Hundreds of supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party ignored a new ban on dangerous weapons Saturday and marched through central Durban brandishing spears and sticks.
The march came a day after the government announced the law, which bans from public rallies firearms and other weapons "designed or manufactured with the object of inflicting bodily injury."The law is aimed at ending factional fighting that has killed 10,000 blacks since 1984. It resulted from talks involving the government, Inkatha and the African National Congress, the largest black opposition group and Inkatha's bitter rival for power in black townships.
About 3,500 Inkatha marchers, many carrying spears and clubs, refused to be searched by police. Lt. Col. Johan van Wyk told the South African Press Association they could not be arrested "if we can't prove their intention to harm anyone."
Under the new law, a person may carry a "traditional weapon" if it can be shown that the object is not intended to be used aggressively.