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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Chapter Nine: Progress is Made But Problems Persist in 1995 and 1996

The Viewpoint of the ANC Alliance

Introduction

In the viewpoint of the African National Congress (ANC), important progress was made in addressing violence in KwaZulu/Natal in 1995 and the first ten months of 1996 but significant problems remained to be resolved. On the positive side, the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, continued to rise above politics and to play a constructive role in contributing to peace. Moreover, the local government elections held in KwaZulu/Natal in June 1996 made it clear that the ANC was able to exercise decisive control over urban areas in the province-the areas that were its economic and industrial heartland.

In addition, the drafting of the new national constitution was virtually finalised and provided for an important new model of 'co-operative governance'. In terms of this, provincial and local administrations would in future work more closely with central government in addressing the challenges facing the nation, and there would be less scope for debilitating division. Moreover, the provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal-through which a secessionist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) had sought to increase provincial autonomy well beyond the limits set down in the transitional constitution-was rejected by the Constitutional Court as 'fatally flawed'.

Furthermore, violence in the province diminished significantly from the levels experienced before the April 1994 election, largely as a result of an increased police and army presence there. Conflict nevertheless erupted from time to time in different areas of the province, and was reflected-on more than one occasion-in the massacre of ANC supporters. The worst of these incidents was at Shobashobane, on the KwaZulu/Natal south coast, where some 19 ANC members were killed on Christmas Day in 1995, in an early morning attack by an impi of 600 men or more.

Police participation in violence in Shobashobane and elsewhere came under increasing investigation, and was thus curbed to some extent. Particularly important was the role of the investigation task unit on the south coast which was deployed in the aftermath of the Shobashobane killings, and which-by arresting key 'warlords' and placing the conduct of local police under the spotlight-succeeded for a time in bringing violence in the area to a virtual halt.

A number of trials, moreover, brought to light significant evidence regarding the role of the 'third force' in stoking and perpetuating violence in KwaZulu/Natal. Particularly important in this regard were two 'third force' trials-the trial of Colonel Eugene de Kock, a former commander of a covert police unit stationed at Vlakplaas (near Pretoria); and the trial of General Magnus Malan, a former minister of defence, and of other former police and army commanders. Also significant was the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which began increasingly to probe 'third force' complicity in violence.

On the negative side, however, the acquittal of Gen Malan and his co-accused in October 1996 underscored the urgent need to transform the judiciary. It also indicated that the attorney general of the province, Mr Tim McNally-who had long been suspected of reluctance to prosecute IFP 'warlords' and others responsible for the violence in KwaZulu/ Natal-could not be trusted to mount an effective prosecution against third force elements in the former security forces.

In addition, many of the traditional leaders in the province continued to resist the transformation of traditional rule into a more modern and democratic form of governance. Moreover, attempts by the ANC to allow central government to assume the payment of traditional leaders-and thus insulate the amakhosi in KwaZulu/Natal from the control of the IFP-were thwarted by the provincial administration. The chiefs used their powers, moreover, to maintain the rural hinterland as a 'no-go' region for the ANC, which found itself unable to campaign or organise effectively within rural communities in the run-up to the local polls.

The IFP also raised tension in the province around the issue of 'international mediation'. The IFP claimed repeatedly that the drafting of the final constitution should be governed by the outcome of this process-even though this had never been agreed with the ANC or the former National Party (NP) government. Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, president of the IFP, frequently alleged a breach of faith by the ANC in relation to the issue, and called thereafter on his followers to 'rise and resist' the central government.

Calls of this kind by the IFP leadership raised the political temperature in the province. So too did the IFP's withdrawal from the Constitutional Assembly-the body responsible for the drafting of the final constitution-and the IFP's frequent accusations of partisanship and unlawful conduct on the part of the security forces deployed in the province to help keep the peace.

These and other factors contributed to the killing of ANC supporters at Shobashobane and elsewhere in the province. Local ANC leaders, moreover, were seemingly targeted for elimination in the course of IFP attacks on ANC communities. This, for example, was the case in Shobashobane where the ANC-supporting community leader, Mr Kipha Nyawose, was deliberately sought out and murdered by the attackers, and his body mutilated thereafter.

Overall, the period from January 1995 to October 1996 witnessed important progress in bringing peace to a strife-torn province. More remained to be done, however, before conflict could finally be curbed.

This chapter sets out the evidence which appears to support the perspective of the ANC. It describes the viewpoint of the ANC in relation to key issues such as the role of the Zulu king, the position of the chiefs, the IFP's allegations in relation to international mediation, the failed attempt by the IFP to formulate a secessionist constitution for the province, and the outcome of the local polls. It also outlines reported incidents of violence against the ANC within this period, as well as various measures implemented by the central government to help bring conflict under control. In conclusion, it describes in greater detail-against the background thus sketched-the ANC's viewpoint on violence in KwaZulu/Natal in a post-election period spanning almost two years.

The Role of the Zulu Monarch

Tension between the IFP and the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, had first reemerged in September 1994, when the king had invited President Nelson Mandela to Shaka Day celebrations without first consulting Chief Buthelezi and the provincial administration in KwaZulu/Natal. In the viewpoint of the ANC, the tension flowed from the fact that the king had sought, in the period following the April 1994 election, to distance himself from Chief Buthelezi, so that he could 'remain above politics and concentrate on peace and development'. This, however, was unacceptable to the IFP which had long used the king to bolster its own position in the province.

Controversy heightened in March 1995 when an imbizo was convened by the provincial administration in Umlazi (Durban). The ANC responded that the Zulu monarch alone had the authority to call such a meeting, and said the real purpose of the rally was to dethrone the king and replace him with a regent with close ties to the IFP.

The king distanced himself from the imbizo, while the ANC objected to the staging of the rally in Umlazi, stating that the township had no chief and that there was 'no logic' in convening the rally there. The ANC also criticised the IFP for wasting taxpayers' money by hosting the imbizo, which it described as a 'thinly disguised' IFP rally. A man was shot dead during the rally, having been struck by a bullet fired into the air. The ANC said that the death would 'forever weigh heavily on the conscience' of the provincial premier, Dr Frank Mdlalose, assuming 'he still had any conscience at all'. The ANC also stated that 'the squabble over the monarchy was fast deteriorating into open conflict and that this boded ill for peace in the province'.

Addressing the March imbizo, Chief Buthelezi called on the monarch to convene a further gathering of the Zulu nation within two months 'to plot the way forward to the restoration of his kingdom'. The king ignored the call, however, and by August 1995 no such gathering had been held. The KwaZulu administration and the House of Traditional Leaders then again usurped the authority of a monarch by organising a further imbizo themselves. King Goodwill Zwelithini called the planned gathering an 'act of defiance'.

In September 1995 the annual reed dance was again held in the absence of Chief Buthelezi. King Goodwill Zwelithini announced that there would be no official observance of Shaka Day, and called on his subjects not to attend the events being organised by the KwaZulu/Natal administration. The latter nevertheless held two rallies to celebrate Shaka Day-one in Stanger on the north coast, and the other at Umlazi. The ANC warned residents of these areas against attending the rallies, saying taxpayers' money was being used by the provincial administration to further the IFP's political agenda.

In early January 1996, consultations began between the ANC and the IFP to pave the way for a further imbizo to be called by King Goodwill Zwelithini. The objective of the imbizo would be to promote peace and national reconciliation, and allow the king an opportunity to appeal for an end to violence, which was reported to have claimed some 1500 lives in 1995. Later in the month Mr Mandela met the Zulu monarch at his palace at Nongoma (northern KwaZulu/Natal) to discuss the issue. King Goodwill Zwelithini agreed to call an imbizo, and also appealed to Mr Mandela to ban Chief Buthelezi and other traditional leaders from involvement in politics. He proposed that the payment of chiefs, and liaison with them, should be effected through his office. A spokesman for Mr Mandela, Mr Parks Mankahlana, responded that the issue of insulating chiefs from politics merited consideration, as 'participation of traditional leaders in party politics had done more harm than good'.

Mr Mandela met Chief Buthelezi soon thereafter to discuss the proposed imbizo. It was agreed that the imbizo would indeed be held, but that traditional customs must be observed in arranging it. This meant that the planned imbizo must first be discussed with the chiefs, and Mr Mandela said he would ask the king to call a meeting of the amakhosi for this purpose. Mr Mandela added that 'neither the ANC nor the IFP could settle the [Natal conflict] through armed warfare and that only negotiations could bring about a solution'. The ANC welcomed progress towards an imbizo, saying a gathering addressed by Mr Mandela, Chief Buthelezi, and the Zulu monarch would send a powerful message to the warring factions.

King Goodwill Zwelithini agreed to convene a meeting of the amakhosi, to be attended in addition by Chief Buthelezi, Mr Mandela, and the ANC's national chairman and provincial leader in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Jacob Zuma-and the gathering took place near Nongoma (northern KwaZulu/Natal) in mid-March.

Addressing the amakhosi, Mr Mandela called for unity among the Zulus, particularly between King Goodwill Zwelithini and Chief Buthelezi. There were jeers from some of the chiefs present when Mr Mandela told them to respect the king as Chief Buthelezi's senior. Stating that he was 'not afraid to speak the truth', Mr Mandela continued: 'You can shout until you are blue in the face, I am going down to lay down the riot act for everybody in this country if you are killing innocent people. It is people who think through their blood, not their brains, who are creating these problems for us It's because we are dealing with people who are behaving like animals outside of this tent and inside this tent. This is something I have to put an end to.'

Though no date was set for the planned imbizo, as had been hoped, Mr Mandela said he was satisfied with the outcome of his meeting with the chiefs, because 'people were now beginning to think'. Moreover, the fact that people had been able to express their grievances directly to him was important. The imbizo, he said, could still be held, and this view was echoed by other commentators.

An article in the Sowetan said Mr Mandela and the Zulu king could still 'have the last laugh' on the issue. 'Many of the chiefs,' it said, 'realising that their salaries will soon come from Mandela and not the IFP-controlled provincial government, are starting to reposition themselves in favour of the new paymaster.' The solution to the problem was for 'Mandela to use other means-such as more security forces and investigations by the task group,-and then to have a second meeting attended by fewer chiefs and restricted to those who were 'legitimate'.

Tension rose further at the end of the month, when Dr Mdlalose accused the king and his royal council of plotting to establish a rival provincial administration with eight departments. The council denied the allegation, and said it sought merely to serve the monarch's needs, while also assisting in removing chiefs from the political arena. As chiefs would be expected to relinquish the privileges accruing to politicians, an alternative role needed to be found for them. The chiefs and the monarch should thus become responsible for promoting peace and development on a non-partisan basis-and the intended departments would provide the instruments to achieve this.

On 25 April 1996 the second of the king's five wives was seriously injured in an attack at her palace in KwaMashu (Durban). Queen Buhle MaMathe Zulu was shot, stabbed and beaten with clubs, while one of her daughters, Princess Sibusile, was shot in the leg. Four other members of the royal household were attacked, including Princess Zanele and Princess Nokuthula. Mr Bheki Cele, ANC spokesman on safety and security in the province, said the attackers had come from the IFP-dominated men's hostel near the palace, and had accused the queen and Princess Sibusile of 'inviting communists' to the opening of a fashion design school they were about to launch.

The day after the attack the body of a cousin of the king, Princess Nonhlanhla, was found in a field adjoining the KwaMashu men's hostel. It appeared that she had been abducted from the palace at the time of the attack, and killed thereafter. A police source said it was possible that the attackers had used the hostel as a launching pad for their attack.

In May and June the Zulu monarch played a role in a peace process initiated by the ANC and the IFP, as well as by church leaders responsible for launching Project Ukuthula (ukuthula means 'peace' in Zulu). A peace conference was convened in Durban in mid-June, and was attended by King Goodwill Zwelithini as well as by senior leaders of the ANC and IFP, church dignitaries, and many others. The Zulu king called for peace in the province, saying he did not wish to hear of a single further death in political conflict. He remained committed to peace, he stated, despite attacks on himself and his family, and would continue to work towards it. What was needed, he added, was more effective policing and a more efficient criminal justice system.

On 24 September King Goodwill Zwelithini addressed a Heritage Day celebration at the King's Park Stadium in Durban, and said 'it was high time the rank and file of both political organisations took their cue' from the leaders of KwaZulu/Natal and followed their efforts to bring about peace. 'I am gratified,' said the monarch, 'at the co-operative efforts of the provincial premier, Dr Frank Mdlalose, and ANC leader Jacob Zuma in their endeavours to bring peace to this region.' The king added that the celebration was historic, for it had brought together for the first time the supporters of both the ANC and the IFP. The Zulu monarch also urged an end to hatred and revenge: 'Hatred and holding grudges against people must come to an end for they are the source of the spiral of violence we are presently witnessing.' Mr Zuma also addressed the crowd, and said that its diversity was a 'contribution to the peace process and the rainbowism that the country was renowned for in the world'.

On 28 September Shaka Day was commemorated by a gathering at the grave of the former Zulu monarch in Stanger (on the KwaZulu/Natal north coast). King Goodwill Zwelithini was not present, as he was abroad. He gave his blessing to the event, however, and this too-given the acrimony that had surrounded Shaka Day celebrations in the previous two years-was regarded as an important contribution to the peace process in the province. The gathering was addressed by speakers from a number of political parties, including the African Christian Democratic Party, the ANC, the Democratic Party (DP), the IFP, the Minority Front (led by Mr Amichand Rajbansi), the NP and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC). Dressed in traditional garb, Mr Zuma addressed the crowd and said it was time for Zulus to unite and solve differences among themselves. 'Difficult task as it is,' he stated, 'we have to succeed, because the alternative is to destroy ourselves. We must bring about peace and stability. Let us unite and be proud of our nation-building.'

The Position of the Chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal

Tension rose further over the status and powers of the chiefs in the province. The ANC had long called for the central government to assume the payment of salaries to the chiefs, saying that the IFP was able to manipulate the amakhosi through control of their remuneration. The removal of the IFP's control was necessary to bring an end to violence, it said. 'Extricate chiefs from political parties and you'll have peace,' stated Prince Sifiso Zulu, a spokesman for King Goodwill Zwelithini.

In early May legislation transferring the payment of chiefs' salaries from the provinces to the central government was presented to the cabinet for approval. Professor Nicholas Haysom, legal adviser to Mr Mandela, said that its 'primary purpose was to introduce national uniformity in systems and rates of payment, which currently differed from province to province'.

The ANC agreed to consult provincial premiers and traditional leaders before proceeding further. It also made it clear, however, that Mr Mandela was 'as determined as ever to push ahead with the ANC initiative'. Speaking at a rally in rural KwaXolo (on the south coast), Mr Mandela said: 'We will ensure traditional leaders in KwaZulu/Natal are liberated from the clutches of intimidation and blackmail, and that they become the servants of the people in nation building and reconstruction and development.'

In late May Mr Mandela, together with Mr Roelf Meyer, the minister for provincial affairs and constitutional development, and Mr Mohammed Valli Moosa, deputy minister to Mr Meyer, met some 40 kings, paramount chiefs, and senior chiefs to discuss the proposed legislation on the payment of chiefs. Mr Mandela suggested that chiefs should receive the same salary and entitlements as MPs, 'who are provided with official residences, who have secretaries and who have drivers'. The traditional leaders present endorsed the proposal that the central government proceed with the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill. Responding to IFP allegations that the chiefs attending the meeting had been 'handpicked', a spokesman for Mr Mandela said that all senior chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal had been invited to the meeting.

In mid-June the cabinet approved the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill, transferring the competence to pay traditional leaders from provincial authorities to the central government, and giving the president the power to determine the remuneration and allowances of traditional leaders throughout the country. At the end of June, the bill was passed by the Senate and thereafter by the National Assembly.

The ANC said the legislation was necessary for three reasons. Firstly, it was needed to standardise the scale of payments to traditional leaders and eliminate extensive anomalies in the present system. Secondly, it would remove the IFP's power over the chiefs in Kwa-Zulu/Natal, which would not only help prevent the abuse of traditional leaders but also be an important step towards curbing violence in the province. The third reason stemmed from the pragmatic realisation that traditional leaders could not be wished away and should be accommodated in a democratic system to ensure that they did not try to destabilise the new dispensation.

The IFP warned that it would challenge the constitutionality of the legislation before the Constitutional Court, on the basis that all legislation affecting traditional leaders had, in terms of the transitional constitution, first to be referred for comment to the Council of Traditional Leaders. This council had not yet been established, however, and its comment had not been obtained.

Legal advisers to Mr Mandela responded that the best way of avoiding a court challenge to the act was to change the transitional constitution to make it clear that legislation affecting traditional authorities would have to be referred to the Council of Traditional Leaders only if this body was functional at the time. The transitional constitution was amended to this effect in September, by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Act of 1995. This provided, inter alia, that, if the Council of Traditional Leaders was not functioning by 28 February 1996, bills affecting traditional authorities need in future be referred only to such provincial houses of traditional leaders as had already been established.

Later in the month a constitutional attack on the validity of the amendment act was mooted by both ANC-aligned chiefs belonging to the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) and by IFP-supporting chiefs. The traditional leaders also said that they would hold a mass rally in October at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against their treatment by government.

The ANC reflected considerable concern at these developments. It said it had no choice but to expel from its ranks the president of Contralesa, Chief Pathekile Holomisa, who was also an ANC MP. This action was justified, it stated, because Chief Holomisa had not only 'arranged a number of secret meetings with the IFP' but had also taken part in a meeting of IFP-aligned chiefs to muster opposition to the government. Chief Holomisa had thus been working 'with the enemies of democracy', and would be taken before an ANC disciplinary committee for breaching the organisation's code of conduct.

Following the protest rally by traditional leaders in Pretoria at the end of October, the ANC reiterated that Chief Holomisa would face disciplinary proceedings for his conduct. The ANC-aligned South African National Civic Organisation said South Africa's new-found democracy could not be held to ransom and that it hoped chiefs would come to accept the will of the majority.

At Contralesa's annual general meeting held in late November, Chief Holomisa was suspended from the organisation and barred from making statements to the media. His earlier election as president of Contralesa had been unconstitutional, said Mr Victor Sifora, the secretary general of Contralesa, while Chief Holomisa had also been 'guilty of other serious offences, including unlawfully taking possession of the organisation's property'.

In late November 1995 the Constitutional Court rejected contentions by the KwaZulu/ Natal administration that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Act of 1995-giving central government the power, inter alia, to pay traditional leaders without referring the issue to the Council of Traditional Leaders-was invalid. Delivering the unanimous judgement of the court, Mr Justice I Mohamed ruled that there was no need for a constitutional amendment affecting traditional authorities to be referred to the Council of Traditional Leaders. The requirement that bills affecting traditional leaders be referred to the council applied only to ordinary legislation. A constitutional amendment, accordingly, fell outside its ambit. Nor was it salient that the constitutional amendment was retrospective in its operation and might have been intended to 'provide for the retrospective recognition of a bill' (the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill), as contended by KwaZulu/Natal. 'There is nothing in the constitution which precludes such an amendment,' stated Judge Mohamed, 'and I do not know of any principle on which such a restriction of Parliament's power of constitutional amendment can properly be based.'

Other objections to the amendment act were likewise dismissed. The KwaZulu/Natal administration had also objected to a provision in the act taking away the power to determine the remuneration of provincial premiers and members of provincial executives from provincial legislatures and conferring this on the president instead. This change, the administration had contended, 'affected the legislative competencies' of KwaZulu/Natal and meant that the consent of its legislature should have been obtained-which had not been done. The court ruled, however, that the amendment applied equally to all the provinces, and did not target KwaZulu/Natal in particular. It was only where an amendment applied to one province alone, it held, that the consent of its legislature was necessary.

In March 1996 Chief Holomisa was called to appear before the ANC's disciplinary committee on charges of having violated the party's code of conduct. The ANC's disciplinary committee, chaired by Professor Kader Asmal, minister of water affairs and forestry, resolved that Chief Holomisa should publicly apologise to the party and to Mr Mandela for having violated the ANC's code of conduct. The committee also ruled that Chief Holomisa should be severely reprimanded for his actions, barred from holding a senior position in Parliament or ANC structures, and removed as chairman of the National Assembly's Land Affairs Committee. In addition, Chief Holomisa was ordered to refrain from making public statements which diverged from ANC policies. The committee agreed, however, that its ruling would not take effect until it had been confirmed by the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC at its next meeting.

The decision of the disciplinary committee was upheld in August by the NEC, which ruled that Chief Holomisa should be suspended for twelve months, unless he publicly apologised for his conduct. Contralesa said he was unlikely to do so, and sought a meeting with the ANC on the issue.

A new constitutional text was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May 1996. In keeping with the constitutional principles with which the text was required to comply, it provided for the recognition of customary law, but also made it clear that customary law would be subject to the provisions of the bill of rights. It also provided that a council of traditional leaders might be established by legislation, which would define its role and powers.

