Spear-waving Zulu warriors paraded through Johannesburg and township youths roared anti-apartheid slogans in Soweto Saturday in rival displays of strength by South Africa's most powerful black organizations.
A forest of spears appeared in smart shopping streets as 10,000 Zulus marched to show their opposition to African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and their loyalty to his main rival, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.A roar of "the world belongs to us" echoed around the city's glittering skyscrapers. Bare-chested black men wearing ostrich feathers and rawhide skirts waved metal-tipped spears, large knives and clubs at frightened black shoppers.
"We DON'T support sanctions. We want jobs, peace and love," read a banner carried by armed migrant workers of Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party, a pro-business rival of Mandela's leftist anti-apartheid African National Congress (ANC).
"Mandela, father of communism . . . the Zulu nation is coming. We will stamp out the fire" chanted the marchers, who performed whirling, prancing mock fights in the streets.
The most recent major violence between the two groups was a savage six-week spasm of spear and gun battles that cost almost 800 lives in Johannesburg's townships in August and September.
In Soweto, the main black township, the ANC held a rally to relaunch its Youth League after a 30-year absence from the political scene, a move to channel the rage of young sympathizers whose anger has often flared into violence against Inkatha.
Police fired tear gas briefly at Zulu workers in another part of the township, apparently to prevent them massing to attack youths attending the ANC gathering.
A Visnews television news agency camera crew at the scene said one Zulu was wounded by a shotgun round apparently fired by police. Police had no word on the incident.