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Police Regain Control of Port Elizabeth, Violence Persists

August 11, 1990

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Police and soldiers regained control of riot-torn areas of Port Elizabeth Saturday, but unrest flared in a nearby town. Authorities said 47 people were killed in six days of rioting in the area.

Heavily armed police and army patrols dispersed protesters in scattered violence in Uitenhage, 15 miles inland from Port Elizabeth, according to local news reports. The church of a leading mixed-race politician was burned in an arson attack Friday night, the reports said.

Police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said security forces had regained control of the region after six days of rioting, arson and looting in the two cities.

Police said the discovery of another body had raised the death toll in the unrest that began Monday to 47.

Hundreds of people were injured in the week of violence and 274 people were arrested in connection with 136 cases of looting and arson.

In Pretoria, at least 12 people were injured Saturday in a blast police said was caused by commercial explosives. The explosive device had been placed in a garbage can outside a fast food outlet in a predominantly black shopping area.

Eleven blacks and one mixed-race man were injured, two of them seriously.

The leader of the mixed-race Labor Party, Allan Hendrickse, returned Saturday to his hometown of Uitenhage to find his Congregational Church gutted by fire.

Hendrickse, the Minister of Education and Culture in the mixed-race chamber of Parliament said he had no doubt the attack had been aimed at him.

The racially-based Tricameral Parliament, of which Hendrickse is part, was condemned by most blacks and people of mixed race as a ″sell-out″ to apartheid when it was instituted in 1983.

The unrest in the area was apparently sparked by high home rentals, a lack of proper water supply, lack of facilities and inadequate schools.

The riots began Monday between members of a political group and police at a meeting to protest rent increases and educational problems.

According to police, criminals joined the political protesters and were responsible for much of the arson and violence.

The African National Congress and the Northern Areas Co-ordinating Committee distributed about 3,000 pamphlets Saturday urging residents to return to work and pupils and teachers to go back to school Monday. The pamphlet also called on residents to assist in cleaning up the area.

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