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The situation in South Africa continues to worsen with the coalition government under massive pressure to act, both internally and externally, as the rand continues its dramatic fall in international markets. The African Union is expressing serious concern about the country's democratic future if the violent clashes between the main political parties are allowed to continue. The Zimbabwean and Mozambique Governments are asking for aid from the United Nations to deal with the ever increasing numbers of refugees fleeing across their borders from South Africa while the Namibian Government has redeployed Special Commando units to its border.
Inside the beleaguered country there have been confirmed reports of serious fighting breaking out again in Verona Township between members of CAPU (Congress of the African People's Union) and MONTA (Movement for National Assembly).
The most recent incident started with rival supporters exchanging verbal insults but quickly escalated into a full blown riot with major figures from both parties becoming involved. Riot police had to be deployed and yet again rubber bullets were fired and water cannons turned on the rival groups. Several supporters of both parties had to have emergency medical treatment. Witnesses claimed that Ben Volio of MONTA and Themba Khuzwayo of CAPU were both involved in the fighting and firing weapons. Outrage is building throughout the country but particularly within the townships at the seeming lack of government control with Security Minister Nkosana being accused of complete incompetence. He is reportedly meeting with the coalition President tomorrow in order to seek a formal declaration of a State of Emergency including the right for senior police officers to authorise the use live ammunition in public order situations. Senior government figures from both sides are demanding that the death penalty be reintroduced in a desperate attempt to halt the cycle of murder and retaliation between the parties. It is likely the President, who is desperate to avoid charges of corruption in international circles because of his close family ties to MONTA through his nephew Mer Cutio, will have no alternative but to agree to the harsh measures. Sources in the government say that parliament could be asked to agree to a State of Emergency as early as the end of the week.
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