Chiefs in KwaZulu/Natal criticised the new constitutional text, however, and described it as a 'totalitarian' document. When the text was taken to the Constitutional Court for the necessary certification, Contralesa and the IFP objected to many of the provisions regarding traditional authorities. Their objections-founded on the contention that the role of the chiefs had not been given adequate recognition-were dismissed by the Constitutional Court. Giving judgement in early September 1996, the court found the relevant provisions of the new constitution entirely in keeping with the constitutional principles. (Other provisions-relating, for example, to the powers of the provinces-were refused certification and referred back to the Constitutional Assembly for amendment.)

In late May the Constitutional Court had been seized of another dispute relevant to the amakhosi in the province. This concerned the constitutionality of KwaZulu/Natal bills providing that traditional leaders and the Zulu monarch would be entitled to payment from the provincial administration alone-and not from central government. The ANC had contended that the payment of traditional leaders fell outside the legislative competence of KwaZulu/Natal. In early July the court dismissed the ANC's challenge to the bills, however, on the basis that the province's jurisdiction over traditional leaders encompassed their remuneration as well.

The ANC responded that it would resort to Constitutional Court action once again if KwaZulu/Natal sought to deny traditional leaders the right to receive salary payments from the national exchequer. It would seek to settle the dispute by negotiation with the KwaZulu/Natal administration, but would bring further legal action if this failed. It would do so on the basis, it indicated, that national legislation on the issue-intended to 'bring about uniformity and maintain standards'-was entitled to prevail over conflicting provincial law.

The Question of International Mediation

In 1995 and 1996, the IFP continually referred to the alleged need for international mediation, claiming that this was called for by the agreement of 19 April 1994 which had brought it into the election held soon thereafter. This agreement, stated the IFP, called for international mediation 'as soon as possible' after the election in relation to two issues-the role and status of the Zulu monarch, and any other 'outstanding' matters relating to the transitional constitution of 1993.

The agreement made no reference to international mediation on the terms of the new constitution, still to be adopted. Yet in January 1995, when the Constitutional Assembly intensified its work on the drafting of a new constitution for the country, the IFP demanded that the role of the assembly should be 'readjusted' to allow for mediation. It continued to demand this even though, in the interim, King Goodwill Zwelithini had rejected a call by KwaZulu/Natal chiefs for mediation, and had said that he believed that 'internal differences had to be resolved through "family discussions" before outside help was sought'. Legal advisers to the Constitutional Assembly, moreover, had stated that the assembly was not legally bound by the agreement of 19 April 1994.

In mid-February 1995 talks between the ANC, NP, and IFP on the terms of reference for international mediation ended in acrimony. Soon thereafter Mr Mandela 'ruled out international mediation on the status of King Goodwill Zwelithini, saying the king himself was now opposed to mediation'. Mr Mandela told a television news team that 'the government could not ignore King Zwelithini's opposition to mediation, as he had previously supported the agreement, but had since fallen out with the IFP'.

The IFP then walked out of Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly, accusing the ANC and NP of 'deception' over the issue. Mr Mandela voiced strong disapproval of the IFP's action, saying the move could not be justified whatever differences existed on the international mediation issue. He said that IFP members should carry out their constitutional duties as elected members of government. The NP said it regretted the IFP's decision, as well as its failure to consult either Mr F W de Klerk, executive deputy president and NP leader, or Mr Mandela himself.

Mr Meyer said the IFP walk-out would inflame tensions and violence in KwaZulu/Natal. He stated that the IFP's reasons for its action were unconvincing, and that mediation could not begin unless the necessary terms of reference had been agreed. It was still unclear, moreover, what issues were 'outstanding' and this would unavoidably lead to disagreement regarding the terms of reference for the mediators.

An ANC MP, Dr Blade Nzimande, responded to the IFP walk-out by saying there was a limit to which a democratically elected government could continue to be held to ransom by organisations whose sole interest was to advance their political objectives. He added that it was vital that the government clearly signal its determination to stamp out violence in KwaZulu/Natal. Mr Moosa rejected any need for international mediation on the issues identified by the IFP. Boundary disputes were being resolved by a special commission, while the Zulu monarch was opposed to mediation on his role and status. Furthermore, the extent of the powers to be accorded the provinces, including KwaZulu/Natal, was a matter to be dealt with in the Constitutional Assembly. The ANC also stated that no issues could be identified as 'outstanding' until a provincial constitution had been drafted and adopted by the legislature in KwaZulu/Natal.

Soon thereafter, however, the ANC said it was prepared to proceed with international mediation provided the IFP agreed to certain conditions. The IFP, it said, must allow the Constitutional Assembly to proceed with its work, and must also undertake not to disrupt the registration process for local government elections, nor to seek to postpone those elections. Mr Thabo Mbeki, the executive deputy president from the majority party, was assigned by Mr Mandela to deal with the issue, while ANC spokesmen made it clear that the government was considering increased security force action in the province to ensure that violence did not flare up again. Mr Mandela and senior members of government were reported to have 'lost patience with the IFP's brinkmanship and holding of the country to ransom'.

Not long thereafter, however, talks were held between Chief Buthelezi, Mr de Klerk, and Mr Mandela in an effort to defuse tensions. According to Mr Mandela, the discussions were 'fruitful', while the issue of international mediation was identified by him as 'a sensitive matter' which needed to be resolved as quickly as possible. All three leaders, he said, needed to discuss the issue with their respective organisations before further progress could be made.

At its special conference in early March the IFP resolved to return to Parliament, and said it would give the ANC one more month to honour its agreement of 19 April 1994, or it would withdraw from the Constitutional Assembly. Reacting to the IFP's decision, an ANC spokesman, Mr Dumisani Makhaye, said all that it meant was that 'the secessionist faction' would no longer be represented in the Constitutional Assembly. 'They are exercising their democratic right to commit political suicide,' he said. Mr Makhaye added that the IFP was not in a position to repeat the boycott strategies it had adopted prior to the April 1994 election. 'The fundamental difference,' he continued, 'is that at Kempton Park we were all negotiating as equals. The electorate has now cut us down to size. We have 62% of the vote; Inkatha has 10%.' A senior government spokesman said that Mr Mandela shared the view that the IFP was in a weaker position than before the election, and that the president was not eager to invite mediators into the constitutional dispute.

Mr Mbeki, who had been due to meet the IFP for negotiations on the issue, dropped plans for immediate talks with Chief Buthelezi. The ANC said it would have to start consultation within its own ranks to formulate terms of reference for mediation. It would have to consult its seven provincial premiers, in particular, as the main item for mediation-the devolution of powers-would affect them directly. 'We have to decide whether we want one country or nine countries,' the ANC stated. The organisation added that it would not bow to 'unilateral deadlines and strongarm tactics'.

Towards the end of the month Mr Mandela said that the ANC had no intention of reneging on the agreement of 19 April 1994, but that mediation appeared unnecessary. This was because, he said, there was no issue under consideration that could not be addressed through the transitional constitution. 'If they are able to convince us that there are things that can't be resolved internally,' he said, 'then we are prepared to consider mediation.' Mr Mandela also stated that the ANC would not respond to IFP ultimatums: 'Nobody can give us an ultimatum,' the president said, 'and we do not recognise any ultimatum.'

Following the expiry of the one-month period within which the IFP had demanded action on international mediation, the organisation withdrew from the Constitutional Assembly. Speaking at a rally in Umlazi on 27 April, the first anniversary of Freedom Day, Chief Buthelezi urged his followers to 'rise and resist' the central government, and called on IFP members to 'fight for freedom'. This call evoked a sharp response from President Mandela, while the ANC's secretary general, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, said that the country should be 'extremely wary of tampering with the constitution-making process outlined by the interim constitution'. 'If we allow the constitution to be written through any body other than the Constitutional Assembly,' he stated, 'we run the risk of bequeathing to future generations in this country an illegitimate and undemocratic constitution.' The IFP's demand for international mediation was unacceptable, he added, and went far beyond the terms of the agreement concluded on 19 April. 'If we go the route which the IFP demands,' he stated, 'we will still be paying for it in 2005.'

Mr Ramaphosa also reiterated the ANC's view that international mediation could not take place as long as the IFP continued to adopt a threatening attitude. He blamed the IFP for the violence in KwaZulu/Natal and said international mediation could not be discussed in the circumstances which had arisen. 'Petulant and arrogant statements' by Chief Buthelezi and Dr Ziba Jiyane, the secretary general of the IFP, calling on their supporters to 'rise and resist the central government', had contributed to a climate of violence against political opponents of the IFP, while the situation in the province was 'degenerating into lawlessness, chaos, and disorder', in which no free political activity was possible. Mr Ramaphosa added that the NP 'had fanned the violence through financial and material support' for the IFP, which needed to 'get the clear message that the violence their supporters were perpetrating could not be allowed to continue'. The ANC remained committed, however, to meeting the IFP leadership to find a solution that would bring lasting peace to the province.

Some days later Mr Mandela came out in favour of international mediation, but said that the terms of reference had first to be identified. Mr Mandela added that negotiation, rather than the use of force, remained his 'main weapon', despite his recent 'tough stand' which had been aimed at protecting lives. Mr Mandela stated that the IFP must begin by drawing up a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal, and do so in a format that would accommodate the Zulu monarchy. Through this process, he said, 'it might emerge that there was no need for international mediation' at all.

Towards the end of May the ANC formally invited the IFP to a bosberaad where international mediation could be discussed. The ANC was expected to use the opportunity to persuade the IFP to drop its demand for international mediation, and to explain to the latter its proposals for provincial powers under the new constitution.

No bosberaad was held, however, and the mediation issue remained unresolved. When the first draft of the new national constitution-a working document which left a number of issues unresolved-was published on 22 November 1995, the ANC sought once more to bring the IFP back into the negotiating process. Mr Ramaphosa said he planned to meet Chief Buthelezi to give him a copy of the document and brief him on developments thus far. He also appealed to the IFP to return to the Constitutional Assembly. It was in the interests of both the IFP and the country, said Mr Ramaphosa, for the IFP to end its boycott. The IFP had much to contribute, he said, and there was still a chance for the organisation to come back and 'participate in reaching consensus on issues'. Soon thereafter Mr Mbeki also urged the IFP to return, and said the ANC was willing to hold bilateral talks with the IFP to iron out differences. It would be in the IFP's interests to return, he stated.

At a rally on 8 January 1996 celebrating the ANC's 84th birthday, Mr Mandela also urged the IFP to return to the Constitutional Assembly. Chief Buthelezi again rejected the ANC's invitation, and accused the president of trying to adopt 'the moral high ground' on the issue.

In mid-March 1996, a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal was adopted by the legislature with the support of the ANC and all other parties. Mr Ramaphosa again expressed the hope that this would pave the way for the IFP's return to the Constitutional Assembly, in time to participate in the adoption of the final constitution in early May. In KwaZulu/Natal, he said, people had opted for the best solution-an all-inclusive process with a good deal of give-and-take. ANC spokesmen added that agreement on the provincial constitution should obviate the need for international mediation, because new procedures had been put in place for resolving outstanding issues. The IFP rejected this perspective, and continued to insist that mediation must precede its return to the Constitutional Assembly.

At the end of April 1996-as the 8 May deadline for the adoption of the new constitution came closer-the ANC announced that it had acceded to the IFP's demands for provinces to be granted exclusive powers under the final constitution. This decision, it said, would 'empower provinces by assigning them both exclusive and concurrent legislative powers in accordance with the interim constitution's constitutional principles'. The proposals also included more effective powers for local government. 'This innovative package,' said a senior ANC negotiator, Mr Gordhan Pravin, 'expresses our intention to promote co-operative governance among all three spheres of government and at the same time establishes effective and empowered national, provincial and local government structures.' Mr Gordhan added that 'the question now had to be asked whether there was any reason for the IFP not to come back to the Constitutional Assembly and vote for the new constitution'.

The IFP again rejected the ANC's concessions, however, and the new constitution was put to the vote in the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May, without the presence of the IFP. It was adopted by considerably more than the two-thirds majority required, with 421 representatives voting in favour of the text, two (from the African Christian Democratic Party) voting against it and ten (from the Freedom Front) abstaining.

The constitution was hailed by the ANC as the 'birth certificate' of a new South Africa, founded on the key principles of equality and freedom. 'Through this constitution,' said Mr Ramaphosa, 'we are free. This constitution with its Bill of Rights is the mirror of South African society. It reflects both the history from which we have emerged and the values we now cherish-human dignity, equality, and freedom. It proclaims to the world that we are a society committed to democracy, to the rule of law, and to the protection of human rights.'

An article in the Weekly Mail & Guardian said the text reflected substantial victories for the ANC on a number of key issues, and had made it possible for the ANC to 'set itself free from the worst of the compromises it made in the interim constitution'. In particular, the party had won an easy victory on the issue of federalism, and had 'put itself firmly in control of both the centre and provincial interests, considerably lessening the powers of maverick provinces run by opposition parties (the Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal) to buck the centre, and diminishing the threat of federalism to ANC national control'. Also highly significant were the ANC's victories in excluding compulsory coalition government, and in framing the bill of rights in a way that would protect the rights of organised labour and turn the property clause into a 'tool for land reform'. An article in the Sunday Times added that the ANC had scored a 'sweet triumph' in securing the inclusion of increased socio-economic rights in the bill of rights.

The IFP subsequently objected, however, to the certification of the new text by the Constitutional Court. It did so on the basis, inter alia, that the text reduced the powers accorded the provinces and thus contravened a constitutional principle requiring that provincial autonomy should not be 'substantially less' than that reflected in the transitional constitution.

The Constitutional Court gave its judgement regarding the certification of the new constitution in early September. It described the text as a 'monumental achievement', but found that it was nevertheless unable to certify it. This was because it failed, in eight respects, to comply with the constitutional principles. On the issue of provincial powers, the court-having engaged in a complex process of balancing the effect of various changes to provincial autonomy-upheld the concept of 'co-operative governance' on which the relationship between central government and provincial administrations had been premised, as well as the role of the proposed new National Council of Provinces (replacing the Senate). It found, however, that provincial powers were 'substantially less' than those accorded provinces in the transitional constitution for two main reasons. First, provincial powers had been reduced in relation to policing (through a diminution in operational control at provincial level); tertiary education (in that all such institutions-not merely technikons and universities-had been removed from provincial control); local government (through the consolidation of the autonomy of local authorities); and traditional leaders (in that the setting of their salaries had been made subject to framework legislation to be passed by Parliament after consulting an independent commission on remuneration). In itself, the curtailment of these four powers would not have been enough to make provincial powers as a whole 'substantially less'. However, the new text also contained a presumption favouring national legislation, while the scope for national override of provincial laws had been widened. Thus, while the transitional constitution allowed central government to set norms and standards where this was required for the 'effective performance' of a function, the new text allowed this 'in the interests of the country as a whole'. These changes applied to the 'entire field of concurrent powers, giving added strength to national legislation in respect of such matters, and weakening the position of the provinces should there be a conflict with competing provincial legislation'.

After the court had given its ruling, the IFP came under pressure from the DP and the NP to return to the Constitutional Assembly rather than continue 'tinkering' with a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal. Mr Gordhan ruled out the possibility of the ANC yielding to the IFP's demand for mediation, saying the 1994 agreement had nothing to do with the national constitutional process. Mr Gordhan added that it would be useful for the IFP to return to the assembly, but warned that the ANC planned only to deal with the court's objections. 'We have got to get on with governing the country,' he said, 'not haggling about constitutional principles.'

In mid-September the Constitutional Assembly endorsed the ANC's perspective and unanimously decided against reopening negotiations on the whole constitution. 'There will be no opening of other issues,' said Mr Ramaphosa, speaking in his capacity as chairman of the assembly. 'We are going to concentrate on those issues sent back by the Constitutional Court.' The assembly agreed to establish two sub-committees to deal with the eight issues requiring reformulation, and aimed to adopt the necessary amendments on 11 October, so that the Constitutional Court could certify the text in 1996 and the new constitution could take effect as soon as possible in 1997.

The ANC agreed to meet the IFP to discuss the latter's possible return to the assembly. An ANC spokesman, Mr Ronnie Mamoepa, said the ANC would seek to address only the issues referred back to the assembly by the Constitutional Court, but was also willing to be 'as constructive as possible'. An editorial in the Sowetan commented that any attempt by the IFP to go beyond the issues identified by the Constitutional Court as requiring redrafting would be 'tantamount to holding the whole country to ransom'. Another ANC spokesman said his party would give the IFP leeway to return to the assembly, but that the IFP would 'have to demonstrate a willingness to depart from its confrontational style of negotiations'. It would also 'have to adopt a completely new approach to the issue of provincial powers, and indicate that it did not want autonomy for KwaZulu/Natal'. He continued: 'If they want things like adding three more items (to the constitution's schedule on concurrent powers) and another two items (to the schedule of exclusive powers) it should not be a problem.'

When the meeting took place, however, the IFP asked the ANC 'to reopen talks on issues already certified and to extend the October 11 completion deadline'. An ANC spokesman said it was impossible to 'look favourably on these requests'. The IFP wanted to reintroduce issues already certified and not sent back for redrafting. 'The IFP issues are not new,' he continued. 'If we cannot resolve them in the next two weeks, we never will.'

The IFP finally decided to return to the Constitutional Assembly, and to attend the debates of the two sub-committees established to effect the necessary redrafting. The party appeared to be in disarray, however, for only one of its negotiators arrived at the appointed time and it failed to table any proposals. The IFP soon gave notice, however, that it intended to try to broaden the scope of the assembly's revision of the text beyond the eight issues referred back by the Constitutional Court. Senior ANC and NP negotiators said privately that they 'had little hope of a final settlement including Inkatha, whose demand for a federalist model of post-apartheid government differed greatly from the largely centrist constitution'. One ANC strategist said 'he feared the IFP would haggle and obstruct until the ANC was forced to declare a stalemate and use its majority to ensure the passage of a new constitution'. 'It's all about who should take the blame for Inkatha's opposition to the new constitution,' he stated. 'At the moment, the situation is that they walked out. Buthelezi would rather have the record show that they were forced out.'

On 7 October, the IFP withdrew from the Constitutional Assembly after the ANC had rejected its proposal that traditional councils should be the 'primary pillar' of local government in rural areas. In the absence of the IFP, the Constitutional Committee-the 46-member main working body of the assembly-approved 39 amendments to the constitutional text earlier prepared by the two sub-committees. This paved the way for the endorsement of the changes made at a plenary session of the assembly on 11 October. The ANC and NP expressed regret at the withdrawal of the IFP, while Mr Mohammed Valli Moosa, now minister for provincial affairs and constitutional development, said his organisation had been 'lost for words' at the news of the IFP's withdrawal. Mr Ramaphosa said it was 'very disappointing' that the IFP had withdrawn, and that there was little prospect of its returning. This meant, the ANC said, that the IFP had 'missed all chances of shaping South Africa's constitutional future, and could be left out in the cold for good'.

An editorial in Business Day commented that 'the IFP's internal disunity and strategic confusion had never been clearer' and had its origins in the fact that Chief Buthelezi had 'always been a master of equivocation'. Chief Buthelezi had refused independence for KwaZulu, but had 'accepted funding and military training from the apartheid government'. He had championed democracy and the free enterprise system, but had run 'an authoritarian homeland government based on party patronage and a tribal aristocracy'. He had remained out of the April 1994 election until the eleventh hour, and had been ambivalent about the local poll. 'He had joined, boycotted, then rejoined and finally quit constitutional talks, despite the ANC's serious attempt to accommodate his party in the interests of an inclusive settlement.' He had been unreasonable, moreover, in insisting that chiefs should comprise the primary level of local government, for this would negate 'the basic right of rural people to elect their leaders' and conflict with the constitutional principles.

The Sowetan said the IFP's underlying intention in returning to the assembly and then withdrawing from it had been to 'play to the gallery and portray itself as a victim of perceived ANC dirty tricks'. Moreover, 'it's real intention was not to help shape the future of the country, but to disrupt any legitimate process in which it knew its role would not be as evident as that of the ANC'. Fortunately, however, the work of the assembly had not been affected, and 'the IFP's withdrawal had backfired badly on it, exposing a lack of direction and vision by its leadership'.

Though the ANC continued to hold bilateral talks with the IFP on the issue of local government, it held out little hope that agreement could be reached by 11 October, the deadline set by the Constitutional Assembly for the adoption of the necessary amendments to the final constitution.

On 11 October the Constitutional Assembly adopted an amended constitution incorporating amendments on the eight issues the Constitutional Court had identified as requiring reformulation. The changes limited the scope to which national legislation could override provincial law, and also increased provincial powers in relation to police operations conducted within provincial boundaries. A further amendment gave traditional leaders, who had been recognised in the manner required by the constitution, ex officio representation on transitional local government bodies until 30 April 1999, or until legislation to the contrary was enacted.

