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The Killing Fields of Southern Africa 11
future role of vigilantes in the urban squatter camps and the rural hinterland,
nor of the roving bands of youth who bear no responsibility to any but their
own local leaders. Those who have dispensed the 'necklace' of yesterday will
always find a supply of old tyres, of petrol and matches, if not AK-47s. It is
perhaps remarkable that in all the terror and mayhem that has been witnessed
in South Africa over the past two decades, there has not been more major
bloodshed. That is, no killings that could equal the extermination of Kam-
pucheans by Pol Pot, of Kurds in Iraq, Ugandans by Amin or Malawians by
Hastings Banda's cohorts. These massacres and many more, in Chile, Argen
tine, Tibet and other countries, have not as yet been repeated on quite that
scale in South Africa. Instead there has been a steady and continuous flow of
corpses and of maimed.
Many were killed by local gangsters, others fell victim to white brutality.
Month after month there has been news of men and women tortured, muti
lated and killed. Those accused (but not often found guilty in the courts) were
farmers, or other white citizens. Others were policemen, in uniform or plain
clothes, killing routinely in the course of official duties. Those done to death
include demonstrators or just bystanders, and those locked up at the mercy
of their captors in prison cells.
Some of the more notorious of these killings have been reported in the British
press. Others have gone unremarked because the press does not find the event
'newsworthy. One such event, described below by Brian Oswin, demonstrates
that alongside black infighting there is a more pernicious terror in South
Africa: that wielded by the police and the army and, inevitably, by the right
wing reaction which has emerged from the ranks of those bodies. Let there be
no doubt, these swastika swinging bodies might not be able to mount an
insurrection but they are capable of destabilizing communities, mdkcriminate
(and also calculated) killings as well as inciting others to murder. No equation
of forces in the coming events can afford to ignore the threat they represent.
Paul Trewhela
The Principle of Monarchy
The Mandela myth was mainly the creation of the South African Communist
Party. As the most important organizer of ANC politics within the country
and internationally for thirty years, especially through the media, the SACP
in the late 1950s and early 1960s set about the creation of a very specific cult
of personality.
The 'M Plan' of 1953, in which 'M' stood for Mandela, did more to surround
the leader's name with a mystique than reorganize the ANC on a cell-system,
as it was supposed to do. Ten years later, alter the arrest of members of the
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