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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Siyayinyova!': patterns of violence in the African townships of the Vaal Triangle, South Africa, 1980-86
Author:Rueedi, Franziska
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:anti-apartheid resistance
political violence
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000261
Abstract:Between 1984 and 1986, South Africa was engulfed in widespread uprisings in the townships across the country. State repression, aimed at curbing popular protests, had the detrimental effect of radicalizing sections of black youth who were at the forefront of the struggle against the apartheid regime. While the insurrectionary period was marked by non-violent repertoires of protest including boycotts, strikes and protest marches, violent strategies gained momentum as well. One area that saw the proliferation of popular protest was the Vaal Triangle, a highly industrialized complex south of Johannesburg. It was in this area where protests against an illegitimate and defunct local government, poor service delivery and rent increases turned into a popular uprising in September 1984. This uprising not only signified the redrawing of boundaries of community but also a shift towards more militant and violent strategies among sections of politicized youth. Based on life history interviews and archival research, this article argues that political violence aimed to forge a new political and social order. Strategies of violence emerged out of the intersection between localized conflicts and broader ideologies and strategies of the African National Congress, including its call for 'ungovernability' in 1984 and its promotion of a People's War in 1985. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]