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South Africa Bombings Called Cowardly Acts Of Terrorism - 2002-10-31

The hunt continues in South Africa for those responsible for nine explosions in Soweto yesterday and another near Pretoria. One woman in Soweto was killed in the blasts.

Although no one has claimed responsibility, many people fear it’s the work of white extremists trying to stir up racial unrest. The last time such bombings occurred was during the run-up to the 1994 democratic elections.

Smuts Ngonyama is the chief spokesman for the ruling African National Congress Party, the ANC. From Johannesburg, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about what he describes as “cowardly acts of terrorism.” He believes the goal of the “terrorists” is to stir up racial violence.” However, he says most South Africans want a “rainbow nation.” He says, “South Africans are one and are patriots.”

The ANC spokesman says the attacks are an attempt to take South Africa back to the days of apartheid. “Our people will not allow them,” he says. “We appeal to all South Africans to keep calm in the face of these provocative acts of elements that do not want to see peace in our country.” The ANC has called upon authorities “to leave no stone unturned to ensure the perpetrators of these dastardly acts are brought to book.”