The amended constitution was passed with the support of all parties except the African Christian Democratic Party, which voted against it; the Freedom Front, which abstained; and the IFP, which was absent from the assembly. Mr Ramaphosa said the constitution was a document belonging to all, and would be implemented-if certified by the Constitutional Court-'within a few short months'. He expressed disappointment that the IFP had not taken its seats: 'What a positive message it would have given the people of this country to have all seven parties in the Constitutional Assembly today.' He added that the assembly had negotiated a 'wonderful document', and had done so 'in spite of deep ideological differences, in a way that has been a lesson to ourselves, our fellow South Africans, and the rest of the world'.

A Provincial Constitution for KwaZulu/Natal

In December 1994, at an ANC policy conference, the seven ANC-controlled provinces had decided that they would not proceed with the drafting of provincial constitutions. The organisation had also resolved that, if the Western Cape or KwaZulu/Natal proceeded to do so, then ANC branches in those provinces would devise suitable strategies to deal with the situation.

The ANC also said, in early February 1995, that 'a further substantive dilution of central state power to provincial administrations was not on the agenda'. There could, at most, be some tinkering with the dispensation established under the transitional constitution. 'One of the creative options', said Mr Gordhan, 'is a different system of central overrides on provincial powers.' The purpose of the overrides, said the ANC, was to enforce national standards in areas such as education and health. This was essential, it stated, to forge national unity, redistribute wealth, and reverse apartheid backlogs.

Towards the end of May the ANC expressed outrage at a confidential IFP 20-point strategy document aimed at asserting increased provincial autonomy in KwaZulu/Natal. The IFP document called, among other things, for the establishment of a regional security force, and for the assertion of provincial control over a number of concurrent provincial competencies, including education, land, water, forestry, the public service and the media, as well as the promotion and licensing of trade. The document also recommended that the name of the province be changed to the Kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal.

The ANC said it would use mass action to put an end to the IFP's 'diabolical plan' for secession, as contained in the strategy document. The ANC called on the government to 'stop this dangerous design', saying it should not allow funds intended for reconstruction and development to be used by the IFP 'for its parochial party political interests'. It described the document as a 'battle plan for a unilateral declaration of independence'. 'Having failed to win the insane battle for secession at the negotiations table,' the ANC stated, 'Inkatha's advisers and leaders have resolved unconstitutionally to impose secession on KwaZulu/ Natal with serious consequences for the whole country.'

Multiparty negotiations regarding a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal continued, however, notwithstanding the ANC's concerns. At the end of August a Working Document on Constitutional Principles-known as the Fernhill agreement-was adopted by a two-thirds majority by the province's constitutional committee, under the chairmanship of Mr Arthur Konigkramer (an IFP member of the provincial legislature, or MPL). The document reflected some measure of compromise on the part of the IFP, for it stated that the national constitution, rather than the provincial one, would be supreme and 'contained no reference to KwaZulu/Natal having its own militia, judicial system, constitutional court, or territorial waters'. The agreement also recognised King Goodwill Zwelithini as the constitutional monarch of the province as a whole, proposed that the province be renamed the Kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal, and suggested that various 'sunrise' provisions-substantially extending the powers accorded the province-should come into effect to the extent of their consistency with the national constitution.

Senior IFP leaders rejected this compromise, however, and insisted that 12 principles earlier formulated by the party, and contained in a green paper, should be used as the foundation for a provincial constitution. The IFP's green paper called for the 'Kingdom of KwaZulu/Natal' to be a 'federate' province of the Republic of South Africa, and said the kingdom would recognise its obligations towards the republic and other provinces 'insofar as this did not infringe upon the rights, powers and liberties guaranteed by the provincial constitution'. The kingdom, with Ulundi as its capital, would have an independent judiciary, its own constitutional court and its own militia. The deployment of central government troops would require prior consultation with the province.

In early October the IFP called again for the green paper to be used as the foundation for the provincial constitution, and put the issue to the vote in the KwaZulu/Natal legislature. It rejected opposition calls that the vote be postponed to allow eight NP members of the legislature, who were attending a meeting elsewhere in the country, to attend. Opposition parties walked out, the NP accusing the IFP of having reneged on an undertaking not to put the green paper to the vote in the absence of its full caucus, and the DP stating that it would not negotiate with 'a gun placed to its head'.

The DP then tabled a motion of no confidence in Dr Mdlalose in his capacity as provincial premier. If carried, this would have required the dissolution of the provincial legislature and the holding of new elections. The motion was defeated, however, with the ANC, the IFP, and the NP all voting against it. Opposition parties stated, however, that the IFP's hardline stance had made it impossible to adopt a provincial constitution by the end of 1995, as earlier envisaged.

Later in October the ANC unveiled an alternative constitution for KwaZulu/Natal. The ANC's draft rejected any additional powers for the province, other than those enumerated in the transitional constitution, and proposed that residual powers rest with central government. It made no provision for chiefs to be represented ex officio in local administration. It described the province-which it suggested be renamed 'Thukela', after the river of that name-as an 'inseparable' province of the Republic, which would be obliged to 'participate in all structures promoting inter-governmental relations'. It advocated increased powers for the Zulu monarch, and proposed that no person holding public office be allowed to preside over the House of Traditional Leaders.

As negotiations on the IFP's green paper proceeded, it was reported that the party was concentrating on attaining the support of the minority parties in the province for its proposals-and that the ANC was being side-lined. 'The ANC has been left out of the process,' said Mr John Jeffery, an ANC MPL and one of its senior negotiators in the province. To obtain the NP's support, the IFP agreed to the inclusion of a council of state, which would comprise two representatives from each of the three main parties in the province and would take decisions on a number of key issues by consensus. The effect of the proposed council would be to give each participating party a veto power over decisions of the provincial executive on specified issues-and, in effect, to entrench the continuation of a government of provincial unity beyond its designated five-year term. The issues over which the council of state would have a veto would include provincial law and order, public education, the budget, and the administration of a provincial constitutional court.

The ANC said it would have nothing to do with a constitution negotiated by the IFP and the NP to its exclusion. It warned that it would, if necessary, adopt the same exclusionary tactics in the national constitution-making process. It would focus on obtaining a two-thirds majority through negotiations with other parties, and would use the deadlock-breaking mechanisms provided for by the transitional constitution as well. (In terms of these, if a new constitutional text failed to secure a two-thirds majority in the Constitutional Assembly-but was approved by a simple majority and endorsed by the Constitutional Court as complying with the constitutional principles-the text would be put to a referendum in which approval by a 60% majority would suffice for its adoption.) It would secure 'with ease', the ANC stated, the support of 60% of the electorate for the provisions it wanted to incorporate in the national constitution.

The NP thereafter distanced itself from the draft constitution for KwaZulu/Natal, saying it contained amendments made without its knowledge. The IFP denied this and stated that the draft was a composite document which sought to accommodate the views of all parties and was intended to open discussions on key issues. A committee of experts was then formed to draft a 'base' document, which would identify areas of agreement and continuing contention. As the base document took shape, legal advisers to the committee warned that they were concerned about the constitutionality of a number of proposals, particularly the legal status of 'sunrise' provisions, the powers to be accorded the province, the capacity of the council of state to inhibit the functioning of the provincial executive, and a proposal to limit the elected component in local authorities to 50%.

A new draft was developed by the IFP and the NP in mid-December and omitted some of the most contentious of the earlier provisions-particularly proposals that KwaZulu/Natal should have its own militia, judiciary, and constitutional court. The ANC found the new proposals unacceptable, however, and said it would be compelled to withdraw from the negotiating process if the agreement was forced upon the province. 'An exclusive constitution in the province will not and cannot work. It is a recipe for a bloodbath,' the ANC said. The NP, it added, was betraying its trust. At national level, the ANC was 'bending over backwards' to accommodate all parties, but in KwaZulu/Natal the NP and the IFP had 'gone behind the backs of other parties to strike a constitutional deal'.

The ANC also dismissed the concessions made by the IFP as insignificant, stating that they reflected no more than an admission by the IFP that the provincial institutions it wanted-like a militia and constitutional court-were ultra vires the powers conferred on provinces by the transitional constitution. The ANC also accused the IFP and NP of reducing King Goodwill Zwelithini to the status of a 'kaffir king' by agreeing that he would not be the constitutional monarch of the province as a whole, but only of the Zulus within it.

The PAC and other minority parties rejected the new draft, particularly provisions introducing a council of state and making traditional authorities the primary organs of local government. Particular controversy surrounded the council of state, which would accord the NP a pivotal say in government-even if its electoral support remained small-so long as it commanded the third largest number of votes in KwaZulu/Natal. Other minority parties would then effectively be barred from playing a part in key provincial decisions.

In January 1996 the IFP said it would push for a vote to be taken on a 'base' document incorporating various controversial provisions, including a provincial constitutional court. The ANC countered that contentious points should be left out of the base document, and left to negotiating committees and the Constitutional Court to resolve. The four minority parties refused to support the document unless further changes were made, and a senior IFP leader, Mr Walter Felgate, accused them of 'political blackmail' and brought negotiations to an end.

The ANC proposed a new consensus-seeking plan to break the impasse, and again suggested that issues in dispute be left out of the base document, which could then be adopted by all parties while controversial matters were negotiated further. The minority parties threw their weight behind the ANC in the provincial legislature, blocking the IFP from publishing a draft constitutional bill.

Further negotiations between the ANC and the IFP finally yielded an agreement that the province would have an undefined 'service' to protect people and property, rather than a militia-and that the Zulu king would be monarch of the whole province but would be barred from playing a political role. A draft constitution along these lines was put to the provincial legislature in early February and was accepted by a simple majority-on the basis that further negotiations would be held before it was put to a final vote in which a two-thirds majority would be needed. The draft was also published for comment.

As negotiations continued, the IFP found itself unable to command the two-thirds support required for the adoption of the text, and was obliged to seek agreement with the ANC. The latter continued to oppose a number of controversial provisions the IFP insisted on retaining in the draft, and little progress was made.

At the end of February further controversy arose when legal advisers to the province's constitutional committee reported that 'large portions' of the draft might be found unconstitutional. They cast doubt on the validity of clauses providing, inter alia, for a provincial constitutional court, a council of state, the role and functions of traditional authorities, a race relations board, and the inclusion of 'sunrise' clauses listing the powers the IFP wished the national constitution to accord the province. The ANC reiterated that disputed sections should be left out, giving time for further deliberation on these in the future.

Elaborating on this proposal in bilateral negotiations with the IFP on 11 March, the ANC said the constitution should be split in two. One part would incorporate agreed provisions, while a second-in the form of two schedules-would deal with disputed issues. These would be resolved either through a new provincial constitutional commission, or by reference to the powers accorded provinces by the Constitutional Assembly. Mr Gordhan said the proposal was 'eminently reasonable' and paved the way for the adoption of a text on 14 March, while allowing remaining differences to be resolved on a structured basis.

The IFP rejected the proposal, however, and sought once again to exclude the ANC from negotiations, while obtaining endorsement for its own proposals from the other political parties in the province. The ANC boycotted a meeting of the constitutional committee called to resolve the impasse, and said the province 'might be in for hard times' without its support for the proposed constitution. Mr Zuma said the ANC would vote against the constitution in the legislature and 'attack it from the beginning'. The ANC would 'poke holes in it continuously to show how feudalistic it was', he stated. The minority parties, he added, would have to choose whether they supported feudalism or democracy.

The minority parties-particularly the Minority Front of Mr Amichand Rajbansi-again indicated that they would not vote in favour of a constitution without ANC support. Negotiations continued between the ANC and IFP, and on 15 March finally yielded an agreement. In terms of this, contentious issues remained within the body of the draft but could not be brought into operation unless sanctioned either by the new national constitution-with which the KwaZulu/Natal text would have to comply-or approved by specified majorities in the legislature ranging from 40% to two thirds. Commenting on the adoption of the text, Mr Zuma said it proved 'once and for all that the two rival parties could co-operate'.

In all, of the constitution's 14 chapters, nine could not be implemented until further steps had been taken. These included chapters on fundamental federal principles, a prov incial bill of rights, the powers and functions of the province, the establishment of a provincial constitutional court, the role of the monarch and traditional authorities, and provincial powers over security and police. A 15th chapter provided mechanisms for resolving deadlocks on these issues. Five chapters, which would become operational on certification of the constitution by the Constitutional Court, provided for the structure of the legislature and executive, and for a limited number of provincial powers and functions.

The provincial bill of rights and the chapter on fundamental principles-which described the province as a 'self-governing' entity in a 'federal partnership' with central government-could not come into operation for six months. They could still be kept in abeyance thereafter if 40% of the legislature voted against them. Provisions relating to a provincial constitutional court, the Zulu monarch, traditional authorities and local governsment, would remain inoperative unless the legislature endorsed them by a two-thirds majority.

The Constitutional Court said it would hold a three-day hearing on the KwaZulu/Natal constitution in late June, before proceeding to the certification of the national constitutional text on 1 July. The ANC and central government made separate submissions to the court to challenge different aspects of the provincial text. In September, the court gave judgement on the provincial constitution, on the same day as it ruled on the certification of the national text. The provincial constitution, it said, was 'fatally flawed', for it reflected a misunderstanding of the status of the province in relation to the central government. The text made repeated attempts to increase provincial powers, but cited no valid basis on which this could be done. 'A province cannot by means of the bootstraps of its own constitution confer on its legislature greater powers than those granted it by the interim constitution,' the court stated.

Political parties in KwaZulu/Natal said that they were not surprised at the court's ruling. Mr Jeffery said the ANC had long believed that significant portions of the draft were unconstitutional, but that the IFP would not accept this. Hence, it had become clear to his party that 'the only way of resolving these points was to go to the Constitutional Court'. The DP said it would be advisable for the province to wait until the national constitution had been finalised before amending the provincial draft, so as to be sure that the provincial text fell 'four-square' within the permitted parameters. The NP agreed that the finding had come as 'absolutely no surprise', and said that it looked forward to reviewing the clauses which the court had found unconstitutional.

The Shell House Issue

In early June 1995, President Mandela faced intensive questioning from the DP and the NP in the Senate in relation to the 'Shell House shootings', in which eight IFP supporters had been killed outside the building-the ANC's national headquarters-on 28 March 1994. Mr Mandela acknowledged that he had instructed security officers to defend the building by force-including lethal force if necessary.'I gave instructions to our security', said Mr Mandela, 'that if they attacked the house, please you must protect that house-even if you have to kill people.'

Clarifying Mr Mandela's statement, the ANC said it had obtained prior information that an attack was planned on its headquarters, and had warned Mr de Klerk (then state president) and the South African Police (SAP) of the impending assault. According to a 'previously unpublished eyewitness account' by a South African journalist, Mr Gavin du Venage, single shots from handguns as well as shotgun fire were directed at the front of Shell House. A small number of policemen deployed to protect the building ran for their lives, while administration staff 'huddled in terror behind the security desks'. 'A man appeared with an AK-47 which he shielded under his suit coat, though the bulky weapon was clearly visible. Other security guards gathered around him and started arguing about whether to advance with the weapon. After several minutes the matter was decided when one of the guards snatched the rifle from his colleague. He ran towards the door with others following behind. A few seconds later there was a long burst of fire from an AK-47.'

In a parliamentary debate the following week called to review Mr Mandela's statement, Mr Mandela said his instruction had merely reflected the common law right of self-defence. His explanation was greeted by loud cheers from a public gallery filled with ANC supporters. Opposition parties, however, demanded a judicial commission of inquiry into the shootings and their aftermath, and the ANC said this was unnecessary. He was satisfied, said Mr Mandela, with current police investigations into the incident, and 'did not believe opposition speakers wanted the ANC to take them seriously'. 'I don't think they meant it seriously,' he said, referring to opposition calls for a judicial commission.

At a briefing for journalists thereafter, Ms Cheryl Carolus, the deputy secretary general of the ANC, reiterated the ANC's view that the police had failed to provide adequate protection for Shell House, leaving the ANC to deal with the threat posed by thousands of IFP marchers surging towards its headquarters. Despite requests for police protection, 'by 11,15am when the shooting outside Shell House happened, only five policemen and five soldiers had been stationed outside the building. The police ran away after trying to convince the ANC security to withdraw inside the building, which the ANC men refused to do'. A police officer conducting the subsequent investigation, she continued, had been abusive towards four witnesses provided by the ANC, who had chosen to avail themselves of their right to remain silent. The officer in question, Captain Fourie, had threatened that 'he would use other methods to get the information' if the four refused to make statements. (Capt Fourie was removed from the investigation after ANC complaints regarding his conduct.) The police had also failed to investigate the role of the IFP in the events of the day. Moreover, the ANC's willingness to co-operate with the police was shown by the fact that the organisation had given the police 146 out of 200 firearms for ballistic tests.

In mid-June Mr Mbeki said it would be improper to appoint a commission of inquiry as this would interfere with the decision of the deputy attorney general of the Witwatersrand, Mr Kevin Attwell, regarding what action to take. Mr Mbeki added that the deaths of 55 people on that day were quite properly in the hands of Mr Attwell, who would make an independent decision regarding prosecution or the holding of an inquest. 'We do not believe it would be proper to interfere with this process or to stop it by replacing it with a judicial commission,' said Mr Mbeki.

At the beginning of September 1995, the police docket was handed to Mr Attwell for a decision on prosecution. The police said the docket was almost complete, but that statements had not yet been obtained from various 'prominent persons', including Mr Mandela. In mid-November, it was reported that Mr Mandela had refused to make a statement to the investigators, and an editorial in The Citizen said 'a large number of ANC members had been identified on videos on the day of the massacre, but had refused to co-operate with the police in their investigations'. The editorial called on the ANC and IFP to give their full co-operation to the police without delay.

The ANC responded that it was 'appalling that The Citizen had had the audacity to print false allegations which bordered on slander against the president and other senior officials of the ANC'. The ANC, it said, was the only political party that had co-operated in the investigation. A number of its senior officials had made statements to the police, and various licensed firearms had been handed over for ballistic testing. The deaths at Shell House were not the only ones to be taken into account, moreover, and the IFP 'remained responsible for over 60 deaths on that day'. 'We have yet to witness,' said the ANC, 'The Citizen's call to the IFP leadership to co-operate with police on the matter.' The party added that it would be 'unfortunate if a perception were to develop that The Citizen was waging a propaganda war against the ANC on the matter'. The ANC also denied that Mr Mandela had refused to make a statement in relation to 'the attack on Shell House'. The statement was being prepared, it said, and would shortly be submitted to the attorney general.

In February 1996 it was reported that Mr Mandela had made a statement to the attorney general, but that no decision on prosecution had yet been made as investigation was still continuing. Some 90 dockets had been received, analysed and returned to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for completion of investigation. Some additional statements had been received from the ANC, but 'many more were still awaited from the ANC, the IFP and the SAPS itself'. Moreover, the investigation could not be considered closed until some 400 people who had been treated for injuries on the day had been traced.

When Mr Mandela met Chief Buthelezi, the Zulu monarch, and a number of chiefs and headmen in mid-March 1996 to discuss the holding of an imbizo, one of the main sources of contention was the Shell House massacre. Mr Mandela suggested to the assembled chiefs that 'the hand of the third force could be spied in the Shell House killings'. According to some people, Mr Mandela said, the marchers had wanted to proceed to the Library Gardens-but police had led them to Shell House instead.

The IFP announced that it would march through the streets of Johannesburg on 28 March 1996 to commemorate the killings outside Shell House. It also made it clear that its supporters would carry traditional weapons during the march, in defiance of the newly proclaimed ban on the public display of dangerous weapons.

Mr Mandela said in response that the government could not continue to tolerate demonstrations that threatened innocent lives. Very effective precautions, he said, would have to be taken to prevent a repetition of the bloodbath that had occurred during the 1994 march. A spokesman for the SAPS said that thousands of police and soldiers would be deployed in the city centre, and had been instructed by the minister for safety and security, Mr Sydney Mufamadi, to arrest anyone carrying dangerous weapons. The ANC added that it did not dispute the right of the IFP to engage in public protest, but that 'the planned march had the potential of degenerating into chaos'. The IFP, it continued, would have to 'shoulder the blame for any death or destruction that occurred during the march'.

An IFP MP, Mr Themba Khoza, claimed he had been told of a plot by the ANC and the government to provoke the marchers into violence, and then to gun them down when they reacted. Ms Carolus described Mr Khoza's allegations as 'preposterous'. She challenged Mr Khoza to name his sources, and said the ANC would consult its lawyers about what it regarded as defamation. Ms Carolus added that she found it unbelievable that the IFP had made no attempt to communicate its information through the 'numerous, democratic avenues open to it'. 'This is either gross irresponsibility or defamatory,' she stated. 'We insist,' Ms Carolus continued, 'that those people calling for and inciting people to break the law should be arrested. The intention of the march is to precipitate conflict and fear. Those who encourage, by word or deed, open and flagrant violation of the laws must face the full might of the security forces.'

An editorial in The Citizen said it was 'balderdash' for Mr Khoza to suggest that the government was involved in the plot described by him, and that no one would plan such a bloodbath. 'The great danger,' it continued, 'is that the Zulus will carry out their threat to defy the "dangerous weapons" ban and carry their "cultural accoutrements" (Chief Buthelezi's description of cultural weapons) and the police, clearly on instructions from the government, will try to arrest those who do. This could lead to a dangerous situation.'

