Police and soccer officials opened inquiries Monday into the cause of a fight that touched off a stampede at a soccer stadium, leaving 40 people dead and more than 50 injured.

Police, meanwhile, reported three unrelated killings Monday and said 90 blacks have died so far this year in political unrest.The soccer violence broke out among the 20,000 black spectators at an exhibition match Sunday between two of the country's most popular professional teams - the Kaiser Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates.

There were no indications that the violence was politically motivated.

When the Chiefs scored a goal 27 minutes into the match, fans began brawling. Panic ensued, and the crowd in the main grandstand tried to push through a wire fence onto the field at Orkney, 80 miles southwest of Johannesburg.

Many of those injured were in serious condition and the death toll could rise, police said. They said an investigation was under way but gave no additional details.

The National Soccer League, the governing body for the sport, sent officials to investigate and held an emergency meeting of its management committee Monday.

"This tragedy is unprecedented in the history of South African soccer, and it must not be allowed to happen again," said Cyril Kobus, chief executive officer of the league.

The match was held at a stadium on the grounds of the Vaal Reef Gold Mines, and Anglo-American Corp., a company that owns the mines, said it would conduct its own inquiry.


(Additional information)

ANC to form self-defense units

African National Congress President Oliver Tambo said Sunday his organization would form self-defense units in black townships after the massacre of 35 ANC funeral mourners. "We are not prepared to fold our arms and watch," Tambo told a rally of more than 20,000 supporters in the Indian Ocean port city of Durban. The ANC considers "defense structures" in townships "as a matter of urgency," he said. Tambo did not detail the form of the structures but added the movement would continue seeking political solutions to internecine violence. Police earlier Sunday announced the arrest of 10 people and confiscated several weapons following the massacre Saturday. Thirty-five people were killed and dozens injured after a gang fired AK-47s and tossed grenades into a crowd holding a funeral vigil for an ANC member killed in earlier violence.