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Whites Attack Blacks At Swimming Pool In Resort Town

December 27, 1986

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Authorities closed an integrated swimming pool at an Indian Ocean beach resort after four whites were stabbed and a black man suffered a broken leg following several days of racial tensions, the town clerk and police said.

Officials in Amanzimtoti, a resort town just south of Durban, decided to drain and close the pool after fighting Friday, said Town Clerk David Ongley.

In Durban, police broke up fighting Friday between blacks and Indians on a beach set aside for people of Indian descent. Blacks reportedly attacked beachgoers and stole possessions and food, police said.

Police also had to restore order at another Durban beach set aside for people of mixed race.

A number of South Africa’s beaches and public pools have been desegregated in recent years, and in some cases where segregation still applies the rules have been quietly flouted, usually without incident.

Natal’s beaches, packed for the holidays with visitors from inland regions, have been the scene of clashes for two consecutive holiday seasons. However, authorities have stressed that a small minority of people have been involved and most integrated beaches have been peaceful.

The friction in Amanzimtoti began last week when a group of whites, believed to be from inland towns in northern Natal, set up a Nazi-like flag of the far-right Afrikaner Resistance Movement at the pool, said Ongley.

On Monday, a lifeguard who ordered white and black children to stop splashing each other was punched in the face by a white man, who was arrested and charged with assault and disturbing the peace.

On Christmas Day, about 70 to 100 black bathers and about as many whites were at the pool when a fight started.

On Friday, ″a number of whites, both in and out of the pool, jumped in and started fighting. The blacks fled into the Amanzimtoti central business district where they broke a number of shop and car windows,″ Ongley said.

During the fracas, four whites were stabbed with a broken bottle, a knife and other objects, and a black man had his leg broken, a police official said.

The government Bureau for Information today reported ″only a few isolated incidents of stone throwing in four districts″ on Friday. It said one black man was slightly wounded and two men were arrested during the incidents.

Censorship rules imposed under the state of emergency ban or restrict reporting about unrest, security force actions, treatment of detainees, most forms of peaceful protest and a broad range of statements the government considers subversive.

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