Political Violence – Disrupting Ways of ‘Doing’ Politics: An Exploration of Organisational and Political Life in Mpumalanga Township, 1970s-1980s

Debby Bonnin


The political violence, between supporters of the Zulu ethnic movement, Inkatha, on the one hand, and those of the African National Congress (ANC) – aligned United Democratic Front (UDF), on the other, that tore apart the province of KwaZulu-Natal during the 1980s and 1990s was firmly located in spaces that had already established ‘ways of doing’ politics, and, amongst people who knew each other. Moreover, these spaces were localised and grounded in particular places and in the relationships and histories of those places. The question that is of interest to this paper is how did these established ‘ways of doing’ politics become disrupted to the extent that the province became engulfed in a civil war between supporters of these two organisations?

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