Though the Johannesburg march by some 12 000 IFP supporters proceeded peacefully following the deployment of some 3 000 police and troops, in KwaZulu/Natal the situation was different. The Sowetan reported that eight people had been killed in Umlazi on 28 March and nine had been injured. This had occurred, it said, when IFP supporters had sought to enforce a stayaway to commemorate the Shell House shootings. Four commuters had been killed at the Umlazi Station, another two at KwaMnyandu Station, one at Zwelethu Station, and another near Unit 17 hostel.

On the same day as the IFP march, Mr Attwell's office said priority was being given to the investigation of events in Johannesburg on 28 March 1994. The investigation was a complex one, however, requiring the analysis of all reported cases from various police stations, the tracing of some 400 possible victims, and various on-site inspections. This made it difficult to predict when the investigation would be concluded.

Towards the end of April, investigators probing the Shell House shootings said they had identified 'five main areas of activity in reconstructing the day's events'. These were Lancet Hall (the ANC's regional headquarters), the Library Gardens, Park Station, the Selby Hostel and Shell House. The ANC expressed concern that the investigators had excluded 'several areas where killings took place on that day, including the east Rand, the west Rand and the George Goch hostel'. 'It would be unfortunate,' it said, 'if the impression were to be created that some people's lives were regarded as more important than others.' The ANC said it would seek a meeting with Mr Attwell to discuss the matter.

In July the ANC filed a number of court documents in response to a civil claim against it by the widow of one of the men killed in the shootings at Shell House in 1994. In these, the ANC said it had evidence that 'the attack was planned by a group of SAP officers and senior Gauteng IFP officials, all of whom were bent on derailing the April 1994 election'. Ms Carolus said the ANC did not want to pre-empt the decision of the attorney general of the Witwatersrand, but hoped that he would 'act speedily in opening charges' against Mr Themba Khoza and other IFP leaders in Gauteng. The former SAP members allegedly involved in the attack, she said, included Mr Charles Chait, Col Eugene de Kock, Mr Willie Nortjé, and Mr Andries van Heerden. (Col de Kock, having been identified by the Goldstone commission in March 1994 as involved in gun-running to the IFP and other 'third force' activities, was on trial at the time on some 120 charges, ranging from murder to fraud.) The ANC expressed concern at the failure of the police to investigate allegations that the Shell House attack had been orchestrated by these policemen, 'conspiring with a clique of IFP members'.

Later in the month, the ANC denied allegations that it was delaying police investigations into the shootings. Mr Ronnie Mamoepa said that claims by the SAPS investigating officer, Director Neville Thoms, that the ANC was delaying the investigation, constituted 'an attempt to embarrass the party and reflected a lack of co-ordination between the police and the attorney general's office'. Mr Mamoepa added that the ANC had already handed over 144 weapons to the police, and had also submitted several affidavits to the attorney general's office-including information detailing a plan by former operatives of the Civil Co-operation Bureau to assassinate ANC leaders during the march.

In September, Mr Mufamadi said the ANC had handed the last batch of weapons to the police in July 1996, and that the ANC was 'the only party to have co-operated with the police in the handing over of weapons'. It denied that it was thwarting proper investigation of the deaths at Shell House. (In the same month, it was reported that an investigation by a special committee of Parliament into whether Mr Mufamadi had misled Parliament in 1994-in stating that there had been no obstruction of police investigation into the Shell House shootings-had found that Mr Mufamadi had not done so.)

Pending Local Government Elections

In KwaZulu/Natal, local government elections were due to be held on 1 November 1995, but had to be postponed on two occasions-initially to 29 May and thereafter to 26 June 1996. Violence intensified in the province in the run-up to the elections, until tensions were defused to some extent in the month preceding them as a result of peace initiatives launched by both church groups and political leaders.

In March 1995 the ANC described its position on the key issue of local government in rural areas. It said that 'traditional authorities were not local governments' in a true democratic sense, and recommended that-in all areas where there were tribal authorities-chiefs should elect representatives in the ratio of one ex-officio representative for every ten elected councillors [on the relevant council]. The IFP, instead, proposed that 50% of traditional councils should be elected by voters, the remainder being nominated by chiefs.

Towards the end of June, the Local Government Transition Act was amended to provide for the establishment of district councils in rural areas. Within these councils, chiefs were to be accorded a status similar to that of other 'interest groups', including farmers, farm labourers, land owners, and women. The representation of each of these interest groups would be limited to 10% of the total number of representatives on each such council.

By the end of July it had become evident, said the ANC, that logistical difficulties precluded the holding of local government elections in all provinces on 1 November, as had originally been intended. It was necessary, the organisation said, to postpone the elections in both KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape, where difficulties regarding demarcation of boundaries and other issues remained unresolved. This necessitated an amendment to the transitional constitution, which provided that local government elections should be held throughout the country on the same day. The necessary amendment was promulgated in September, under the terms of the Republic of South Africa Second Amendment Act of 1995.

The ANC also mooted-and then enacted-legislation giving national government jurisdiction over areas where local government elections had not been held by the end of March 1996. If local government elections had not been held by this deadline, said the ANC's chief whip, Mr Arnold Stofile, 'it would demonstrate that the areas concerned had neither the capacity nor the will to hold elections', and that central government intervention was necessary.

In early October the IFP's MEC for local government and housingin KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Peter Miller, proposed that local polls be held in the province on 27 March 1996. Demarcation disputes in urban areas would first have to be resolved, however, while it would be difficult to hold elections in rural areas because the status of the amakhosi in local government was yet to be agreed. The ANC's co-ordinator of local government in the province, Mr Magwaza Maphalala, said he was sceptical as to whether elections would in fact take place on 27 March. 'We are dealing with people,' he said, 'who do not have an interest in progress. They are hell-bent on being destructive.'

Mr Miller also said he would reopen voter registration throughout the province for the whole of the month of November. The ANC responded that it would hold a protest march in Durban on 1 November-the date of local polls elsewhere in the country-as the IFP 'kept putting forward obstacles that placed the March 27 date in jeopardy'.

In the local government polls held on 1 November in most parts of the country, the ANC won the majority (61,73%) of some 7 400 local government seats under contest, while its closest rival, the NP, won 15,74% of these. The ANC won outright control of 61,2% of the councils under contest (699), while the NP won control of 6,9% (48) and the Freedom Front of 0,1% (one). The Conservative Party, DP, IFP and PAC failed to gain control of a single council.

As violence intensified in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Mufamadi said security would be stepped up in the province 'to create a climate conducive to free and fair elections'. Existing measures in terms of the community safety plan and Operation Jambu III would be strengthened.

In November the Electoral Court ruled that tribal areas should not be included within urban areas for the purposes of the local government elections, as this was opposed by traditional leaders in KwaZulu/Natal and consultation with the amakhosi had been inadequate. In the same month it was decided that local polls would be held on the same day in both KwaZulu/Natal and the Western Cape, and the date was set as 29 May 1996.

In February 1996, however, doubt arose as to whether local elections could proceed in rural areas. The IFP continued to insist that traditional leaders should be given automatic representation on the seven regional councils proposed for rural areas. Dr Michael Sutcliffe, the ANC's spokesman on local government in the province, said: 'The chiefs in the province are IFP leaders, and the proposal is a way to give the IFP domination of the rural councils.' The ANC, he added, did not believe that any chief should be given automatic representation. The dispute was resolved by agreeing that the representation accorded chiefs in local government should be dealt with separately, and should not interfere with preparations for elections.

In April the ANC called on the central government to postpone the poll in the province because of irregularities in voters' rolls and intensifying violence. In a memorandum to the minister for provincial affairs and constitutional development, Mr Chris Fismer, Mr Zuma said it was not realistic to hold elections on 29 May as the registration process was seriously flawed and the security situation volatile. Dr Sutcliffe added that up to 20% of registered ANC supporters' names had been excluded from voters' rolls, and that the situation was particularly acute in rural areas where the ANC had grassroots support but IFP-supporting chiefs wielded control. In Umgababa on the south coast, for example, about 80% of registered voters had discovered that their names were not on the roll. Furthermore, the chiefs and the Joint Services Boards (the equivalent of Regional Services Councils in other provinces) controlled all aspects of election preparations, and the chiefs had made it plain that 'they would be the ones to determine who would be employed as election officials on election day'. In addition, the security situation was tense, and it was not enough for the security forces to deploy extra men in the province from 14 May to 4 June, as planned, as 'this would not ensure free political activity in advance of the poll'.

Mr Mandela at first urged all parties to ensure that the local polls went ahead as planned. The following day, however, he said that the postponement or staggering of the polls had to be considered. 'We cannot ignore the fact,' said Mr Mandela, 'that so many people have died. What is the point of having elections when some organisations cannot do their political work in some areas?' He added that the issue was a delicate one, on which wide consultation would be necessary. Mr Mandela said about 90 people had died in Kwa-Zulu/Natal over the previous weekend, and that this was too much. 'The prediction,' he continued, 'is that more people are going to die as the rhetoric of political organisations intensifies as the elections come near.'

A suitable date for the elections would also have to be discussed with the security forces, the president stated. 'The security forces have a plan,' he said, 'which appears to me to be likely to succeed.' This was reflected in their deployment of a focused group in Shoba-shobane after the Christmas Day massacre. 'By concentrating on the area,' said Mr Mandela, 'they have rounded up all the warlords and arrested police committing violence.' The success of their approach was shown by the fact that 'not a single person had died in that area' since then. The security forces were now planning to extend this approach to other flashpoints. 'They will report to me,' he added, 'when they think the time has come for free and fair elections.'

The IFP and NP rejected the ANC call for postponement. The ANC reiterated that there were massive irregularities in the voters' rolls, and cited the roll at Ulundi by way of illustration. This showed that Chief Buthelezi was registered at an address where he no longer lived, while Dr Mdlalose's media spokesman, Mr Thembinkosi Memela, had been registered twice. The Ulundi roll also showed that three different types of fraud had occurred, including the registration of voters from outside areas, the 'packing' of addresses with as many voters as possible, and the registration of voters on vacant sites. For example, a total of 1 100 people had registered in Ulundi's K unit, which had not yet been developed. Mr Zuma said the ANC would boycott the local government elections if 'the rolls were not cleared of well-orchestrated political fraud'. Dr Sutcliffe estimated that 'between 30% and 50% of names on rolls throughout the province were fraudulent', and said the ANC had 'tons of evidence of bigger plans' the IFP had put into operation in areas where the ANC was dominant.

Mr Mandela met Chief Buthelezi to discuss the issue, and it was agreed that a multi-party committee would be established to decide whether the elections should proceed. The committee would include a representative from each of the political parties in the province, as well as Dr Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert (the co-chairman of the Local Government Elections Task Group established to organise the local polls), his co-chairman, Mr Khehla Shubane, Mr Fismer, and Mr Moosa. The group was given eight working days to report back to Mr Mandela.

The committee recommended, by a majority of eight to four, that the elections should proceed. Mr Mandela said that he would like to consult the cabinet as well before making a decision. Violence continued to intensify, however, and one of the wives of King Goodwill Zwelithini was attacked at her palace in KwaMashu. A cousin of the king, moreover, was abducted from the royal residence and killed. In addition, a protest march by IFP supporters in Durban gave rise to a gun battle in the streets of Durban, in which a number of people were injured. Against this background, the cabinet resolved that local elections in the province should indeed be postponed to a date not later than the end of June. Chief Buthelezi supported the decision, and the new date for the local polls in the province was set at 26 June 1996. A four-day period for additional registrations was allowed in late May, to accommodate voters who had not yet placed their names upon the rolls.

As fatalities diminished in the wake of the peace initiatives launched by political and church leaders in the province, the ANC said the one-month postponement had succeeded in bringing about 'a sense of determination to sort out the problem of violence'. Mr Miller said the peace initiatives were a welcome relief to the battle-weary province. 'I'm glad that something has happened,' he said, 'which justifies the election postponement.'

Soon thereafter, however, the IFP claimed that the ANC had fraudulently used the four-day period in which additional registrations had been allowed to register some 93 000 rural voters in Durban alone. The ANC had done this, said the IFP, to bolster its support within the metropole. Denying the IFP's allegations, Dr Sutcliffe said the IFP should stop 'spreading lies' and was now 'running scared'. The ANC estimated that more than 150000 voters had registered in the province as a whole in the four days allowed in May, and that most of the new voters were ANC supporters. The party was poised, he stated, to give the IFP a drubbing in the elections.

The ANC's secretary in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu, responded that the additional registrations 'could be a reflection of the ANC's hard work over the four-day extension period'. 'We worked very hard,' he said, 'to register all those who were not yet registered because we realised that most of the people not yet registered were from the urban townships. We realised that these people did not realise the importance of registering.' He conceded that some duplicate registrations might have occurred, but said the ANC was unable to comment further on this because it wanted to consult its estimated registration figures. Mr Dumisani Makhaye said the high number of registrations vindicated the ANC's assertion that there had previously been problems regarding the registration of voters. 'A million people can register in a day,' he stated. 'We said in the beginning that there were problems with registration before and this shows how right we were. The IFP must prove its lies or retract the allegations immediately. The ANC feels vindicated that there were thousands of our people who did not get a chance to register in the past and is happy that the people have heeded its calls to use the extended period to register.'

An editorial in the Sowetan said that 93 000 registrations in four days was 'alarmingly and suspiciously high'. However, there was nothing to link the ANC with the irregularity, and it seemed the accusation was simply part of the electioneering campaign against the organisation. The ANC, however, had been placed in a difficult situation, where it was 'expected to deny convincingly something it may have had nothing to do with'. The ANC, it added, could not be expected to 'dent its credibility by stooping so low'. It should instead try to co-operate with the IFP in identifying the real source of the claims, as this would help foster the peace initiative being mounted in the province.

The task group overseeing local government elections in the province said the poll would not be affected by alleged widespread voter registration difficulties. A number of measures, it said, were being introduced to ensure that the legitimacy of the elections was not affected. Ultimately, some 84 000 names were purged from the rolls through this process, while about 156 000 new registrations remained in effect.

Some 22 000 policemen and 21 companies of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed in the province to keep the peace before, during and after the poll. On 26 June polling proceeded peacefully and virtually without violence. There were no politically related deaths, and a small number of potential confrontations were defused without incident.

In the Durban metropole, the ANC won some 48% of the 550 000 votes cast, the NP 23%, the IFP 13%, the Minority Front 6%, and the DP slightly less. Ratepayers and independents won some 15% of the vote, while the IFP's vote declined significantly from the 23% it had attained in the area in the 1994 election. The ANC won some two thirds of votes in Pietermaritzburg, and attained effective control in a number of urban centres in the province, including Ladysmith (where the IFP won only a single seat against the ANC's 22), Newcastle and Richards Bay. The ANC said it now controlled the 'financial, industrial and decision-making centres, or the areas where it really matters'.

The IFP scored landslide victories in rural areas, attaining more than 90% of the vote in some of these, and some 70% of electoral support in the regional council elections as a whole. Overall results for the province showed that the IFP had taken 44,5% of the total vote, while the ANC had won 33,25%.

Continued Conflict and Increased Security Measures

In mid-January 1995 an ANC member, Mr Celani Hadebe, was shot dead by unknown assailants while walking in Bhekuzulu township, near Estcourt in the KwaZulu/Natal Midlands. About 1 000 ANC supporters went on the rampage in response, setting fire to three kraals owned by IFP supporters. No one was injured in these attacks. A senior leader of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP), Mr Harry Gwala, expressed shock at Mr Hadebe's death, saying he had been a key figure in the ANC.

A report in the Weekly Mail & Guardian some months later indicated that Mr Hadebe had been killed because he was an important witness in an ANC court application contesting the validity of legislation establishing the House of Traditional Leaders in Kwa-Zulu/Natal. His death, the newspaper wrote, came just two weeks after the ANC had filed Supreme Court papers in relation to the matter, including an affidavit by Mr Hadebe. 'Although he was regarded as a major stumbling block to the IFP in the area, they started to threaten him after he wrote the affidavit. A well-known hit squad tried to kill him once and failed. Then they attacked him again and they killed him in broad daylight,' stated Chief Zibuse Mlaba, the ANC's deputy chairman in the province.

In further incidents in mid-January, seven people-including a five-year-old child-were killed in two attacks at Nyoni, near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu/Natal. Police said five girls and two boys, all teenagers, were watching television at about 9pm on a Saturday evening when a group of men opened fired-killing five of them-and then disappeared into the dark. Soon afterwards a group of armed men struck again in the same area, and attacked and killed a young boy and a child. Thirteen ANC supporters were arrested in connection with the attacks. The ANC criticised the police for the arrests, and said the five teenagers killed had been ANC members. Those arrested, it said, were also ANC members who had sought refuge at another house after the attacks. The chairman of the ANC's north coast region, Mr Justice Mpanza, called for the deployment of the SANDF in the area and the withdrawal of the KwaZulu Police (KZP), whose members, he said, commonly assisted the IFP in attacks on the ANC.

Tension mounted in the province in February, and was exacerbated by the IFP's walk-out from Parliament. In mid-February violence at the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi claimed its 25th victim since January 1995 when one man was killed and another seriously injured. The ANC accused the IFP of 'selectively assassinating its leadership'. It also condemned the police for having failed to search an IFP-dominated block within the hostel. (The IFP said it objected to selective police raids, and called for the entire complex to be searched.)

At the end of the month Mr Mandela announced the immediate deployment of troops and additional policemen in various trouble spots, including parts of KwaZulu/Natal. This would form part of a new government crackdown on violent crime, political violence and lawlessness. The major thrust of the crackdown would be in KwaZulu/Natal, and a key objective would be the removal of illegal weapons from the province. 'Information suggests,' said Mr Joel Netshitenzhe, a spokesman for Mr Mandela, 'that there is a proliferation of illegal weapons in a number of areas. Their removal will receive urgent priority.' This was necessary, said Mr Netshitenzhe, to bring an end to violence and crime and facilitate the successful implementation of measures aimed at reconstruction and development. Mr Mandela was also reported to have said that he would use the full force of the state to suppress resistance by the IFP, and that the houses of IFP supporters would systematically be searched for weapons.

The IFP said the situation in the province did not warrant a security crackdown, and accused the ANC of intensifying violent attacks against it while preparing the ground-through a new campaign of rolling mass action-for the declaration of emergency rule in KwaZulu/Natal. The ANC dismissed the IFP's allegations as 'laughable', saying they were an attempt to divert attention away from the party's own hit squad activities.

Also in late February, violence flared at Loskop in the Midlands region, and a gun battle broke out between supporters of the ANC and IFP, who were separated by a railway line in the Nkomokazini section. When police intervened, they were shot at and returned fire, killing three men and wounding three others. The ANC blamed the IFP for sparking violence in a district where supporters of both organisations were locked in a dispute over territory. It added that violence had increased at flashpoints throughout the province since the IFP had walked out of Parliament. The ANC added that conflict in the locality had begun when it had organised a meeting to launch the ANC Youth League in the area, and its supporters had come under attack. A member of the league, Mr Raymond Khumalo, had been shot. Moreover, a group of armed IFP members had been seen attacking an ANC stronghold, and ANC supporters had retaliated.

In a further incident in late February, an elderly woman and her two-year-old grandson were shot and killed by alleged IFP supporters in Wembezi (Estcourt) in the Midlands region. The incident followed the death of a security guard and a 16-year-old youth, who were also reported to have been shot by IFP members.

On 27 April (the first anniversary of Freedom Day), four people died and another four were injured in a gun battle near Glebelands Hostel when gunmen on a train carrying IFP supporters returning from a march through the streets of Durban were reported to have opened fire on the hostel. The marchers had handed to the regional commissioner of police, Brigadier Irvin Kitching, a memorandum accusing the ANC of flouting the constitutional principles intended to guide the drafting of the new constitution by the Constitutional Assembly. The memorandum said the ANC was 'seeking to emasculate the provinces' in the same way as the apartheid regime had done. Mr Bheki Cele said the IFP was 'engaged in military mobilisation to plunge the province into more violence', and that the government would take strong action to protect people from violence flowing from mass rallies.

