After 10 days of racial violence in which 33 persons have died, the blacks of Cape Town buried 10 of the dead under intense police and military surveillance today in this segregated township on the city's outskirts.
The funeral itself, said to be the biggest black rally ever held in this western Cape Province region, was peaceful, but afterward police clashed with mourners leaving the ceremony, and one more black youth was killed.
Helicopters circled over the 15,000 gathered in the Guguletu sports stadium throughout the six-hour rally, and all roads leading into the township were blocked. Heavy contingents of riot police and troops in big armored personnel carriers waited in side streets.
In an apparent attempt to restrict reporting of the rally, police declared Guguletu a prohibited area to journalists. It was also made a no-go area for whites, who were turned back from the roadblocks.
A handful of journalists, most of them black, managed to evade the police cordon and attend the funeral. An NBC television team and this correspondent were the only foreign reporters among them.
Ten victims of unrest, including a 2-month-old baby and seven other persons under age 20, were buried at the funeral, which moved in a chanting, singing procession from the sports stadium to the township cemetery three miles away while spotter helicopters clattered low over them.
Sections of the crowd, which swelled as it marched, waved fists and shouted abuse at the helicopters.
The defiant crowd displayed banners of a black students' organization, the Congress of South African Students, which was outlawed last week, and there were three huge black, green and yellow flags of the outlawed African National Congress in the procession.
There was also a lone paper poster that had a red hammer and sickle painted on it with the word "solidarity" printed underneath.
The infant buried was Ayanda Limekaya, the youngest victim so far of the nationwide violence in which about 675 people have died in the past year. Her mother, Neliswa Limekaya, 17, said in an interview after the funeral that the baby was overcome by tear gas that the police fired outside her home in the Crossroads squatter camp Aug. 30.
Limekaya said her daughter seemed briefly to recover from the effects of the fumes, but then relapsed with vomiting fits. Limekaya rushed her to a Cape Town hospital, but the baby was certified dead on arrival.
Ayanda Limekaya's tiny white coffin was set at the end of the row of 10 in front of the stadium's modest grandstand today, and a girl cousin, 7, dressed in white with a veil over her face, kept vigil beside it.
Keynote speaker at the rally was a leader of South Africa's small Cape Malay community, descendants of slaves imported from Malaya during the 18th century and who are officially classified in the catch-all group of mixed-race persons called "Coloreds" but retain their Moslem faith.
The Malayan leader, Imam Hassan Solomons, has been in hiding since the Rev. Allan Boesak, the internationally known Colored founder of the activist United Democratic Front, was detained without charges Aug. 29 under emergency security laws. Boesak, who also is president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the imam are political associates.
Making a brief appearance at the funeral before going back into hiding, the white-robed imam appealed for oppressed races in South Africa to sink their political and racial differences and unite against apartheid, the system of racial segregation.
Saying that Islam does not believe in the "intrinsic worth" of violent struggle, Solomons nonetheless struck a militant note in calling for a campaign of vigorous protest and drew enthusiastic applause from the black crowd in the sports stadium.
"We would prefer the way of a peaceful transfer of power to the people of this country," Solomons said. "But if the door to that is shut and barred in our faces, then we have no choice but to break down the door. The alternative is slavery, and that we can never accept."
The exclusion of journalists from Guguletu today was the culmination of increasing restrictions on reporting the unrest. It coincides with a belief within the government that South Africa's financial crisis, in which the rand currency plunged 35 percent against the dollar in 13 days and compelled a freeze on repayments of principal on the country's foreign debt, was the result of massive exposure given to the unrest by foreign media, especially in the United States.
Since a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, there have been rumors that the government plans new restrictions on its partially free press. Limiting the number of foreign correspondents in the country and a register of officially recognized South African journalists are among the measures reportedly being considered.
These reports have coincided with increasing restrictions on reporters wanting to enter the black and mixed-race townships adjoining Cape Town, where the latest wave of violence has broken.
These curbs became most intense today when the police declared Guguletu an area prohibited to journalists and also stopped whites from entering the township.
There were warnings of heavy fines for anyone trying to breach the roadblocks set up around Guguletu.
Several black South African reporters and photographers evaded the roadblocks and the heavy security police patrols within the township. The NBC team drove in at dawn before the roadblocks were set up.
This correspondent entered through the alleyways of the adjoining Crossroads squatter camp, where the police are reluctant to go because of squatters' hostility.
A helpful black motorist hid him in the back of his automobile for a final dash to the stadium where the funeral took place.
But for the most part the South African authorities achieved their objective: there could be little of the vivid television coverage today that has been seen in weeks past.