Racism Kills All Races
The Reuters report below failed to explain why
any white would want to live in S. Africa.
All they are doing is destabilizing the area.
FOCUS-Eight dead in S.Africa soldier killing spree
(Changes dateline, additional quotes) By Ellis Mnyandu
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa, Sept 16 (Reuters)
A black officer went on a killing rampage at a South African
military base on Thursday, shooting dead six white soldiers
and a white civilian before he was gunned down by colleagues.
The lieutenant opened fire with an assault rifle as a
group of soldiers of the First South Africa Infantry
Battalion was on its way to a shooting practice.
A major, a captain and four other soldiers died in the shooting.
Five other white soldiers were injured, one critically,
and were being treated in hospital.
The attacker, who had served in the army for several years,
was eventually shot dead by other members of the
South African National Defence Force.
``He had to be shot because he would have killed more people,''
a police spokeswoman said.
``He just started shooting. Then we armed and fired back,''
one of the wounded soldiers told Lekota from his hospital bed at the base.
Police said they were exploring the possibility that the
28-year-old lieutenant, whose name has not yet been released,
went on the shooting rampage for racially motivated reasons.
But Defence Minister Patrick Lekota said it was still too
early to speculate on the reason behind the killings.
``From the briefings which I've had so far, I have no reason
to believe that this (racial motivation) is the situation,''
Lekota told reporters at the Tempe military base in the central
city of Bloemfontein, where the killings took place on Thursday.
``It will be wrong to speculate. Anybody who tries to suggest ahead
of the inquiry that (the killings were racially motivated) will be wrong,''
South Africa's top soldier said the shooting rampage
showed racial integration remained far from complete.
``We think integration has progressed successfully over the
years but this is one incident which indicates that there are
difficulties and problems which we have not quite surmounted,''
Defence Force chief General Siphiwe Nyanda told Reuters.
The commander of Tempe, one of the first military bases in
South Africa to integrate former African National Congress
freedom fighters with the apartheid Defence Force
after the end of white rule in 1994, called for calm.
``Let us keep calm, let us allow the case to be thoroughly
investigated before we draw any conclusions,''
Brigadier-General Hans Heinze said in Afrikaans on national television.
RACIAL TENSIONS REMAIN
Despite working hard at integration, South Africa remains
wracked by racial tension five years after all-race elections
brought former president Nelson Mandela and the ANC to power.
The most common hostilities are between white farmers
and black farm labourers, but many schools are also divided
and the integration of national sports teams is a sensitive issue.
One of the toughest tasks after the end of apartheid was
to incorporate former ANC guerrilla fighters into the
white South African Defence Force, which fought
for decades to maintain white domination.
Tempe military base is no stranger to controversy.
In June 1998 two soldiers suspected of being white
rightwingers were arrested after arms and ammunition
were stolen from a hijacked military truck.
There are about 100,000 soldiers in the SANDF although
the government is working to reduce the force to around
70,000. The higher ranks still tend to be white dominated,
although Nyanda is a former black guerrilla.