JOHANNESBURG, DEC. 11 -- Police today organized the first peace conference between leaders of South Africa's two principal warring black factions as another 51 people died in two days of renewed violence in troubled Tokoza township, southeast of Johannesburg.
Local leaders of the African National Congress and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party were brought together in a community hall in the ravaged township, where a senior police officer, Lt. Gen. Jan Malan, brokered a peace agreement between them.
Penuell Maduna, head of the ANC's legal department, and Themba Khosa, chairman of the Inkatha Youth Brigade in Transvaal province, led the rival groups at the talks and said they would work for peace and would appeal to their supporters to lay down their arms.
They agreed to a plan to bring police reinforcements into the township and to the appointment of a senior officer to hear complaints and allegations relating to the violence.
More than 300 people have died in Tokoza during the past four months in battles between ANC supporters living in a squatter settlement called Phola Park and Zulu followers of the Inkatha Freedom Party living in migrant workers' hostels.
Most of the 71 people killed last week in the year's worst eruption of township violence were in Tokoza.
Battles in the township began in September when hostel dwellers attacked the squatter community, setting fire to its shacks and killing about 50 people.
Community leaders alleged that policemen joined the fighting in an attempt to eradicate the squatter camp, which whites in nearby suburbs want removed. Police authorities denied this.
Revenge attacks followed, with armed bands from Phola Park plundering the hostels where thousands of Zulu workers live.
Now the pattern is being repeated. Witnesses alleged that Zulus from the hostels, again assisted by police, attacked the squatter camp Dec. 2 and 3, and Monday and today the squatters counterattacked.
This time, Khoza, the local Inkatha leader, accused the police of assisting the ANC fighters. Police authorities denied this as well, saying all charges of partiality were "propaganda by people with ulterior motives."
The peace conference was the first time South African police have brought leaders of the warring factions together since the violence between the two groups began in Natal province more than four years ago.
ANC Deputy President Nelson Mandela is due to visit Tokoza on Wednesday with a group of political, business and church leaders to tour trouble spots in the Johannesburg area.