A report published soon thereafter in New Nation said hostels around Durban were being turned into armed camps, with residents being forced out to make way for IFP fighters trained at the Mlaba camp in northern KwaZulu/Natal. The Freedom Day attack by IFP supporters on the Glebelands Hostel had been followed, it said, by an attack on 1 May from Umlazi's Unit 17 hostel on people attending a rally at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium. In the course of the May Day attack, two people had been killed, six wounded, and one abducted, while a number of shacks adjoining the stadium had been burned. A spokesman for the KwaZulu Hostel Residents' Association, Prince Cyril Zulu, said: 'Unit 17 has effectively been taken over by the Mlaba trainees over the past year. These people are trained fighters and they have been brought there to harass and attack any resident who is not toeing the IFP line.' Prince Cyril warned that a similar situation was developing at Dalton Hostel in the Congella industrial area near the city, where 'legitimate residents had been forced to flee a reign of terror'. One former Dalton resident said he had been forced to move to stay alive. The influx of Mlaba trainees had begun in December 1994, and it had rapidly been made clear that anyone who was not willing to support the IFP could not live in the hostel any longer. 'We were being forced to attend meetings, donate money, and some of us were told if we did not pay joining fees, we would be finished.' The Mlaba trainees then started to move from room to room at night, questioning people as to their political and trade union affiliations. 'Then people started being shot in the middle of the night.' As the police presence near the hostel increased, however, so the methods of killing people changed. 'Instead of people being shot, they started stabbing them to death at night so that the police couldn't hear gunfire.' Prince Cyril stated that his organisation had received, in addition, 'a number of reports of men dressed in women's clothing being deployed in the Dalton hostel at night to beef up the IFP's strength'. 'Attempts are being made,' he concluded, 'to turn these hostels into military bases of the IFP as has been done in Gauteng.'

In late April, Chief Buthelezi called on his followers in the province to 'rise and resist' the central government over its alleged failure to uphold its promise in relation to international mediation. Speaking at a May Day rally at Embo (near Umbumbulu in southern KwaZulu/Natal) thereafter, Mr Mandela criticised Chief Buthelezi for saying he would 'organise people to revolt against the government'. Mr Mandela said he did not want to use his authority to crush this, and would prefer to talk rather than to use force. 'However,' he continued, 'if some people do not know I am president in KwaZulu/Natal, I will teach them.' Later in the day-at a rally in Umlazi where shooting broke out in unexplained circumstances and six people were injured-President Mandela departed from his prepared text to warn that he would withdraw central government funding from the province if it continued to threaten disruption of his government.

Mr Mandela's warning that he might be compelled to withdraw funding from the province was criticised by the IFP and other political parties. Mr Mandela responded that, if the constitution did not give him the power to withhold funding from KwaZulu/ Natal, the constitution would have to be changed-for human lives were more important than the wording of the constitution, and it was his responsibility as president to act decisively to end the violence in the province.

The ANC rejected the notion that the cutting off of funding would be unconstitutional, saying that if central government revenues were being diverted to purposes other than those for which they were intended, the government was entitled to withhold the money. The ANC also denied that the effect would be to penalise the innocent in KwaZulu/Natal, stating that 'central government would merely take over the administration of the province's finances, ensuring they could not be misused'.

In early May the home in Mtubatuba (northern KwaZulu/Natal) of Mr Bheki Ntuli, the regional chairman of the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), was gutted by fire. A report in the Sunday Tribune said this marked the culmination of many earlier attacks on the Ntuli household. In one of these, in January 1995, Mr Ntuli's mother and his cousin had been killed, and his brother wounded. A group of some 20 youths had continued to live at the house, however, in order to maintain it as a 'defiant island of overt ANC support'. They claimed, moreover, that police had failed adequately to protect them from IFP attacks and had falsely charged them with possession of illegal firearms.

Later in the month, 11 people were killed in three attacks at Isithebe, near Mandini on the KwaZulu/Natal north coast, when four gunmen fired at people on their way to work. The shootings occurred on the same day as a stayaway called by the ANC, and subsequently postponed by it. A report in the Sunday Tribune said that witnesses had identified the killers as attached to a 'local warlord', and added that police were being tardy in questioning residents who could point them out. The witnesses stated that the attackers, having shot dead six people in the second of their assaults, had 'sauntered up the valley to the crest of a hill to survey their handiwork'. 'They were chatting and laughing among themselves,' said one woman. At the crest of the hill they had encountered another man, and had wanted to kill him too. However, 'he had pleaded with them and had been let go'. 'Now there are rumours,' the woman added, 'that they want to come back and kill everybody.'

The Isithebe killings brought to at least 35 the number of people killed since March 1995 in the Isithebe, Mandini and Sundumbili areas, a patchwork of ANC-and IFP-supporting strongholds. Mr Ronnie Mamoepa said the massacre confirmed the need for firm and decisive security action to end the violence in the province. 'The ANC has warned,' he continued, 'that certain irresponsible remarks by some IFP office-bearers calling on people to rise and resist the central government help to create a climate conducive to lawlessness, chaos and murder of our people.' The ANC in the province said the killings followed a week of tension in which ANC homes had been burnt down in the area. It added that the SANDF in the region was 'totally ineffective because of the useless deployment procedures currently used'.

In the aftermath of the funeral for victims of the Isithebe massacre-attended by Mr Mandela-conflict between ANC and IFP supporters continued. Stones were thrown by members of both parties, and huts were set alight. The security forces were also shot at. IFP supporters outside the Sundumbili Police Station stopped cars travelling in and out of the settlement, and stoned a motorist who refused to stop. Minibus taxis and delivery vans were flagged down and searched. Only vehicles approved by the youths were allowed to pass. Police said they were unsure of the reasons for the protest action, but believed it was linked to the transfer of a KZP officer, Major Owen Zama, from the police station in the area. (Monitors of violence had called for his removal for some time, alleging that he was involved in 'third force' activities.) Several factories in the area closed as hundreds of workers stayed away. The Isithebe branch chairman of the regional chamber of commerce, Mr Tom Scaife, said factories had not 'seen a full week of production since March'.

In mid-May Cosatu warned that it would call a stayaway in KwaZulu/Natal if violence levels failed to drop within a fortnight. Mr Paulos Ngcobo, the secretary of Cosatu in southern Natal, said there had been no tangible evidence of increased troop deployment in order to end the violence. He said that workers would be forced to 'withhold their power' if the situation did not change within the next two weeks. Mr Ngcobo added that Cosatu had identified ten flashpoints which it wanted to have declared as 'unrest areas', as this would facilitate the removal of weapons from these localities. Once unrest areas were declared, he said, the security forces would have the power to confiscate G-3 and AK-47 rifles, without first having to obtain a search warrant from a magistrate.

Soon thereafter, Mr Mandela sought to calm fears of a political and constitutional crisis developing in the province. Emerging from a meeting with Chief Buthelezi at Tuynhuys (Cape Town), Mr Mandela said there was no crisis, but rather a problem which had to be dealt with. He paid tribute to Chief Buthelezi's support for him during his prison days, and said that problems between the two organisations would be resolved in due course.

At the same time, security chiefs met to devise a strategy to counter violence in the province within the framework of the government's community safety plans, and to do so by methods falling short of declaring a state of emergency. The intention, it was reported, was to target 'hot spots' for a security operation which would focus on selected 'warlords'. The deployment of troops and extra police would also be considered. Mr Senzo Mchunu said the ANC wanted the immediate deployment of troops in eight flashpoint areas, including Umlazi, Mtubatuba (in the Midlands region) and Port Shepstone (on the south coast).

In subsequent visits to KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Mandela reiterated that he would take drastic action if necessary to put an end to violence. He would not hesitate to change the constitution in order to cut off funding to the province, for it was clear that those who criticised him in this regard viewed 'black lives as insignificant'. He had no doubt, however, that lives were more important than the constitution.

President Mandela also declared war on 'no-go areas' and 'warlords', saying that neither would prevent him holding rallies wherever he chose. Increased acts of thuggery, he said, had followed calls by 'certain senior politicians' for their followers to rise and resist the central government. He rejected protestations that this was intended as a call for peaceful action, as the leaders in question had failed to state this explicitly to their supporters. 'Their references to peace,' Mr Mandela stated, 'were reserved for obscure statements.' Later in the month, Mr Mandela visited KwaZulu/Natal again and promised once more to act against the perpetrators of violence. 'The time for words has passed,' he stated. 'The time for action has come.'

Speaking in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania during a visit at the end of May, Mr Mandela implied that Chief Buthelezi, rather than the IFP or the KwaZulu administration, was responsible for the continued conflict in the province. He warned, once again, that his government would crush dissent if necessary, but preferred to deal with dissident forces through negotiation and persuasion.

The deployment of the SANDF proceeded, and the IFP reacted by saying it would mobilise its supporters to force the army out of the south coast region. A spokesman for the IFP, Mr Ed Tillet, accused the army of stoking conflict in the area, and alleged that the situation would have been calm if local police had been left in control. The SANDF inthe province rejected the IFP's allegations of political bias by soldiers as 'propagandistic', but said they would be investigated. 'In view of the unsubstantiated allegations that are made on a regular basis by the IFP and Mr Tillet, we have convened a board of inquiry to investigate these allegations so that the truth can be ascertained,' a spokesman said.

In early June the ANC and Cosatu held a march in Umlazi to protest against ongoing violence and call for the township to be declared an unrest area. During the march, three people were shot dead, a woman was attacked, and a seven-year-old boy suffered serious burns when a house was gutted. The township was extremely tense throughout the day, with sporadic incidents of violence. Teargas was used on at least three occasions to disperse unruly crowds. After marching to the magistrate's court to hand over a memorandum, protesters were fired upon and 'two groups of people lobbied stones and other missiles at each other'. The planned route for the march was to have taken protesters past the Unit 17 hostel, an IFP stronghold, generating fears that this would heighten conflict. Razor wire was drawn around the hostel and, at the last minute, march organisers deviated from the original route to avoid the hostel. 'Hostel residents rushed at the razor cordon and tried to remove it minutes after marchers turned into a side road to avoid the complex.' Police fired teargas and the men retreated. On two occasions, shots were fired at members of the SAPS as they patrolled the township.

A spokesman for the ANC said the organisation wanted Umlazi to be declared an unrest area 'as it would give security forces the power to search for and confiscate weapons without magisterial permission'. Umlazi, he added, had a population of about 2m, but there were only two police stations and some 20 police vans operating within it. The ANC called also for the erection of a police station near the Unit 17 hostel, and for the hostel to be transformed into family units.

Also in early June, a special meeting of the cabinet was held to discuss violence in KwaZulu/Natal. The cabinet agreed to a multiparty strategy aimed at ending the conflict in the province. A ministerial committee, including Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi, was formed to oversee the integration into the security forces of ANC self-defence units (SDUs) and IFP self-protection units (SPUs). The committee would also endeavour to end crossborder smuggling of arms into the province, and to improve the socio-economic circumstances of its inhabitants. Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi were to meet and talk, while the cabinet resolved that all political leaders should avoid inflammatory language.

The ANC expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the meeting, saying that the ban on inflammatory language would bar Chief Buthelezi from repeating the call to his followers to 'rise and resist' the central government, while the new channel of communication established between the government and Dr Mdlalose would 'succeed in locking Inkatha into constructive dialogue again'.

Chief Buthelezi, however, continued to criticise the ANC, stating that it was intent on 'destabilising' KwaZulu/Natal and then imposing emergency rule on the province. The ANC, he continued, was 'hell-bent on destroying' anything which stood in its way. Mr Mandela responded, at a Youth Day rally in Ezakheni near Ladysmith (northern KwaZulu/ Natal) on 16 June, by reiterating that South Africans involved in violence would face the full might of the law. He added that the ANC was committed to ending violence and saving lives. 'Killers will not have any mercy,' he warned, 'no matter what positions they occupy.' Mr Mandela also stated, however, that the ANC and IFP had to work together for peace.

In early July Mr Mandela-speaking at the funeral of Mr Harry Gwala, who had died of natural causes some days earlier-again urged both ANC and IFP supporters to work for peace. 'There are too many orphans and widows,' Mr Mandela stated. 'Fresh graves litter the hills and valleys. Families are torn apart. Now is the time to change all this.'

Also in early July, a hand grenade exploded at the home of Mr Ray Nkonyeni, a prominent ANC member in Gamalakhe, near Port Shepstone on the south coast. Mr Nkonyeni's 12-year-old daughter was killed, and the daughter of a relative seriously injured. The ANC subsequently alleged that the SAPS had responded to the Gamalakhe explosion by wrongfully arresting Mr Nkonyeni, and said that police had also been involved in the attack on his home. Witnesses, it continued, had seen three police vehicles transporting the attackers to Mr Nkonyeni's house, while one of the attackers had been white. This provided further evidence that a third force was still operating within the police. The ANC called on the IFP to assist it in rooting out what it called a 'nest of evil' within Port Shepstone's regional police headquarters. (A police spokesman countered that Mr Nkonyeni had briefly been taken into custody because he had obstructed police endeavours to arrest a man present in his house, who was wanted for the murder of a policeman and a number of armed robberies. The police also challenged the ANC to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that police had participated in the grenade attack.)

Violence continued on the south coast, where the police and the Human Rights Committee (HRC) identified some 53 killings as politically motivated. Ms Linda McLean of the HRC attributed the deaths to the 'ongoing political struggle for territorial control'.

At the end of July an open letter was sent to President Mandela by Ms Mary de Haas, an academic at the University of Natal (Durban) who was also engaged in the monitoring of violence. Ms de Haas called for urgent government intervention in KwaZulu/Natal, saying that violence was intensifying and that there were not nearly enough security personnel in the province to combat it effectively. Ms de Haas stated that 'houses were being burnt down daily, huge numbers of people were being displaced from their homes, and an alarming number of women and children were being raped'. The government needed to deploy additional soldiers, particularly around the lower south coast and north of the Tugela River. In addition, the SANDF needed to be given additional powers in certain areas. Ms de Haas also warned against increasing provincial autonomy in the current situation, as this might generate a conflict similar to that in the former Yugoslavia. In conclusion, Ms de Haas urged an effective security force crackdown to prevent 'an all-out war'.

In early August, the SANDF was deployed in the Bulwer area for a three-month period. This followed a 'steady stream of killings' which had brought the death toll in the area to 18 people in two weeks. A fortnight later, three women were gunned down in the area by people apparently looking for their menfolk. This sparked an exodus of refugees from the area. Many of those interviewed by The Natal Witness while packing their belongings 'painted a picture of well-known IFP heavies marauding through the area in a campaign to eliminate ANC activists, and gunning down relatives in the absence of the people they were looking for'. The IFP claimed the three women shot were its members. Relatives of the deceased interviewed by The Natal Witness said, however, that the three had been killed because the males in the homestead were perceived to be ANC supporters.

In mid-August an ANC organiser and member of the party's provincial leadership in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Joseph Nduli, was shot dead near his home at Avoca Hills (Durban). (Mr Nduli, popularly known as Mpisi, had been one of the first cadres to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (Umkhonto), leaving South Africa in 1962 for training in Egypt and the Soviet Union. He had later become a key ANC and Umkhonto underground organiser.) The ANC said that he had earlier escaped an ambush, and that Mr Bheki Cele had also recently escaped an assassination attempt. Mr Dumisani Makhaye said it was clear that 'a campaign to kill influential ANC leaders in the province had been embarked upon by the IFP and right-wing elements within the security forces'. The provincial administration, moreover, had no will to bring the violence to an end. There was an urgent need, accordingly, for more centralised control of the SAPS, together with increased deployment of the SANDF.

As tension rose in various parts of the province, Mr Mandela again called for peace. Addressing 200 residents of Groutville, after visiting the widow of Chief Albert Luthuli, a former ANC president, Mr Mandela said: 'I want you to stand up and fight for peace in KwaZulu/Natal.' ANC supporters should tell the IFP, he added, that the two organisations must 'stop killing each other'. Ms McLean of the HRC stated soon thereafter that a survey by her organisation of violence in 1994 had found 'IFP supporters responsible for two thirds of attacks'. The ANC's share of the violence had 'grown since then', she said.

Violence continued, and towards the end of August Mr Mufamadi announced that security in the province was to be improved through the deployment of an additional 600 policemen and 400 troops, to be stationed at trouble spots in Port Shepstone, Durban, Ladysmith (in the Midlands region) and Empangeni (in northern KwaZulu/Natal). The aim of the operation, said Mr Mufamadi, was to end the 'culture of impunity' which appeared to have taken root in the province. The commissioner of the SAPS, Mr George Fivaz, said additional detectives would also be sent to the province to investigate a backlog of unsolved cases and bring criminals to book. The additional men were deployed in the province from 28 August 1995, in what was termed Operation Jambu III.

A report in the Mail & Guardian said the announcement had been welcomed by violence monitors and by the ANC's provincial leaders as a 'step in the right direction'. Cosatu provincial structures remained sceptical, however. A spokesman said the mass action it had said it would implement to put an end to violence remained under consideration. 'So far,' he stated, 'we have not changed our minds. In the past year, many people have come to KwaZulu/Natal giving us promises of greener pastures regarding the violence, but the next day they leave and nothing changes.' Mr Bheki Cele, however, was more confident: 'The extra security forces are already here,' he said. 'This time they came before Mr Mufamadi did.'

The newspaper report commended the fact that intelligence officers and detectives would accompany the troops and that the SANDF would be sent on patrol together with the SAPS. 'Combined with the announcement of plans to withdraw permits on some 3 000 G-3 rifles granted to Zulu chiefs, indunas and other IFP supporters by the former KwaZulu homeland administration', it stated, 'and continuing efforts by the Investigation Task Unit (ITU), to crack the hit squad networks in the province, most observers say the plan appears the most comprehensive effort yet to get to grips with more than a decade of carnage.'

There was general agreement, added the report, that security force action was not sufficient, however, and that a political solution was needed as well. Said Mr Cele: 'The IFP must understand that they have to rule by consensus, they have to understand the solution lies in South Africa (not in international mediation).' Ms de Haas said it was imperative for central government to resist IFP demands for greater autonomy. 'If you give in to the IFP,' she said, 'you're inviting a Bosnia situation. It would be exceedingly dangerous to have greater regional powers in this country because of the coincidence of regions and ethnic enclaves. Just look at Nigeria-they had a federation before the Biafran War.' Ms de Haas added that the extra detectives sent to the province should be used as efficiently as possible. 'They need to be given,' she said, 'a few relatively easy cases which will lead to the main perpetrators.'

The last point raised by Ms de Haas, the newspaper report noted, reflected a common concern shared by the ANC, Cosatu, the HRC and other monitors-that the criminal justice system was failing to do its proper job. Criminals were being released on bail too easily, while the attorney general of the province, Mr Tim McNally, had 'dismally failed to do his duty, as he was reluctant to prosecute the well-known warlords in KwaZulu/Natal'.

A report in the Sunday Times said the security measures being implemented would have little impact so long as known killers continued to be 'protected by the right wing, certain politicians and some people in the judicial system'. People in the Port Shepstone area, it reported Mr Selvan Chetty of the Network of Independent Monitors as saying, had 'lost faith in the justice system of the land'. 'The killers walk free,' stated Mr Chetty. 'They are known, but even if they are arrested they are released on bail and come back to kill the witnesses.' The police had also lost the confidence of the community, for there were 'strong suspicions that some officers were involved in the violence'.

The head of the community safety programme, General André Pruis, said that the immediate aim of the security crackdown in the province was to stabilise trouble spots. Longerterm stability, however, would depend on political and socio-economic initiatives. He advocated the initiation of a multiparty peace process, including the revival of the National Peace Accord in the province, and the implementation of codes of conduct for all protagonists in the conflict. He added that the deployment of an additional 1 000 men was simply a 'stepping up' of the community safety plan. Denying IFP allegations that the security operation had been initiated without consulting the provincial administration, he stated that he had indeed consulted with the amakhosi and the safety and security committee in the province. The response, he concluded, had been 'uniformly positive'.

In early September the ANC announced that it would begin a mass action campaign against violence in KwaZulu/Natal with marches in six localities, to be followed by a possible stayaway from work. Mr Senzo Mchunu said the campaign would be aimed at 'galvanising the support of all sectors, including business, against the violence'. Action would also be taken to prevent the security forces from 'falling under the control of right-wing station commanders', for this would result in ANC supporters being killed, rather than violence being contained.

At the end of September, four policemen and an informer-who were investigating the killing of a boy in Bulwer in the Midlands region-were shot dead in nearby Impendle by suspected IFP supporters. Police said the five had been confronted by a very large group of men, who disarmed them and then shot them dead in cold blood. The ANC said the murders were the direct result of the IFP's 'enormous propaganda' against the security forces in the province. Mr Mufamadi stated that some people appeared to have 'declared war' on the police. 'I am not sure if I am in a position where I would advise police officers to treat such criminals with kid gloves,' he added. Responding to statements by the IFP that the attack should be seen 'in the context of security force brutality against communities', Mr Ramaphosa said the ANC found the IFP's attempts to 'justify the killings callous and disturbing'. 'There can be no excuse,' he said, 'for this kind of barbarism and blatant disrespect for the law.'

(Seven IFP supporters were subsequently brought to trial in the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg. In August 1996, however, Mr Justice Neville Page adjourned the case after the prosecution proved unable to call ten of its 12 witnesses. It appeared, said a report in Business Day, that they were afraid to give evidence.)

