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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Age of despair: the unintegrated forces of South Africa
Author:Mashike, LephophothoISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/27667048
Abstract:The creation of a new national defence force in South Africa (SANDF) produced ex-combatants - a social group possessing military skills and access to small arms but without opportunities to exercise their skills. Some former combatants did not qualify for the new defence force, while others initially integrated into the SANDF, but left the service through the expiry of their contracts, dismissal, or voluntary resignation. Since 2000, former combatants from various military backgrounds have participated in or planned protest action to demand jobs or integration into the national defence force. To date there has been no scholarly attempt to explain the sporadic protest action by former combatants in South Africa. The purpose of this article is to account for the various protest actions by former combatants since 2000. The main argument is that many former combatants who were unable to make careers in the postapartheid national defence force have failed to reintegrate successfully into civilian society. Consequently, some of them have mobilized to highlight their grievances. While there is nothing inherently wrong with peaceful protest action, the easy access to small arms in South Africa increases the potential for violent conflict. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]