Violence and Solace : The Natal Civil War in Late-Apartheid South Africa by Mchunu, Mxolisi

Violence and Solace : The Natal Civil War in Late-Apartheid South Africa by Mchunu, Mxolisi

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ISBN: 9781869144623

University Of KwaZulu-Natal Press | 20 October 2020

Paperback | 272 pages

The Natal Midlands was ravaged by conflict in the 1980s and 1990s between supporters of the United Democratic Front and Inkatha. The violence left thousands of people dead, injured, homeless and emotionally wounded. This book provides a historical study of the origins, causes and nature of political violence in the rural community of KwaShange in the Vulindlela district.

This was one of the areas most affected by the political violence in the Natal Midlands, but it has been the subject of only patchy and partial investigation. Mxolisi Mchunu threads individual and local factors with regional and national forces and, through a local study, explains to great effect the political violence that rocked parts of Natal in that period. The account offers the testimony of survivors and the effect of the violence on community members in the ensuing years.

One central contention is that the influence of the violence was transmitted across generations and sexes, through whole families and communities. Mchunu tells a story of ordinary people caught up in the cycle of revenge and despair in the killing fields of the Natal Midlands.