Nobel Peace laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu today pleaded with 25,000 black township residents gathered here for a funeral to cease killing fellow blacks accused of collaborating with the white-dominated government.
In the first political funeral since South Africa declared an emergency Saturday in areas of unrest, the Anglican prelate denounced both the government and its opponents, warning that he and his family would leave unless blacks heeded his call to stop murdering other blacks.
Referring to the murder Saturday in neighboring Duduza of a woman accused of being a police informer, Tutu told the crowd, "If you do this again, I will find it difficult to speak out for our liberation. We must be able at the end of the day to walk with our heads held high. Freedom must come, but freedom must come in the right way."
Tutu and fellow Bishop Simeon Nkoane saved the life of another accused "sellout" two weeks ago at a funeral in Duduza. Tutu noted that the murder Saturday of the alleged informer, who was beaten and burned alive, had been videotaped by journalists and broadcast on television here and abroad. He warned that some viewers overseas might conclude, "If those people can do something like this, maybe they are not ready for freedom."
The message received a mixed reaction from the crowd, with many people booing Tutu's words. Earlier the crowd had chanted a plea in Zulu to Oliver Tambo, the exiled leader of the outlawed African National Congress, the leading black resistance movement: "Please, Oliver Tambo, give us weapons, we want to hit back at the state."
Tambo said Monday night on the congress' exile radio in Lusaka, Zambia, that "all areas of our country should join in the general offensive to make the apartheid system unworkable and South Africa ungovernable," Reuter reported. "We must take the struggle into the white areas," he added.
Police announced that they had arrested 441 persons since enforcement of the state of emergency began Sunday. At least two more persons were killed as unrest continued in townships outside Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, police reported tonight. The report did not give the names of the townships where incidents had occurred.
Police released the names, race, sex and home cities of the 441 they said they had detained under the sweeping emergency proclamation of the white-minority government here. Unofficial sources in Johannesburg said they believed several dozen more people had been rounded up today.
Police raided the Johannesburg headquarters of the South African Council of Churches and United Democratic Front, the country's largest antiapartheid movement, arresting one person there and seizing records, the state-run television network reported. A leading white opposition politician in Port Elizabeth was also arrested this morning under the state's internal security law. She was later released on bail.
Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth are the two major cities covered by the emergency declaration, which designates 36 districts as areas where police and other security forces are given extraordinarily broad powers to arrest and hold people indefinitely, seize property and control access. The government said it acted to halt violence that has claimed an estimated 450 lives in the past 10 months.
The day's focus was the funeral here for 15 more blacks -- most of them young men -- killed two weeks ago in several outbreaks of violence in this township east of Johannesburg.
Nearly 100 of the estimated 300 blacks killed in township unrest so far this year were murdered by other blacks, according to data compiled by the South African Institute of Race Relations. Many were people identified as working for the government either as police, local councilmen or alleged spies.
"There are a lot of informers who want to sell our leaders," said Lucas, a young black trade unionist and KwaThema resident who spoke to reporters but refused to give his last name. "We feel we've got to make them feel the pain that we are feeling. It's not the fact that we are happy killing our own people. But it's the only alternative that we can use to stop them."
The funeral was held at the community soccer stadium and at first it appeared most residents would heed the implicit warning of the police vehicles roaming the township and not attend. But gradually the audience began to swell until finally the entire stadium was packed with angry mourners.
British Anglican Bishop Keith Sutton of Lichfield, representing the archbishop of Canterbury, also attended. In his purple liturgical robes, he moved among the families of the dead. Few words were spoken. Sutton recalled the comfort his African parishioners had given him years ago in Uganda when his daughter died. "It's not so much what you say but that you're here and you hold their hands and that you feel," he said.
After Tutu's speech, the crowd conducted a peaceful procession to the nearby cemetery despite several sorties through the area by white police and soldiers in armored personnel vehicles.
Police kept a highly visible profile throughout the day, and some appeared to taunt crowd members from atop vehicles. Witnesses said police later fired tear gas to disperse small groups of youths after the burial.
Police reported that a large group returning from the funeral had stoned the house of a local black official and that the official had fired two rounds of birdshot into the mob. "Injuries are unknown," the report said.
Residents said at least 40 persons have been arrested in KwaThema since the emergency was declared and that they were afraid to go out at night for fear of being picked up. But many said the arrests would not end the violence that has wracked this community and others in this region.
"If they arrest leaders, we will move forward," said Lucas. "They can kill us, but we will move forward."
Tutu called the arrests of four leading black clerics in the eastern Cape Province area "an incredible thing." The government, he said, had detained "the very people who are the ones trying to hold the community together and prevent violence."
Two black men were killed in the eastern Cape and two more injured when police fired at a crowd of about 150 persons who were stoning them and their vehicles, according to police. An official spokesman said it was now "policy" not to specify the location of such incidents. "They are dead and that's that," he said.
In Port Elizabeth, police arrested Molly Blackburn, a provincial legislator of the opposition Progressive Federal Party and an outspoken critic of the government critic. She was charged with having attended an illegal political meeting last week in a nearby black township.
The arrest occurred an hour before Blackburn had been scheduled to meet former American officials Cyrus Vance, Robert McNamara and Donald McHenry, who are visiting South Africa as part of a group sponsored by the Ford Foundation. She made a court appearance and was released on $50 bail.
British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe, in a policy speech, urged South Africa to end the state of emergency and detentions without trial, abolish discriminatory legislation and make a commitment to common citizenship for all South Africans, United Press International reported from London.
[The Canadian government issued a statement calling for the end of "repressive measures" against protesters against "injustice and inequality," Reuter added.]