The IFP called for the withdrawal of policemen and soldiers accused of misconduct or illegal activities, and Mr Mufamadi responded that the IFP had 'not taken kindly' to the deployment of additional troops and police to address crime and violence in the province. Stepped up security operations, he added, had resulted in more than 2 000 arrests in the previous month, including some 200 for murder. Weapons seized included some 110 AK-47 rifles, 315 handguns, 165 homemade guns, 39 shotguns, 34 hand grenades, and more than 6 000 rounds of ammunition. Operations aimed at stabilising the province would continue, he stated, and increased deployment of personnel could not be ruled out.

In October Mr Mandela again appealed for peace in the province. He urged 'all people to throw their weapons into the sea and to pray for peace in the province'. The leaders of the ANC and the IFP were working to promote peace, he continued, and this was reflected in a joint ANC/IFP rally which had recently been held near Port Shepstone. He urged communities to support the police, who were no longer 'the apartheid police', but the police of the government elected to power by the people. Communities, he added, should protect the police and 'point out the culprits responsible for killing policemen'.

Later in the month an induna, Mr Qaphela Dladla, was sentenced to eight terms of life imprisonment for the murder of eight distributors of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) pamphlets in Ndwedwe, north of Durban, in April 1994. The victims had been part of a group of 11 pamphlet distributors who were abducted by IFP supporters while distributing voter education material on behalf of the IEC, in the run-up to the general election held later that month. Eight of the 11 were shot dead in a forest after lengthy interrogation and torture in a nearby school building, while three managed to escape. Giving judgement, Mr Justice A B M Wilson said that Mr Dladla was an influential man in the Ndwedwe community, who had directed the fate of the victims. He had been present throughout the torture and killings, and had persisted with the crimes despite contrary advice from the local chief, Chief Muziwendoda Shangase.

In further incidents of violence in early November, five ANC supporters were killed and others injured in Shakaville on the KwaZulu/Natal north coast. Police said that AK-47 and G-3 rifles had been used in the attack. An ANC leader and the MEC for transport in the province, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, said 'anyone disrupting [local government] elections should be imprisoned, and the keys thrown away'. Mr Zuma said the violence in the province was the result of a 'deliberate joint plan' between the former NP government and the former KwaZulu homeland, as demonstrated by the recent arrests of General Magnus Malan and other former high-ranking security officers. The ANC in the province called on the central government to 'come up with decisive plans and channel resources to the province to end violence and crime'.

In early December the ANC said that one of its leaders had been killed in Umlazi when two assassins stormed into his house, and that shots had been fired at a car in which the organisation's chairman in Wembezi, Mr Teaspoon Mkhize, and another ANC official had been travelling. 'As we were approaching a blind rise,' said Mr Mkhize, 'four men armed with guns suddenly rose and fired at us. From the sound of the gunfire we think AK-47s and a G-3 rifle were used in the ambush.' He added that the motive for the attack was not altogether clear, but could be linked only to ongoing strife in the area. 'I have heard the usual talk,' he added, 'of plans to assassinate me, but those have been fairly rare of late. I do not know whether this incident signals the renewal of that campaign.' Mr Dumisani Makhaye said it was clear that 'enemies of the ANC had stepped up their acts of terror against its members, especially at a leadership level'. 'As we approach the period of serious campaigning for the local government elections,' he stated, 'our enemies, especially the IFP and some elements within the security forces, may try again their dirty tricks activities against the ANC.' Mr Makhaye called again on central government to ensure that there was 'wall-to-wall' security in the province in the run-up to the local government elections.

Also in early December, an IFP supporter, Mr Zithulele Richard Shelembe of Impendle, was convicted of murdering two ANC supporters in separate attacks on two homesteads in the area in January 1995. A KwaZulu administration G-3 rifle issued to the accused was ballistically linked to the attacks. The court was told the accused had undergone military training at the IFP's Mlaba camp near Ulundi. The accused was the nephew of an IFP leader, Mr Master Shelembe, who had been killed the previous year. Mr Justice R P McLaren sentenced the accused to 18 years' imprisonment, saying little purpose would be served by a heavier sentence aimed at deterrence. 'The accused is a young man caught up in a sequence of events over which he probably has little control,' said Judge McLaren.

Later in the month an IFP protest march 'erupted into chaos as protesters fired shots, blocked roads and attempted to hijack several vehicles' at Nongoma, near Ulundi in northern KwaZulu/Natal. A police spokesman said about 2 000 IFP supporters gathered at a sports field before marching through the town. During their march, 'shots were fired at a vehicle, believed to have been transporting a relative of the Zulu king' to the annual fruitharvest ceremony being held some 40km away at Nyokeni. Another group tried to hijack a lorry, while a bus apparently carrying passengers to the festival was stopped by IFP supporters. The driver was removed, and the bus driven to the sportsground. A few passengers were allegedly assaulted. Another lorry was stopped at a makeshift roadblock, but allowed to proceed when police intervened. IFP supporters thereafter marched to the local police station, and presented to its commander a petition demanding that Mr Mandela be prosecuted for the Shell House shootings in March 1994, in which eight IFP supporters had been killed.

The ANC expressed horror at reports that the IFP had wreaked havoc during the march. 'Shots were fired, vehicles were hijacked and roads were blocked during the march,' it stated. 'All this happened,' it continued, 'when King Goodwill Zwelithini was holding a traditional ceremony just a few kilometres away.' The ANC said the IFP's actions constituted 'political thuggery of the worst kind, reminiscent of IFP marches which took place in several parts of Natal and the Vaal during the early 1990s'. 'The ANC is appalled,' it added, 'by the IFP's return to these tactics to make its political points.' The ANC also expressed concern that these actions could be a foretaste of the IFP's local elections campaign. 'The IFP cannot be allowed to repeat their actions of April 1994, where they prevented the ANC from holding election rallies, intimidated opponents, and used fear and force to gain their majority in the province.'

In mid-December intelligence agencies reported that some 900 people had been killed in the province during 1995 and that security forces were finding it difficult to contain the violence. Illegal weapons continued to enter the province from Mozambique and Swaziland, and the security forces were themselves coming under increasing attack.

Also in mid-December, Mr Mandela-having signed the Remuneration of Traditional Leaders Bill into law-met Chief Buthelezi and 29 chiefs from KwaZulu/Natal in Durban to discuss this and other issues. It was agreed to establish a task team to resolve disagreement regarding the payment of chiefs, while Mr Mandela urged traditional leaders to 'remain above politics' and serve all the people in their communities irrespective of their political affiliations. Mr Mandela added that he and Chief Buthelezi would launch a new initiative to end violence in the province in the new year. 'Whoever is responsible for it,' he said, 'we are all now involved in the violence and future historians will say this violence, this slaughtering of innocent people, occurred when Chief Buthelezi was the leader of the IFP and I was the leader of the ANC, and that it is our duty to ensure we work together to put an end to violence.' He would sit down with Chief Buthelezi, he said, and work out a detailed plan on how to bring conflict to a halt.

At the end of December, a survivor of the Creighton massacre which had preceded the April 1994 election, was shot dead in the Mahehle area in the Midlands. He was one of two survivors who had testified against four IFP members charged with the murders and subsequently acquitted. Police said they were investigating a possible link between the two incidents. An ANC spokesman described the news as 'shocking', and urged greater tolerance among people in the Midlands area.

Violence intensified on the south coast from mid-December, when nine adults and a baby were shot dead in separate attacks near Paddock. The IFP said the dead were its supporters, and that the killers had worn army uniforms. Reacting with outrage, Mr Ronnie Mamoepa said the killings were 'an affront to all national efforts led by President Mandela aimed at the creation of peace in our country'. Mr Mamoepa added that the alleged use of army uniforms in the attack was 'yet another attempt to undermine the confidence of the people in the law enforcement agencies and the SANDF'. He rejected 'with contempt attempts by the IFP to link the ANC to the killings as pre-emptive of the outcome of investigations'. 'Moreover,' he continued, 'the anarchy, lawlessness and chaos in the province are a reflection of the IFP's failure to govern effectively.'

A report in the Sunday Tribune subsequently attributed the deaths at Paddock to 'gangsters linked to the IFP'. The massacres, it said, appeared to have been sparked by a single murder over sexual jealousy. 'Indications are,' the report stated, 'that an IFP official arranged for two gangsters to kill a man as part of a love grudge. Later, however, the victim's brother came to the area to investigate the disappearance of his relative. The two killers persuaded him that two other families were responsible for the murder and an attack was launched on them.' Another possibility was that 'the two families were chosen as scapegoats because their loyalty was being questioned. One family was believed to have baulked at paying protection money, while the children of the other were viewed as being too friendly with ANC youths'.

Soon after the killing of ten IFP supporters at Paddock, another massacre occurred. In the Mvutshini area some 40 kilometres away, eight women and children were killed in two separate attacks on the same night. In the first, said the police, ten armed men attacked a kraal in the settlement, killing an 80-year-old woman. A spent AK-47 cartridge and a shotgun were found at the scene. In the second, the armed men attacked a kraal about one kilometre away, setting fire to the Nqoko home. Three women and four children were killed, and their bodies burnt beyond recognition in the flames. Mr Bheki Cele said the victims were all its supporters, but that the ANC would not like to 'point fingers' as to who was responsible for the attack. Mr Ravi Pillay, the chairman of the ANC's lower south coast branch, said the security forces had to share the blame for the massacre as they had failed to deploy personnel in the area, despite warnings that an attack was imminent. The Rev Danny Chetty, spokesman for a human rights monitoring agency, Practical Ministries, said the violence in the area was linked to Chief Everson Xolo, who had defected from the IFP to the ANC. 'IFP supporters are attempting to force Xolo's area into their stronghold while the chief's supporters are resisting,' he said.

Ms McLean of the HRC said the attack on the Nqoko homestead had been territorially and politically motivated. 'These are terror tactics,' she said, 'to terrorise a community and force people of a particular political affiliation to flee from the area so that another party can move in and make the region its stronghold.' This had been the dominant trend in violence along the south coast, she added, and cited an incident in which 'the ANC fled after an attack and the IFP burnt down all the homes so that they could not come back'.

At about 8am on Christmas morning, a group of some 600 men armed with automatic rifles, spears and bush knives swept through a nearby ANC-supporting enclave at Shobashobane on the south coast, attacking residents and looting and burning their homes. At least 70 homes were burnt and 19 people were killed, while some 20 were injured. Mr Dumisani Makhaye said violence in the province had increased significantly since Dr Mdlalose had taken over the safety and security portfolio from the Rev Celani Mthethwa. The attack, he added, was 'part of the programme of Inkatha to wipe the ANC from the province'.

Mr Pillay said the Christmas Day massacre in Shobashobane was one of the most gruesome ever in KwaZulu/Natal, while the date of it had been chosen to 'create maximum political impact'. One of the targets of the attack, he said, had been the local ANC chairman in Shobashobane, Mr Kipha Nyawose. Mr Nyawose was the 15th member of his family to be killed in political violence, and had died a gruesome death when the attackers 'split his stomach open'. The attackers had also chopped off the hands of two women before murdering them, stated Mr Pillay. Survivors said they had fled from one advancing impi only to run into another marching towards them from the opposite direction, in a traditional Zulu battle formation likened to the horns of a bull.

A report in The Star said the stories told by the survivors-including accounts of children shot and stabbed without mercy while women accompanying the attackers cheered and ululated-'bore some resemblances to the recent genocide in Rwanda'. 'Hutu women,' it said, 'routinely encouraged their men with songs and chants during the organised killings of Tutsis.' A report in the Sunday Times alleged that the victims of the massacre had been mutilated for muti purposes. A relative of one victim said her 18-year-old son, her only child, had had his tongue and private parts cut off for 'war muti'. (A mortuary attendant, however, denied having seen a body in this condition. A police spokesman confirmed that the body of at least one male victim had had its genitals severed, but said it was still unclear whether this had been for muti purposes.)

A report in The Sunday Independent said the main victim of the attack had been Mr Kipha Nyawose, an influential ANC leader who was also responsible for leading the selfdefence unit in the area. Mr Nyawose, it said, had been a 'champion of peace', who had been 'a pillar of the community, their hope and their future'. Fourteen members of his family had been killed in previous attacks, yet he had continued to work for peace. 'He had reached a point above politics, above IFP and ANC, where his only goal was to stop people being murdered. He wanted the people to live together peacefully again.' Yet, when the attackers struck, it was he and his surviving family members who were singled out. 'He was disembowelled, his heart ripped out and the genitals cut from his body.' 'Police,' said a report in the Mail & Guardian, 'believe this was part of a black magic ritual designed to strengthen the attackers from the spirit of their dead foe. This may well be true. But the gruesome nature of the slaughter was also designed to underscore a political message: any sign of dissent in this grim corner of the countryside will be obliterated through sheer terror.'

Many survivors said police had been warned that an attack on the ANC enclave was imminent, but did little except to disarm ANC members shortly before it took place. 'We sat there watching our houses burn, and very, very much later we saw a police van approaching and it didn't actually do anything,' one 12-year-old survivor stated. Mr Cele said the attack had been a 'joint venture' by the IFP and the police. A police vehicle had been on the scene of the massacre, but did nothing to stop the killing. Later, he said, it escorted IFP attackers out of the area. Other charges levelled against the police were that they 'took no action until four hours after the attack began; failed to patrol the area as they had undertaken to do; spirited away, or allowed others to remove, the bodies of four or five of the attackers; and allowed looters to carry away the entire contents of victims' homes'. (A subsequent report in the Mail & Guardian said 'a police patrol had arrived only 24 hours after the attack'.)

A report in the Sunday Tribune said there had been a long history of conflict in the area. Shobashobane was regarded, it stated, 'as an ANC "black spot" in a sea of Inkatha territorial dominance'. It had been cleared out through attacks by IFP supporters in 1994, when violence had reached a peak before the last-minute entry of the IFP into the national election. Attempts by ANC supporters to resettle in the area had met with heavy resistance and had resulted in substantial casualties. In January 1995 an induna had begun to support the return of refugees, and had been killed. During the year, however, 'a group of ANC youths successfully established a base in the village. It was an armed camp, prone to attacking-and being attacked by-the surrounding IFP community'. The ANC gradually succeeded in strengthening its foothold in the area, however, and residents began to return, while attempts were made to negotiate for the return of more ANC refugees.

In the aftermath of the Shobashobane massacre, Mr Mbeki announced that the ITU would be strengthened as soon as possible. Intelligence networks would also be reviewed to ascertain why they had failed to give early warning of the attack-which had involved between 600 and 1 000 people and had taken place in broad daylight. Mr Mbeki dismissed speculation that a state of emergency would be declared, saying that troop and police reinforcements could be deployed in the province if necessary under existing law. New members of the ITU, headed by Senior Superintendent Frank Dutton would assist in tracking down the perpetrators of the carnage. Mr Fivaz said that 'extra informers would be sent into the area' and that the 'use of extra powers granted by the South African Police Service Act of 1995 was also being considered. These would allow the cordoning off and searching of an area without a warrant, as well as other powers'. Arrangements would also be made for SANDF helicopters to provide air patrols and support for ground operations in the area.

The ANC rejected proposals by Dr Mdlalose to appoint a provincial commission of inquiry, with a mandate to report, by February 1998, on 'cycles of violence and counter-violence' as well as the role, if any, of security forces in the conflict. Mr Cele said the ANC would refuse to participate in the commission, which would 'cover up IFP involvement in violence and would cost taxpayers millions of rands'. 'What is the logic of having a commission that will report only in 1998?' he asked. The proposed commission, he stated, was a 'ploy to divert attention from the special investigation unit established by the SAPS to track down the perpetrators of the recent massacres on the south coast'.

In early January 1996 the funeral of the victims of the massacre took place, and some 1300 policemen and soldiers were deployed around Shobashobane. This followed ANC accusations that the IFP had threatened to disrupt the proceedings and desecrate the graves. 'The IFP has threatened to disrupt the funeral and later dig up the bodies and chop them up,' said Mr Pillay. He added that IFP officials, whom he refused to identify, had also 'threatened to attack ANC members and leaders in other areas if the funeral went ahead'. (The IFP denied the allegations, and no disruption of the funeral occurred.)

Adressing mourners at the funeral, Mr Mbeki said those responsible for the killings were 'enemies of the nation and of freedom'. The IFP, adder Mr Zuma, 'appeared to have embarked on a tactic of flushin out all opposition from so-called IFP areas'. 'The think anyone living in a rural area belong to them,' he stated. Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria thereafter, Mr Mbeki implied that some of the recent killings in ghe province had been organised by a 'third force'. 'The violence is not spontaneous,' he stated. 'It is not members of the IFP or members of the ANC getting angry about something and then deciding to do it. It is organised violence People pursuing particular agendas use this kind of thing as a cover.' Those who did so, he added, 'included people who wanted the area to be destabilised as well as some who wished to provoke and perpetuate conflict between the ANC and IFP.'

Also in early January, an IFP delegation on its way to a meeting in Himeville in the KwaZulu/Natal Midlands was allegedly ambushed at Stoffelton, near Impendle, and the IFP blamed the ANC's chairman in Impendle for the attack. According to a report in The Natal Witness, however, the community had signed a petition asking that Mr David Ntombela, a senior IFP leader widely regarded as a 'warlord'-and who had been included in the IFP delegation-should not visit the area. The petition, said an induna in the area, had been taken to the Himeville magistrate, and a copy telefaxed to Mr Ntombela.

When the IFP convoy had arrived, the community had tried to stop it from entering. Community members had told Mr Nyanga Ngubane, the IFP's MEC for traditional authorities in the province, that the IFP had no followers in the area. The local SAPS commander had then undertaken, however, to escort the IFP officials further. The convoy had proceeded, and had stopped when it came across a group of young men. 'The IFP officials started to swear at the men and Ntombela ordered the fully armed people in the convoy to shoot. The young men, who had small guns, returned fire, and one IFP official was shot,' the induna stated. Mr Ntombela had sworn to return and take revenge, the induna added, and some 20 000 people had accordingly fled their homes to a nearby mountain for protection. The ANC added that the IFP had tried to 'force a political meeting on an unwilling community' and denied reports that money had been collected from residents by ANC members to buy arms for ANC self-defence units. These allegations, it said, were 'cheap propaganda'.

In mid-January, violence flared in the Gala area near Bulwer in the KwaZulu/Natal Midlands. Having visited the locality, provincial leaders of the ANC-including Mr Cele and Mr Sifiso Nkabinde-said that further measures, including increased security patrols, would have to be taken to stop the violence. Mr Nkabinde said that 'recent attacks were similar to the massacre at Shobashobane', and that there were 'clear indications that the attacks were well co-ordinated and based on intimidating people before the local government elections'.

Soon thereafter Mr Nkabinde and another ANC leader, the MEC for health in the province, Dr Zweli Mkhize, alleged that they had been attacked on their way to Bulwer to investigate further violence in the Gala reserve where eight houses had been burnt down. As the convoy approached Bulwer, said Mr Nkabinde, 'a man in the road tried to stop us but we decided to proceed Suddenly we were shot at from both sides and all the windows in the car were shattered'. The convoy turned around to head back to Pietermaritzburg, and came under fire once again. 'Our bodyguards returned fire,' said Mr Nkabinde, 'and two men were injured.' A police spokesman confirmed that two men were in hospital under police guard, and identified one of them as Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo, the IFP's regional organiser in the Midlands. The ANC leaders were not hurt in the incident.

Also in mid-January, Mr Mandela announced plans for a new peace initiative, involving the calling of an imbizo by King Goodwill Zwelithini. An ANC spokesman in the province said Mr Mandela would act as 'honest broker' in re-establishing communication between Chief Buthelezi and the Zulu monarch. This would not only allow the king to assume the role of peacemaker, but would also 'have the spin-off effect of assisting the ANC in its campaign' for the local government elections, due to be held in the province at the end of March. Negotiations would, moreover, be dovetailed with a security approach, and Mr Mandela's office called on the security forces in KwaZulu/Natal to 'intensify the programme aimed at eradicating violence'.

Mr Mandela also castigated journalists for not investigating 'the perception that a third force was behind the violence in KwaZulu/Natal'. 'The perception has lingered now for quite some time that this violence is being orchestrated-that there is a third force which is using existing political organisations in order to cover its own activities.' Journalists, however, had failed adequately to investigate this. The exception, he said, was a British journalist, Mr John Carlin, who had concluded that the violence was due 'primarily and mainly to the activities of a third force'.

Also in the middle of the month, a member of an IFP SPU was sentenced in the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg to life imprisonment for murdering three Transkei soldiers. Mr Sibusiso Richard Mbhele had been recruited by the IFP after his father died in political violence in Ixopo in the early 1990s. He was issued with a G-3 rifle and took part in the killing of three soldiers in late 1993. Mr Mbhele said he had no regrets about the deaths of the soldiers, as 'their side' had killed many IFP members in the area. Mr Justice N D van der Reyden said the case illustrated the 'shocking incidence of political intolerance' in the province, for there was 'no conclusive evidence linking the deceased soldiers to any attacks against IFP members'. Mr Mbhele said he would lodge a claim for amnesty, as the killings had been politically inspired.

