THE racial violence that has taken place in South Africa's black homeland of Bophuthatswana in the past few days is to be deplored. What has made the latest bloodshed so contemptible is the heavy-handed way in which white extremists from the AfrikanerResistance Movement (AWB) and other right-wing groups have tried to defend the indefensible. President Lucas Mangope has ruled Bophuthatswana and its two million people with an iron fist since 1977 with an apartheid policy that has now become discredited as April's elections near. However, this has not stopped Mr Mangope from trying to keep Bophuthatswana from participating in the political process. Yet last week's violent uprising against such a policy was inevitable and Mr Mangope had no choice but to reverse his decision. However, it should not have been at the expense of so many dead - black or white. That so many white extremists were prepared to take to the streets in support of a politically incorrect policy suggests the level of desperation of those who do not want minority rule to end. Three members of the AWB were among those who died in the latest violence. Their deaths are bound to lead to more bloodshed in a country where 20,000 lives have been claimed by political violence. Yet the days of white minority rule are clearly numbered and next month's elections which will lead toward a new black-ruled South Africa are long overdue.