'Racist man shoots blacks with hunting rifle'

By Time of article published Jan 16, 2002

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A drunken white South African parked beside a busy road and picked off blacks with his hunting rifle as they drove past, wounding 14, two of them seriously, said police on Wednesday.

Superintendent Pieter du Plessis said the 42-year-old man, armed with a .303 rifle and drunk on whisky, shot at vehicles on the road from Johannesburg to the northwestern town of Rustenberg on Tuesday afternoon before he was arrested.

"He looked for black people in vehicles and then fired shots at them," said du Plessis, adding that the man also had binoculars in the car from which he did the shooting.

"Two of the victims are in critical condition and another two victims are in hospital. Those four had gunshot wounds. Ten others were treated for shrapnel wounds and injuries from broken glass and then released," said du Plessis.

The man, who can only be identified once he has appeared in court, will face charges including attempted murder when he makes his first appearance in court on Thursday in his home town of Rustenburg, 100km from Johannesburg.

"The unconfirmed story is that he had problems at home and his garden service business went bankrupt. He went on this shooting spree and the information is that he then wanted to commit suicide," said du Plessis.

The attack near the conservative white town is the latest incident in white-on-black violence across the country nearly eight years after the end of apartheid, when the white minority suppressed millions of blacks under harsh racial laws.

In December, a South African court sentenced four white men to long jail terms for the drunken attack and murder of two elderly black men in 1999.

A white South African was charged with attempted murder last March when he allegedly tried to poison 47 blacks with fumigation tablets - Reuters

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