Township Violence and the End of Apartheid
Title Details

240 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

8 b/w. 3 line. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey

Township Violence and the End of Apartheid

War on the Reef

by Gary Kynoch

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A powerful re-reading of modern South African history following apartheid that examines the violent transformation during the transition era and how this was enacted in the African townships of the Witwatersrand.
In 1993 South Africa state president F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime". Yet, while bothdeserved the plaudits they received for entering the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid, the four years of negotiations preceding the April 1994 elections, known as the transition era, were not "peaceful": they were the bloodiest of the entire apartheid era, with an estimated 14,000 deaths attributed to politically related violence.
This book studies, for the first time, the conflicts between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party that took place in South Africa's industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg. Exploring these events through the perceptions and memories of combatants and non-combatants from war-torn areas, along with security force members, politicians and violence monitors, offers new possibilities for understanding South Africa's turbulent transition. Challenging the prevailing narrative which attributes the bulk of the violence to a joint state security force and IFP assault against ANC supporters, the author argues for a more expansive approach that incorporates the aggression of ANC militants, the intersection between criminal and political violence, and especially clashes between groups alignedwith the ANC.

Gary Kynoch is Associate Professor of History at Dalhousie University. He has written one previous book, We are Fighting the World: A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947-1999 (OhioUniversity Press, 2005).

Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland): Wits University Press
Introduction
Part 1 - War on the Reef
Beginnings
Rule of the Gun: The ANC and IFP at War
Rule of the Gun: Violence on Multiple Fronts
State Security Forces and Township Conflict
Part 2 - Katlehong and Thokoza
A Tale of Two Townships
Combatant Testimonies
Living in a War Zone
Conclusion
"Kynoch's book is particularly interesting in that it is the first full-length monograph to focus on the industrial townships along the Eastern Witwatersrand as well as on the southern townships of the Vaal Triangle, which saw some of the fiercest fighting during that time." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Distinguishing Kynoch's book from both the comparative and country-specific literature is the impressive range of sources he uses. .[I]t is one of the great strengths of Kynoch's book to show how virtually everything was in flux in the Reef's townships during this period, including who were victims and perpetrators, what violence was used for, and whether violence was political, criminal, or both." IJAHS
"Gary Kynoch's excellent book adds considerably to historians' understandings of the 1990-94 period that saw approximately fourteen thousand deaths from political violence. Written in a clear style, it makes good use of oral histories as well as existing records of the period, especially those collected as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission" CANADIAN JOURNAL OF AFRICAN STUDIES / REVUE CANADIENNE DES ÉTUDES AFRICAINES
"Township Violence and the End of Apartheid is rich in detail with narratives and evidence drawn from 156 in-depth interviews as well as archival sources (primarily testimony given to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission). The book gives voice to the forgotten (particularly hostel dwellers) and provides a rich and detailed account of an exceptionally traumatic time in our history." TRANSFORMATION

Hardcover

9781847012128

October 2018

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9781787443372

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9781787443365

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Title Details

240 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

8 b/w. 3 line. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey