- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: TWO DIE AS HUGE CAR BOMB DEVASTATES SHOPPING CENTRE
- Date: 24th October 1988
- Summary: WITBANK, SOUTH AFRICA OCTOBER 24, 1988 ( REUTERS - WILLIE QUBEKA) GV SVs Wrecked cars scattered across street; police sifting through wreckage (8 SHOTS). 0.31 GV Police clearing area of debris. 0.36 GV Wrecked vehicles in street. 0.40 SV Wrecked shop front; debris in street (2 SHOTS). 0.52 SV Women crying in car. 0.57 GV Debris in street. 1.00 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th November 1988 12:00
- Location: South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Country: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Africa
- Topics: Crime,Domestic Politics,People
- Reuters ID: LVA4IJH8JN3NID7N5V3CYRPNA7JN
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Two people were killed when a massive car bomb exploded outside a shopping centre in the mining town of Witbank, 145 kilometres (90 miles) east of Johannesburg, on Monday. Police said they were a black man and woman who were in the car park outside the OK shopping centre when the bomb went off. At least 40 others were injured by flying shrapnel and glass. A black woman lost a foot and two pregnant white women were also among the injured.
The explosion in the biggest since the ANC (African National Congress) launched a campaign of violence aimed at disrupting local elections to be held on Wednesday. The ANC has denounced the elections and branded black candidates as collaborators of apartheid. The ANC says it campaign is aimed at security targets, but car bombs and limpet mines have exploded around bus terminals, rugby stadiums and other civilian areas such as shopping centres in white areas.
Witbank is in the heartland of right-wing conservatism. On Wednesday it is expected to swing away from President P W Botha's relatively liberal policies towards the white supremacist pro-apartheid Conservative Party. It's thought the bombing will strengthen support for them. The Witbank blast is the 19th bomb attack in October. No one immediately claimed responsibility.
On Saturday a suspected guerrilla was arrested carrying a fully armed limpet mine 150 metres from where law and order minister Adrican Vlok was due to open a police station at the Crossroads squatter camponear Cape Town. The suspect was later taken to hospital for an operation on a brain haemhorrage. The circumstances leading up to his admission to hospital were being investigated. Vlok said he wanted to assure voters that they could go to the polls in complete safety on Wednesday.
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