Two suspected African National Congress insurgents, including a man described as South Africa's "most wanted terrorist," were killed in a gun battle with police outside Johannesburg, the government's Bureau for Information reported today.
Zondi Roland Molapa, who was wanted for three midday bombings in downtown Johannesburg that injured more than 30 people, was shot to death yesterday outside Katlehong, a black township only 15 miles southeast of Johannesburg where ANC insurgents three weeks ago had killed five local policemen and wounded 12 others in two attacks.
Molapa had planned or carried out at least 17 major guerrilla operations, police sources said, and over the past year the ANC's Katlehong group has been one of its most effective, carrying out dozens of operations -- making it a primary target for police counterinsurgency efforts.
Molapa and a woman, also described as a "much-sought-after ANC terrorist" but not identified, were reportedly spotted by a police patrol in a parked car on a road leading into Katlehong. Heavily armed, the two were apparently preparing for another ambush of the security forces, a government spokesman speculated.
A fierce gun battle followed when the policemen returned with reinforcements, according to the information bureau, and Molapa and the woman were both killed as they fired at the approaching security forces. No policemen were injured, the bureau said.
This brought to 19 the number of suspected African National Congress insurgents reported killed in the six weeks since the government imposed a national state of emergency.