800 people before being quelled by tough security force action.
The African National Congress leader, who has charged before that Pretoria stirred the conflict, spoke at a rally in strife-torn Natal province the same day unknown attackers killed an infant relative and injured the 18-month-old girl's parents in a burst of shotgun fire and a grenade blast.Police found no immediate motive for the early morning attack on Mandela's nephew and his family, who lived in the nation's largest township of Soweto, south of Johannesburg.
Mandela, on a weekend visit to the Indian Ocean province of Natal - cradle of the factional violence - told the crowd estimated at some 7, 500 in Groutville township that military intelligence, police and "turned" ANC guerrillas were "behind this carnage," which for more than six weeks racked townships around Johannesburg.
"We have taken affidavits from a wide variety of people, and we have no doubt that these organizations are behind these slaughters," Mandela said. The government has denied deliberate covert action.
But Mandela has repeatedly charged that a shadowy "third force" orchestrated the conflict in Johannesburg's townships, and has also condemned the military-style measures imposed to quash the fighting between the multi-tribal supporters of the ANC and followers of the exclusively Zulu Inkatha movement.