Towards the end of January police investigating the Shobashobane massacre and other killings on the south coast said some arrests had already been made. These related, it seemed, to the two attacks on IFP members in the Ntsimbisi area in mid-December. Warrants of arrest had also been issued in relation to other deaths, while 'key state witnesses had submitted evidence in the form of written statements claiming police were seen participating in the Shobashobane massacre'. 'We have statements from witnesses,' said the head of the investigating team, Director Bushie Engelbrecht, 'implicating a certain number of police in planning or attacking activities.' Allegations and evidence of police complicity were handed to Mr Neville Melville, the police reporting officer in the province, for further investigation. It was likely, said Mr Engelbrecht, that criminal charges as well as charges of defeating the ends of justice would be brought against the policemen who had been implicated. (It was also reported that Mr Melville's investigation was being hampered by a lack of co-operation by certain policemen, and Mr Mufamadi said he viewed this very seriously.)

In early February six suspects were arrested at Mvutshini in connection with the killing of eight ANC supporters on 19 December 1995. Local police criticised the manner in which the arrests had been conducted, and said the special investigation team had failed to consult either with them, or the traditional authorities in the area. The IFP staged a protest march the following day through the streets of Margate (on the south coast) to demand the release on bail of the six suspects arrested. Mr Engelbrecht responded that his unit was under no obligation to consult local leaders. In addition, local police officers were allegedly involved in some of the killings, and hence 'formal contact with local structures had to be confined to the absolutely necessary'.

Mr Mufamadi said the IFP was being irresponsible in organising protests over the arrest of six of its supporters. Those condemning the arrests, he continued, were 'sorely mistaken if they thought suspects would be treated with kid gloves and allowed to continue escaping the law with impunity'. The divisional commissioner of police in KwaZulu/Natal, Mr Chris Serfontein, said IFP accusations of police bias were unfounded. Whereas 200 IFP members had been arrested in 107 cases, some 250 ANC members had been arrested in the same period in 102 cases. About 60 IFP members were awaiting trial, compared with some 100 ANC members. In the Port Shepstone area, about 75 IFP members had been arrested, while about 100 ANC supporters had been taken into custody.

Also in early February, some 300 ANC-supporting residents of Shakaville, near Stanger in northern KwaZulu/Natal, staged a protest at the Stanger Police Station against alleged attacks by the IFP. Demonstrators claimed that they were being victimised by members of the IFP. 'Some said many people had not reported for work during the week because they feared for their lives.' A senior leader of the ANC in the area, Mr Sam Mthethwa, who represented the demonstrators, handed a memorandum to police. It demanded the dismissal of the Stanger station commander and accused police of not providing adequate protection. (Earlier in the week, police had fired teargas to disperse ANC protesters 'after they attacked bystanders during a protest at the Plaza shopping centre in Stanger'.)

Also in the middle of the month, the IFP accused the ANC of involvement in the killing of Chief Shezi Memela in the Midlands region. Some days later in Impendle, SANDF troops were used to create a human shield to prevent clashes between angry ANC and IFP supporters. A heavy police and army contingent had been deployed for some days in the area, following the ANC's announcement of its intention to establish a branch there. IFP supporters prevented the ANC from holding a meeting at the local church hall by occupying the venue, and Mr Nkabinde said the incident did not 'augur well for free and fair elections in KwaZulu/Natal'. He added that the ANC had tried to hold a meeting in the area for more than three weeks, but had constantly been prevented from doing so by the IFP.

Earlier in the month, the ANC had accused Chief Buthelezi of tacitly approving violence as a means of resolving political conflict. It cited as evidence a speech by the IFP president, in which he had stated that the IFP was on the path to liberation and was 'armed with a powerful axe'. 'In a province so beleaguered as KwaZulu/Natal,' said the ANC, 'such comments can only help strengthen the confidence of third force elements in fuelling and accelerating heinous acts of violence against innocent people.'

Soon thereafter, Mr Mandela announced that new regulations would be brought into operation to ban the carrying of all weapons in public. Chief Buthelezi responded that Zulus could not be prohibited from carrying their 'cultural accoutrements'. He added that the carrying of traditional weapons had been part of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation which had brought the IFP into the general election in April 1994. A spokesman for Mr Mandela said there was a distinction between cultural accoutrements and dangerous weapons-and law enforcement agencies would be able to tell the difference.

Some days later, the SAPS announced that various 'high crime' areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu/Natal were to be targeted for top level police action. In the latter province, the policing project would be implemented in four phases, starting on the south coast and continuing north of the Tugela River, into the Midlands, and then to Durban and its surroundings. The project would include the establishment of additional police bases, some permanent and some mobile, and the provision of aircraft for aerial reconnaissance. High density patrols would continue, as they had proved successful in the past.

Towards the end of the month an IFP leader on the south coast, Mr James Zulu, was arrested and charged with the murder of a regional ANC leader, Mr George Mbhele, in Umzumbe in 1994. The SAPS opposed an application to release Mr Zulu on bail, and Mr Bushie Engelbrecht told the court that Mr Zulu had helped plan the Christmas Day massacre at Shobashobane, even though he had not taken part in it himself. 'He is a very difficult person,' stated Mr Engelbrecht, 'who rules the area with an iron fist. He tolerates no opposition He exacerbates the conflict between the IFP and ANC. His name appears prominently in a lot of dockets as the person who gives orders for murders or attacks on people.' Mr Engelbrecht urged that Mr Zulu be kept in custody, for this would encourage witnesses to come forward. Bail was refused by the Port Shepstone magistrate's court, but was subsequently granted by the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg at the end of March. The state said it would take the court's decision on appeal to the Appellate Division in Bloemfontein.

Also charged with Mr Zulu with the murder of Mr Mbhele was another IFP member, Mr Mbukeni Innocent Zakuza. Towards the end of February, Mr Zakuza pleaded guilty in the Port Shepstone magistrate's court to killing nine members of the Mzelemu family in Ntsimbisi in 1994. He admitted that he had killed all nine people, including a five-monthold baby. 'The IFP leadership is panicking,' the ANC stated in response, 'because of the amount of embarrassing information that may be exposed by the arrested Inkatha members and leaders.' It dismissed accusations by the IFP that the ANC was continuing to use hit squads to kill IFP leaders, and that the police were overlooking this. 'Inkatha is merely trying,' the ANC said, 'to divert attention away from the series of trials faced by the party's leaders in connection with the massacre and murder of ANC supporters.'

In mid-March the ANC was compelled to abandon an attempt to establish a branch in Impendle, following a court decision to uphold a ban on all public gatherings in the region. Mr Bheki Cele said it was the fifth time the ANC had been prevented from establishing a branch in the area to campaign for the local government elections.

Towards the end of the month, 11 people including a two-month-old infant and a four-year-old child were killed near Donnybrook in the Midlands region. An armed gang went on the rampage in Junction Village, 'opening fire as they went from door to door and killing women and children'. The ANC claimed the victims were its supporters, and that a witness had seen a 'police vehicle driving down the road after the attack', indicating that police had been involved. Mr Louis Thiele, the station commander at Donnybrook, denied this, saying that 'a policeman heard shots while on patrol and went to investigate'.

Police offered a reward of R250 000 for information leading to the arrest of the murderers, and said they had established a witness protection scheme to encourage people to come forward. Some of the survivors claimed IFP members from an adjoining IFP-supporting tribal area were responsible for the attack, and had targeted Donnybrook because it was home to ANC refugees who had fled from IFP violence.

In mid-March Mr Mufamadi announced that two further special investigation units, accompanied by detectives from outside the province, would be established in KwaZulu/ Natal. They would focus on the Greater Durban area as well as on the Midlands, he said. Similar units on the north and south coasts had already achieved considerable success.

A 'culture of impunity' had reigned in KwaZulu/Natal since 1985, but was now being broken, he added. Towards the end of March, the special investigation unit on the south coast said it had identified 109 suspects in the Shobashobane massacre, including ten policemen. It was still, however, awaiting documents vital to its investigations, including post-mortem and ballistic reports.

In late March another prominent IFP leader, Mr Sgcoloza Xolo, was arrested in connection with the Mvutshini massacre of eight ANC supporters in December 1995, while Mr Mufamadi introduced a ban in 74 magisterial districts on the display and possession of dangerous weapons at public meetings. The ban extended to 17 districts in KwaZulu/Natal. 'Dangerous weapons' were defined as including spears, assegais, knobkerries, pangas, swords, sabres, and battle axes. They did not include firearms, which were already prohibited in terms of other legislation. The ban would apply for three months, and would be extended thereafter if necessary. The ANC said the ban would 'go a long way in building the confidence of all South Africans in the commitment of the democratic government to bring violence and crime to an end'. 'Many South Africans,' it continued, 'have lost their lives since the NP government unbanned the display and carrying of such weaponry in public to coincide with the legalisation of the ANC and other organisations. This move was clearly intended to undermine the confidence of the people in the ANC and the mass democratic movement.' All South Africans, it added, would welcome the ban. 'Only those who seek to ride on the corpses of our people to power will feel aggrieved by such an important step,' it concluded.

The IFP rejected the ban on 'cultural accoutrements', and IFP supporters defied it at a rally addressed by Chief Buthelezi on the day after its promulgation. Mr Mufamadi responded that open defiance of the ban would be met with the full strength of the security forces. He acknowledged, however, that there were difficulties in doing this, as the police did not have the manpower to disarm large crowds. 'Wherever we can,' he stated, 'we will see to it that people are prosecuted.' Mr Dumisani Makhaye said there was a third force behind the IFP's resistance to measures aimed at ending violence. 'What is actually speaking against the ban on dangerous weapons,' he said, 'is not the IFP as we are made to know it, but the actual third force.'

At the end of March Mr Fivaz said that police would intensify the hunt for mass killers and other politically motivated criminals in KwaZulu/Natal. Success in this would depend in large measure, however, on the resources available to the SAPS and the willingness of the community to identify and isolate such killers. There were indications, he added, that mass killers had evolved as a specific breed of criminal. Additional national investigative task units would immediately be established and sent to KwaZulu/Natal, and would in time be permanently based in the central and northern parts of the province, as well as in the Midlands and along the south coast. A special investigative project would also be launched, to determine 'the potential for political violence flowing from specialist military, paramilitary and police training given to a wide spectrum of individuals in the past'.

Later in the month the police announced that permanent special investigative units had been established in four areas in KwaZulu/Natal. This had been done in Durban, under the supervision of Snr Supt Frank Dutton; in the Midlands, under Superintendent Philip Scholtz; in northern KwaZulu/Natal, under Captain Mandlenkosi Vilakazi; and on the south coast, under Director Bushie Engelbrecht. (Messrs Dutton and Scholtz were part of the task unit formed by Mr Mufamadi in 1995 to investigate hit squads in the province. Mr Vilakazi had been in command of a unit established by the police reporting officer in the province, Mr Neville Melville, to investigate violence in northern KwaZulu/Natal, and Mr Engelbrecht had been charged with investigating the Shobashobane massacre and other killings in the Port Shepstone area.)

At the end of March, an ANC local government candidate, Mr Daniel Danisa, was gunned down in Umlazi as he drove away from a meeting held with IFP leaders over plans to upgrade railway stations in the township. Mr Dumisani Makhaye said the ANC had no doubt this was the beginning of a campaign to eliminate ANC leaders. Mr Danisa, he said, had survived an earlier attempt on this life, and the ANC needed now to show maximum vigilance, to remain on the political offensive, and to ensure that security forces arrested the evil forces behind the assassination.

At the funeral for the victims of the Donnybrook massacre at the end of March, ANC supporters sang freedom songs while its spokesmen called for central government intervention to end the violence in the province. Mr Bheki Cele said the IFP-led provincial government was refusing to take responsibility for the violence. 'The life of the IFP depends upon violence, they sustain themselves on violence,' he stated, adding that Dr Mdlalose had become 'the MEC of massacres'. Mr Steve Tshwete, the minister of sport and recreation and a leading member of the ANC, told the crowd the violence stemmed from Chief Buthelezi's thwarted ambitions. 'This carnage,' he said, 'has nothing to do with the so-called call for international mediation or the issue of cultural weapons. This issue here is Buthelezi's frustrated ambition. He had dreamt that he would be far more than he is. Now he is prepared to do practically anything to frustrate every drive of the government to bring relief to the South African people. Inkatha has to be disarmed whether Buthelezi likes it or not and whatever the consequences. We will never allow a situation where our people are terrorised day and night by a bandits' organisation like the IFP.'

In early April the ANC stated that an induna who was its supporter had been shot dead at Mandini (northern KwaZulu/Natal), while four other ANC supporters had earlier been wounded in an ambush in the same area. The ANC added that two well-known IFP members had been seen in the area at the time of the attacks, while the ambush had apparently been perpetrated by policemen who had blackened their faces with boot-polish.

In mid-April Mr Mandela said the postponement or staggering of local government elections in KwaZulu/Natal would have to be considered because of the high levels of violence in the province. Two days later Cosatu said it would embark on mass action if the central government did not act to end violence in the province. Cosatu's regional chairman, Mr John Zikhali, said local government elections would not be possible unless steps were taken to ensure free and fair polls. Cosatu would use its membership numbers, he added, to 'force its proposals on government if nothing was done to ensure the safety of people'.

Following the attack in late April on Queen Buhle, her daughter and another princess,lxxxi the ANC said a 'spear had been planted in the belly of the Zulu nation'. It resolved to embark on a rolling mass action campaign, dubbed Operation Bambatha, to achieve peace in the province. The campaign would include marches, stayaways, picketing and prayers, said Mr Dumisani Makhaye. A process of consultation was under way throughout the province, and the form mass action would take would depend on conditions in varying localities. The decision to embark on the campaign, he stated, followed a meeting of an ANC provincial working committee (PWC). 'The PWC noted,' he said, 'that the most backward and criminal forces are now running the province. The PWC also noted that the forces of peace, democracy and development have never achieved anything through negotiations that are not accompanied by mass action.' The ANC also called on central government to 'use all necessary measures, including extraordinary measures', to end violence in the province. 'No person must be allowed to burn KwaZulu/Natal to ashes, or encourage people to rise and resist.'

Towards the end of April, 29 suspects-including an IFP branch chairman, Mr Sipho Ngcobo-were arrested in connection with the Shobashobane massacre. Police who carried out the first eight arrests were ambushed in the Izingolweni area by youths who barricaded a road with rocks, and fired on the convoy of police vehicles from hilltops nearby as the police tried to clear the way. Police returned fire and removed the barricade. Police and army reinforcements had been used to assist four police teams in the roundup of the suspects. Police sniffer dogs combed homesteads in the area for firearms and explosives and a homemade firearm and a magazine for a 9mm pistol were seized. Most of the 96 suspects for whom warrants of arrest had been issued were believed to be hiding in the Izingolweni area or in a hostel in unit 17 in Umlazi. The ANC said the hostel was 'the major supplier of illegal weapons in the province'. The suspects being sought were reported to include a number of IFP leaders.

The ANC praised the police for the arrests and said community co-operation with the police in investigating the massacre was now bearing fruit. 'The quick arrests of suspects in various south coast massacres,' it stated, 'has brought down political violence in the region. Since the introduction of the special investigating team about four months ago, there have been no political deaths on the south coast. This proves that when the security forces have the will, and the co-operation of the people, violence in KwaZulu/Natal can be stopped within a short period of time.'

Speaking at KwaMakhutha (south of Durban) soon thereafter, Mr Mandela urged ANC supporters to engage the IFP in peace talks, and help root out elements who incited violence. 'Get up,' he said, 'and talk to the members of the IFP. Say to them it is a disgrace that in the land of Shaka we should be fighting one another and massacring one another. We are the only people killing one another. Let us sit and discuss our problems instead of slaughtering one another.' Mr Mandela added that, while security forces would be used to help quell violence, he preferred trying to resolve the issues through talking. 'I will resist all those who say, "Mandela, use the army, use the police to put an end to this." We will use them when violence requires it, but the most important weapon I have is that of dialogue.' Mr Mandela also blamed the 'third force' for fanning conflict between the ANC and the IFP. This was reflected, he said, in the fact that at least ten policemen were suspected of involvement in the Shobashobane massacre. The only way to end third-force activity, he continued, was to put an end to the conflict. 'You must condemn your own members, members of the ANC, who are killing members of Inkatha,' he said. 'You must condemn and ask for strong action to be taken against those few policemen who are helping to slaughter our people.'

The SAPS confirmed that warrants of arrest had been issued against four policemen in relation to the Shobashobane massacre, while another six policemen were among the 109 suspects in the case. In addition, culpable homicide charges were being investigated against other policemen suspected of failing to react promptly to the Shobashobane massacre, and of conducting an illegal weapons search at various ANC homes immediately before the killings took place. The SAPS also stated that no politically inspired massacres had occurred on the south coast since the special investigation team had been sent into the area. Overall, a spokesman said, the arrests in the area-now totalling almost 70-vindicated the government's intervention to halt political violence, which had begun with the injection of outside troops and police in Operation Jambu in 1995.

As controversy over the police role on the south coast mounted, the SAPS denied that any of the suspects linked to the Shobashobane massacre had been tortured while in custody. Director Reg Crewe said that police involved in the arrests had been told to use minimum force, and to behave in a professional manner. Each investigating team had been accompanied by a defence force medical orderly, and suspects arrested had had their hands tied with plastic tie-ons similar to those used in the United States. The arrests had been made without the use of force, and all those taken into custody had been examined by a medical doctor. At the end of April, one of the Shobashobane suspects arrested earlier, Mr Mdikilwa Nyawose, died in Durban-Westville Prison of bronchial asthma.

In early May nine hostel residents in KwaMashu were arrested in connection with the attack on the palace earlier in the month, and Mr Mandela expressed delight at this. Soon afterwards, hundreds of heavily armed IFP supporters were reported by Business Day to have 'invaded the KwaMashu Police Station through an open side entrance to demand the release of the nine suspects'. The demonstrators, the report said, 'moved into battle formation and, singing war songs, surged towards police cells in a bid to release the suspects'. It added that police snipers had arrived amid growing fears that hostages would be taken, and that the demonstrators had finally left after a 'tense four-and-a-half hour stand-off', but had returned some hours later to find the station sealed off.

Mr Bheki Cele said police could not claim to be in control of the security situation when they had allowed a police station to be invaded. The incident thus demonstrated that polling stations would not be safe, and that voters would be afraid to leave their homes. Mr Cele added that Chief Buthelezi had fuelled the 'culture of impunity' demonstrated by the hostel residents. Chief Buthelezi, he said, 'does the shouting while his supporters carry out the action'.

The ANC described the demonstrators as 'IFP hooligans' and said the attack on the KwaMashu palace had been 'a logical consequence of a sustained and systematic IFP vilification of the king and the royal family'. 'It is not just the nine suspects that must answer to the Zulu people and the nation,' it said, 'but also the IFP leadership who are running this anti-king vilification campaign.'

Also in early May, Mr Zuma called for a one-day stayaway in the province on 10 May to protest against the attack on the king's palace in KwaMashu. Addressing a Workers' Day rally in Durban, Mr Zuma said the attack was a calamity which had befallen the whole province. 'If it were in the olden days, all of us would be having our spears and shields, hunting for the attackers, but because things have changed we say they should be arrested,' he told the crowd, amid shouts that Chief Buthelezi must be taken into custody. Those who called for the holding of the local government poll on 29 May did not realise, he added, that the attack had been the final straw for the people of KwaZulu/Natal. Mr Zuma discounted criticism of the proposed stayaway from the business sector, saying that 'big business was concerned only about profit'.

A few days later the IFP-aligned National Hostel Residents' Association organised a march through Durban in protest against the ban on carrying traditional weapons in public. During the march, a gun battle erupted between police and protesters, injuring at least nine people, including three policemen.

According to a report in the Sowetan, violence broke out even before the march began, as hostel residents from KwaMashu and Umlazi burnt a bakkie and barricaded the main road to Umlazi, while forcing township residents to join them. There were unconfirmed reports, the newspaper added, that 'several people had been killed in KwaMashu' for resisting the pressure to join in. The marchers were 'armed to the teeth with traditional weapons and automatic rifles', and some were dressed in army look-alike uniforms. As the march proceeded, 'businesses were forced to close and barricade their shops, while hawkers suffered huge losses from the plundering crowd'. When the marchers reached Grey Street in central Durban, shooting began-'emanating from within the participants of the march'.

Reports varied as to what had sparked the gun battle. The Sunday Tribune reported witnesses as saying that 'the trouble began when an apparently drunk man started swearing at marchers', who hit him in response. He shouted for his friends and 'two factions started making war. They were scraping their pangas in the road. Only then did the police arrive and one cop was trying to push the marchers back when two shots were fired, hitting two cops. The marchers were shooting at the cops as they were lying injured on the road and police returned fire'.

