*Please note that this event has been cancelled*
with Mxolisi R. Mchunu (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
In South Africa, the period leading to up to the country’s first democratic elections in April 1990 constituted a watershed moment. An unprecedented civil war – termed ‘black on black’ violence – pitted supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) against Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). In 1989, these conflicts escalated into open warfare and the arming of military units within ANC and IFP areas, respectively.
While the conflict was ostensibly between the ANC and IFP, state security forces were directly implicated in supplying arms and other support to the IFP. In the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands region, the most violent period of the civil conflict lasted from 1986 to 1996. Most of those tortured and murdered were young men between the ages of thirteen and thirty-six.
This talk will focus on the testimonies of women who survived this heinous war and their creation of self-defence units in the Natal-Midlands. A seven-minute audio-visual interviews conducted by the author and women combatants will be shown. The war took place not only in the battlefields but also in the homesteads, spaces mostly occupied by women and children.
Mxolisi R. Mchunu holds a Ph.D. in History from University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He is a post-doctoral student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the author of the award-winning Violence and Solace: The Natal Civil War in Late-Apartheid South Africa, co-published by UKZN Press and the University of Virginia Press in 2021.
COHDS/ALLAB is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal.