Johannesburg Declared Unrest Area Prior to Marches, Funeral
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Police declared most of greater Johannesburg an unrest area today as the nation braced for a weekend of protest marches and black leader Chris Hani’s funeral.
An unrest declaration usually brings an overnight curfew and gives police wide powers to disperse crowds and detain people.
President F.W. de Klerk promised a security crackdown after protesters looted and fought police Wednesday during nationwide memorial services for Hani, who was shot to death in his driveway by a white man last Saturday.
At least seven people were killed and vandalism caused millions of dollars in damage in Cape Town and other cities.
The government previously said it would deploy an additional 3,000 police and soldiers to bolster a 23,000-member force sent to the streets Wednesday.
The African National Congress and its allies plan protest marches Saturday in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Hani’s body will lie in state Sunday at a soccer stadium in the Soweto black township, where the funeral will take place Monday prior to his burial in a graveyard near his suburban Boksburg home.
On Friday, the nation’s largest labor organization called for workers to stay home Monday, which black groups have designated a national day of mourning for Hani. It also said employers should shut their businesses that day as a sign of respect.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is a close ally of the ANC and the Communist Party. Hani was head of the Communist Party and a top ANC official.
The South African Chamber of Business said Monday should be a normal working day, but urged employers to be sensitive to workers’ desires to attend Hani’s funeral. It recommended that workers who stay home Monday forfeit their pay but be free of any penalty or discipline.