Four Arrested in Ciskei Coup Try
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Four military officers who tried to seize power in the Ciskei homeland were captured after a gunfight and placed under arrest, according to the Ciskei leader.
Brig. Gen. Oupo Gqozo made the announcement Saturday night after Ciskei leaders reported the second coup attempt in two weeks. The latest assault was led by the chief of Ciskei’s defense force, Brig. Andrew Jamangile, Gqozo said in a statement read on television and radio.
He said Jamangile was under guard at a hospital, along with the other three alleged co-plotters. Ten co-conspirators, ″plus or minus,″ were being sought, Gqozo said.
Ciskei is one of four black homelands considered independent by the South African government but not recognized as such by any other nation. About 1 million people live in the homeland, which covers 3,600 square miles on the Indian Ocean coast.
South Africa established the homeland system in the 1960s to create separate states for blacks. Most black activists and groups, such as the African National Congress, oppose the homeland system, saying it perpetuates apartheid while stripping blacks of their South African citizenship.
Ciskei leaders said the coup failed Saturday when soldiers refused to support the officers planning it. The leaders were injured when shooting broke out between the rival groups.
On Jan. 27, Gqozo’s soldiers shot to death two men accused of plotting a coup. Gqozo has come under harsh criticism since the incident because one of the slain men was unarmed and already wounded when soldiers killed him at Gqozo’s order. The man, Charles Sebe, was the brother of former Ciskei President Lennox Sebe.
Lennox Sebe was ousted in the March 1990 coup that brought Gqozo to power.