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Saturday, 9 September, 2000, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Cape Town bomb 'link' to killing
Scene of Observatory car bomb
The bomb went off in a busy nightlife area
Police in Cape Town are investigating a possible link between a bomb blast on Friday night and the murder of a prominent magistrate the day before.

A powerful car bomb exploded outside the Obz Cafe, in a busy suburban street lined with night-clubs and restaurants. No serious injuries were reported.

Murdered judge Pietr
Murder of Judge Theron is perhaps the most shocking attack so far
It was the 19th bomb blast in two years in the coastal city, South Africa's top tourist destination.

The bomb was placed in a white Volkswagen Citi Golf, an identical vehicle to that used in the drive-by shooting of Judge Pieter Theron on Thursday.

A white VW Citi Golf was also used in a bomb attack in central Cape Town on 29 August.

The South African Safety and Security Minister, Steve Tshwete, said the killing of Judge Pieter Theron showed that, as he put it, terrorist thugs were on the warpath against the state.

Judge Theron had taken a prominent role in investigating the rash of attacks in the city.

Officials have blamed attacks on members of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad), a Muslim vigilante group.

Pagad parade in 1996
Pagad - on parade in 1996 - repeatedly denied involvement
Past attacks have been directed against restaurants, police stations and gay bars, leaving three people dead and more than 100 injured.

No one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.

About 100 Pagad members are awaiting trial on a range of charges including possessing explosives, but no one has been charged with carrying out the bombings.

Pagad has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attacks and says it does not condone violence.

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See also:

08 Sep 00 | Africa
Clampdown after Cape killing
28 May 99 | South Africa elections
South Africa's crime crisis
07 Sep 00 | Africa
Break-in at Mbeki's home
09 Aug 00 | Africa
Concern over SA anti-terror bill
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