Mr Chris Serfontein expressed shock and outrage at the behaviour of the marchers, while the ANC in the province said the national government could delay no longer in declaring a state of emergency in KwaZulu/Natal. 'All necessary steps must be taken,' said Mr Dumisani Makhaye, 'and that includes arresting the organisers of the march.' Mr Makhaye added that violence in the region was 'deliberate IFP strategy and not the result of rogue elements within the party'. Destabilising the province, he added, had enabled the IFP to achieve its goal of undeclared political secession. 'Politically they are running KwaZulu/Natal not only differently from the rest of South Africa,' he stated, 'but also in a manner that is opposed and confrontational to the rest of South Africa. That is undeclared political secession.' Mr Makhaye concluded that 'criminals and sadists' had taken over the running of KwaZulu/ Natal, and that free and fair elections could not possibly be held on 29 May.

Mr Mufamadi stated that those who had taken part in the march would face the full might of the law, irrespective of their status. Dr Mdlalose, he added, was now 'reaping the whirlwind of the lawlessness which resulted when leaders encouraged defiance of the laws of the land'. Mr Mbeki commented that the government was 'dealing with organised violence whose aim was to eliminate the ANC'. A spokesman for Mr Mandela said the march and its ramifications for the local government elections due to be held at the end of the month required urgent cabinet consideration. 'This kind of demonstration with men carrying machine guns,' he said, 'shows a clear expression of lack of tolerance and lack of order. It does, of course, place a question over the elections.'

On the eve of a special cabinet meeting-called to discuss whether the local government poll in KwaZulu/Natal should be postponed-Mr Makhaye reiterated earlier ANC calls for the introduction of extraordinary measures, including emergency rule, to end violence in the province. The situation was worse, he said, than it had been before the April 1994 election. Then, 'there had been no attack on a Zulu queen, nor had IFP supporters opened fire on white policemen in central Durban'. The cabinet resolved that the elections be postponed, and Chief Buthelezi concurred in this decision.

The ANC said the stayaway planned for 10 May would not take place after all. Mr Mchunu said 'the party had not called for the stayaway, although he did not deny that Mr Zuma made the call'. 'It was definitely a slip of the tongue,' Mr Mchunu added. Instead, he said, the ANC was planning a march on the day and its proposed activities would not disrupt business from operating.

In the event, the march did not take place either. The ANC cancelled it, saying it had received information that it would be disrupted. 'Our intelligence said there were plans to turn our planned march into a chaotic march reminiscent of last Saturday's [IFP] march,' said Mr Zuma. 'We do not want his majesty's name to be used to spark trouble while he is still mourning from the barbaric acts of some forces in this province.'

Also in early May, following the attempted assassination of an IFP-supporting traditional leader, Chief Simpiwe Mazibuko, by unidentified gunmen, Mr Mandela announced that another special police investigation unit was to be deployed in KwaZulu/Natal 'in areas where rogue ANC members had been committing murder and crimes of violence'. Mr Mandela said the unit would operate in the Richmond and KwaMashu areas, where there was suspected culpability of rogue ANC members. The unit would be used, he added, in areas where 'ANC members were responsible for most of the killing'. 'It does not matter,' he stated, 'to which party the criminals belong.'

In mid-May, four policemen were arrested in connection with the Shobashobane massacre. A warrant of arrest had also been issued for a fifth policeman, but he could not be found. Mr Bushie Engelbrecht said that a further five policemen were also under investigation in relation to the killings. The four policemen were released on bail of R3000 each, but other suspects being held in connection with the massacre remained in custody pending the determination of their bail applications.

Soon thereafter, Mr Neville Melville concluded his investigation into alleged police failure to prevent the Shobashobane massacre, and reported that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate claims of police misconduct in the matter. Mr Mufamadi responded that a public inquiry, to be headed by an independent person, would be established to determine whether or not police knew beforehand about the Shobashobane massacre, and whether or not they colluded with the attackers by not responding immediately when alerted to what was happening. Mr Azhar Cachalia, the secretary for safety and security and a leading member of the ANC, suggested to Mr Fivaz that an inquiry should also be held under the South African Police Service Act of 1995 to determine whether any disciplinary action should be taken against any member of the SAPS.

Speaking in the Senate later in the month, Mr Mufamadi said the problems in the province had developed out of 'the difficult social and political histories of the people' of KwaZulu/Natal, but had also been fanned by 'a systematic campaign of violence and repression'. Political solutions were ultimately required, but it was also important to eradicate the 'culture of impunity' which had arisen as a result of 'the poor and biased policing that had characterised the province in the past'. The special investigation teams established had achieved a measure of success, he added, while the arrest of scores of alleged perpetrators of violence on the south coast had made it possible for people to go about their daily lives in conditions of relative peace. The establishment of further investigation teams was intended to 'extend the frontiers of peace and stability in the province'. A particular focus would be needed, he said, on the factors contributing to high murder rates, including the easy availability of firearms and the presence of paramilitary formations. Specific strategies had been developed in this regard, he said.

Also in mid-May, church leaders in the province announced that several peace initiatives would soon be launched to ensure that local government elections went ahead peacefully. The peace plan, Project Ukuthula, was decided upon after a meeting between President Mandela and church leaders. Mr Mandela agreed that the church needed to play a far greater role in the peace process. Members of the project's co-ordinating committee included the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the Rev Dr Stanley Mogoba; Bishop Mathew Makhaye of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa; and Dr Michael Cassidy of a KwaZulu-based mission organisation, Africa Enterprise.

Towards the end of May, four people-believed to be ANC supporters-were shot dead at Donnybrook in the Midlands. Three of the victims were shot at their home in the St Charles township, and the fourth about 300 metres away. A house was also gutted in the attack, perpetrated by about ten men armed with AK-47 rifles and shotguns. Also towards the end of the month, Mr Mandlezizwe Mbanjwa-an ANC candidate in the local government elections and the organisation's regional chairman in the Midlands region-was found shot dead in St Charles. Police said that three men wearing balaclavas had been seen fleeing the scene. Soon thereafter, the ANC alleged that Mr Sifiso Nkabinde had been shot at in Junction township in Donnybrook when gunmen in a passing car opened fire on his car, shattering his windscreen.

In late May a report in The Natal Witness said the success of the investigation unit on the south coast had been phenomenal, and that its replication in other trouble spots was urgently required. What was particularly important was that 'a significant number of those arrested in connection with the Shobashobane massacre were also linked to unrelenting carnage in the area over the last four years'. It was unfortunate, however, that police had not been able to recover the firearms used in violent attacks. 'They are well hidden,' said Mr Bushie Engelbrecht, 'and are in the possession of key warlords.' The Network of Independent Monitors said it was important to look beyond the present success of the investigation unit to the fact that it would have to be withdrawn at some time. To prevent problems recurring, it said, any such withdrawal should be preceded by 'an independent investigation of key police personnel at local level, including station commanders and area commissioners'.

Also in late May, the head of the national crime investigation service, Commissioner Frik Truter, said the national investigation task units (NITUs) in KwaZulu/Natal were in a constant state of readiness to deal with any eventuality which might arise in the province, especially in the run-up to the local government poll, scheduled to take place on 26 June 1996. The NITUs, he said, would investigate politically motivated massacres and murders of high-profile individuals, as far back as 1 January 1994. 'The expertise of psychologists will be used to assist investigations into mass killers,' he said.

Also in late May, the IFP claimed that Capt Vilakazi, the head of the NITU in northern KwaZulu/Natal, had tortured and assaulted nine IFP suspects arrested by his unit, and that one of its supporters, Mr Ngiyane Mhlongo, had died in custody in suspicious circumstances. Capt Vilakazi was removed from his post, and responded that 'provincial policemen had wanted him removed for making progress in investigations'. The ANC said the treatment accorded him was grossly unfair, and that the SAPS had responded to the IFP's 'vilification campaign', even though the accusations against Capt Vilakazi had not been proven. Mr Dumisani Makhaye said Capt Vilakazi had been doing 'excellent work', and that his demotion-which also smacked of racism-would demoralise members of the unit. Mr Truter said the police had taken cognisance of the IFP's accusations, but had decided to replace Capt Vilakazi because it was intended that each of the four NITUs should be headed by an officer of the rank of superintendent.

(In September Capt Vilakazi was reinstated in his previous post, having instituted legal action for this purpose. Mr Justice P Levinsohn said that Capt Vilakazi's removal from office had no force and effect as he had not been afforded a proper hearing before action was taken. A spokesman for the SAPS in KwaZulu/Natal said police would request leave to appeal, while the head of the police complaints unit, Superintendent Pieter Nortjé, said investigations conducted thus far indicated that Capt Vilakazi and his unit had not been responsible for the death of Mr Mhlongo, who had died from a fall in Eshowe Prison.)

At the end of May nine hostel dwellers from KwaMashu, accused of the murder of Princess Nonhlanhla, sought their release on bail before the Verulam regional magistrate's court (Durban). Opposing the application, Inspector Trevor Ebersohn, the investigating officer from the National Priority Crimes Unit, said: 'Eyewitnesses have revealed that Princess Nonhlanhla was shot five times, three times in the back of the head and two in the chest, after she had been severely assaulted.' Moreover, one of the accused had been seen 'drinking the blood of the princess after she was shot'. Inspector Ebersohn said police feared for the safety of witnesses in the trial, as members of an Umlazi SPU, as well as six assassins from Empangeni, had been contracted to kill them. The accused, if released, would also try to kill witnesses.

Describing the evening of the attack, Inspector Ebersohn said a meeting had been convened at the KwaMashu men's hostel to discuss an invitation issued to ANC dignitaries to attend the opening of Princess Sibusile's school of art and design. People at the meeting were angry that 'ANC comrades and communists', like Mr Zuma, had been invited into an IFP area. 'The people at the meeting were asked,' continued Inspector Ebersohn, 'to proceed to the royal house in KwaMashu where the function was to be held, and to cut down the tents and assault people.' A group of about 30 men then forcibly entered the house and attacked the occupants-all members of the Zulu royal family. Princess Nonhlanhla tried to flee, but was grabbed by the accused, while Princess Sibusile was shot in the leg.

The end of May also witnessed further progress towards peace. It was reported that ANC and IFP leaders had held a series of talks in the province in recent weeks in an effort to resolve the differences between them. Dr Mdlalose said provincial leaders from both parties had had three 'heart-to-heart' talks in recent weeks, at which both sides admitted that their members had made 'tragic mistakes'. An ANC spokesman said the talks had been 'qualitatively different' from previous ones, as both sides appeared to be war-weary and genuinely in search of a settlement. The ANC said it was cautiously optimistic that the peace initiative would succeed. Both parties agreed that a code of conduct drawn up for the local government polls should be kept in place thereafter. This would help ensure that emotions were not inflamed by words or deeds. A permanent structure would also be needed to monitor and investigate wrongdoing on both sides. Both parties felt that some of the killings had been triggered by a 'third force involved in mischievous manipulation'. Church leaders responsible for initiating Project Ukuthula said a peace conference would be held on 13 June, to be attended by Mr Mandela, Chief Buthelezi, and King Goodwill Zwelithini. Bishop Makhaye said the meeting would strive to co-ordinate peace initiatives that would continue beyond the local elections.

In a further development, 'warlords' from both the ANC and the IFP agreed at the end of May that they would visit each other's strongholds together to canvass voters in the local government elections. Mr Sifiso Nkabinde said he would escort Mr David Ntombela through ANC strongholds in Richmond and Edendale to put up IFP local government election posters, while Mr Ntombela would lead him through the IFP strongholds of Elandskop and Taylor's Halt to do likewise. Said Mr Ntombela, 'If anyone shoots at me, then Nkabinde and I will fight back together.' Mr Nkabinde said the poster initiative was a start to achieving political tolerance at grassroots level, and would culminate in the holding of joint rallies. He said that there were six warlords in the KwaZulu/Natal legislature-three from the ANC and three from the IFP. (On the ANC side, these were himself, Mr Bheki Cele, and Mr Dumisani Makhaye. On the IFP side, they were Mr Thomas Shabalala, Chief Calalakubo Khawula, and Mr Nzameni Mthiyane.) 'Let us go to Mount Everest,' said Mr Nkabinde, 'and tell the world the war is over.' He urged the warlords to 'lay down their arms and become peacelords', while Dr Mdlalose said the extensive talks previously held had ironed out differences and allowed 'peace to sink into our hearts'.

Mr Mandela and Chief Buthelezi welcomed the peace initiative and urged provincial leaders to work out a detailed programme for peace. The two leaders were briefed on Project Ukuthula, and told of the progress made so far. This included discussions with the South African Communication Service on the best way of communicating the peace message at grassroots level, and urging people to support peace pledges approved by both parties. The pledges would be to adhere to the National Peace Accord and the Electoral Code of Conduct (formulated for the local government poll) and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

An editorial in Business Day said real progress appeared to have been made. Both parties, it said, had made the 'startling admission' that their members had made mistakes, whereas in the past each had 'ritually portrayed the other as the source of all evil'. The change was prompted, it said, by battle fatigue as well as by internal dynamics within both organisations. Within the IFP, it said, 'moderates such as provincial premier Frank Mdlalose are beginning to assert themselves after the failure of hardline strategists to deliver on the national and KwaZulu/Natal constitutions. Inkatha boycott tactics and the policy of "institutional conflict" with the central state have only served to harden ANC resolve. The central state has intervened more and more directly in the province, bringing tribal land and the payment of chiefs under its sway and intensifying its security crackdown'. At the same time, it continued, 'in ANC circles, there is a growing awareness of the impact of the continuing turmoil in KwaZulu/Natal on development prospects within the province and on investor perceptions generally. President Nelson Mandela is seen as the only figure with sufficient clout to broker a political settlement with IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and draw him into the political mainstream. Less than three years remain before Mandela's retirement and there are concerns that his successor will inherit the whirlwind'.

The peace initiative was reported, at the end of May, to have resulted in a 'dramatic decline' in the political temperature in the province. Prospects for a peaceful local government poll were reported to have been significantly enhanced. Observers warned, however, that the peace process remained fragile and that leaders of both parties faced a daunting task in bringing the message home to their supporters. The real test of both parties' commitment to peace would come in the weeks leading up to the local government elections on 26 June.

Soon thereafter, conflict in the Midlands put the peace process under strain. Not only was Mr Mandlezizwe Mbanjwa gunned down in Donnybrook by masked men in late May, but Mr Sifiso Nkabinde also came under attack when his vehicle was ambushed in early June. The IFP said Mr Nkabinde's bodyguards had opened fire first, on a vehicle in which an IFP regional organiser, Mr Dumisani Khuzwayo, was travelling. Mr Bheki Cele said the incidents were unfortunate, but not unexpected. There was likely to be an upsurge in violence, he stated, as the ANC and IFP leadership tried to bring about peace. 'Warlords, who rely on violence for their political power, will try to scupper the peace initiative.' He proposed that joint monitoring structures-on which Mr Mbeki and Chief Buthelezi could serve-should be formed to crack down on ANC and IFP violence in the province.

Also in early June a report in the Sunday Times said that the IFP had 18 paramilitary training sites in KwaZulu/Natal which were being investigated by government intelligence agencies. The ANC responded that this was not the first time such reports had emerged, and that this would not deter the organisation from pursuing peace talks with the IFP. 'You make peace where there is war,' said Mr Bheki Cele. The Sunday Times report also referred to the training of ANC SDUs. Mr Cele said he was unaware of such training, but would not deny it was taking place. The violence, he said, had bred warlords on both the ANC and IFP sides, and training would continue until it was resolved.

The ANC said Mr Mandela would support a proposal put forward by Chief Buthelezi for the two leaders to address joint peace rallies in the province. A spokesman for the president said Mr Mandela had had the attainment of peace in KwaZulu/Natal as one of his priorities ever since his release from prison. He had always, moreover, been willing to share a platform with Chief Buthelezi. An editorial in the Sowetan commented that Mr Mandela was 'prepared to meet Chief Buthelezi and had tried to make such meetings possible for some time. The fractious political situation, however, had made it impossible for the leaders to meet'.

Mr Dumisani Makhaye said the latest peace initiatives were like 'a fresh breeze sweeping across the province'. He warned, however, that there were forces which did not support the peace moves. 'There are also those political forces,' he said, 'who owe their continued political existence to the bitter rivalry between the ANC and the IFP. They publicly claim that they fully support the peace efforts. But in the heart of their hearts they are bleeding.' Those against the peace process were on the retreat, he continued, but would not take defeat lying down.

Peace initiatives took further form in mid-June with the announcement that a series of committees had been formed to deal with issues such as winning the support of traditional leaders and grassroots followers, and drafting a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of both ANC and IFP members. The code was intended to guarantee that both parties would suspend or expel members who engaged in violence.

A peace conference was convened in Durban under the auspices of the Ukuthula project, and was attended by the Zulu monarch as well as senior members of the ANC and IFP, clergy, peace monitors and political analysts. Mr Jacob Zuma said the ANC and IFP had never before come to terms with the violence in the province, and must now take the lead in ending it. 'This peace initiative,' he said, 'is a KwaZulu/Natal-grown solution and the people in this province are now saying enough is enough.' The IFP and ANC were committed to peace, he continued, but would need support to succeed.

Addressing a Youth Day rally on 16 June, Mr Mbeki said the ANC was encouraged by Chief Buthelezi's support for the peace initiatives embarked on by the ANC the previous month. Although the ANC had in the past taken up arms to fight apartheid, the time had come to fight for peace. 'The war is over, violence is over, the time for peace is now,' said Mr Mbeki. He encouraged the crowd not to be led by warlords, and to support peace initiatives in the province. Mr Zuma said the greatest challenge facing the nation was to attain peace, stability, democracy, and development.

Towards the end of June Mr Skoteni Hlela, the chairman of the ANC in Sharp township on the outskirts of Bulwer, was gunned down on the main street of the town by a man armed with an AK-47 rifle. His assailant, according to a report in The Star, was a gunman known in the region as 'Rasta', who was subsequently killed in a shoot-out with members of the SAPS. The death of Mr Hlela, said the report, raised further questions as to whether the pending local government elections could be mounted in a free and fair manner.

On 26 June, the local polls were held in relative peace, though the Human Rights Committee (HRC) recorded some 55 political killings in the month of June-an increase of 55% compared to May. It stated that the nature of the violence had changed in the period from April 1994 to June 1996. It now 'most often took the form of targeted attacks on individuals rather than the mass attacks on communities so prevalent in earlier years'. The HRC attributed the relatively peaceful local polls to the presence of the security forces, coupled with the fact that the judiciary had 'partially succeeded in breaking a "cycle of impunity" by bringing many criminal suspects to trial'. A 'temporary truce' between the ANC and IFP had also helped, but the maintenance of 'no-go areas' throughout the province threatened the prospects for peace in the long term.

Addressing an ANC victory rally in Clermont (Durban) in the aftermath of the local polls, Mr Mandela praised the efforts of political leaders in the province to bring about peace. He congratulated the IFP for its win in rural areas, and said that the ANC-though it had won the areas 'where the main financial decisions were taken'-would not be arrogant, but would co-operate with the provincial government. The election results, he continued, had dispelled the myth that 'South Africans of Zulu extraction were under the spell of an ethnic party'. 'We are one South African nation and the politics of narrow ethnic mobilisation are on the way out.'

At the IFP's annual conference in late July, however, Chief Buthelezi described the peace initiative in the province as an 'empty shell'. The ANC responded that Chief Buthelezi's statement had been 'both unfortunate and disturbing'. The ANC added that the peace initiative should be 'revived with vigour', and that a joint committee should be established to visit local leaders from both parties who were promoting peace.

In August, a gun battle broke out between supporters of the ANC and IFP outside the building housing the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg, where seven IFP members were on trial for the murder the previous year of four policemen and an informer in the Midlands region. Five people were injured in the fracas, and it was reported that Mr Sifiso Nkabinde and Mr David Ntombela had drawn guns on each other outside the court house before being disarmed by the police. In a joint statement, Dr Mdlalose and Mr Zuma condemned the incident and said they remained committed to the peace process earlier initiated. Mr Dumisani Makhaye, in a separate statement, said the leaders of both parties should investigate the conduct of their supporters in relation to the incident, and take disciplinary action against them if necessary. 'This shooting incident,' he stated, 'demonstrates the depth of the culture of impunity in Kwa-Zulu/Natal. It is important that the courts, security forces, political parties and civil society play their respective roles to destroy this dangerous culture.' He criticised speculation that the incident might undermine the recent peace initiative, saying 'only forces which wanted to benefit from violence were fuelling this speculation'. (No prosecution of either Mr Nkabinde or Mr Ntombela was initiated in relation to the incident, as allegations that the two had pointed firearms at each other were not substantiated thereafter by witnesses.)

Responding to reports that members of the SANDF were providing paramilitary training to ANC SDUs in the province, Mr Bheki Cele said that it 'would be naive to say there were no such activities'. Though the ANC had suspended its armed struggle and a security apparatus had been put in place to deal with violence and crime, it was possible that 'communities in the Midlands felt threatened and had decided to form their own structures of defence'. It was also possible that gangsterism had developed in the region because of the violence it had experienced in the mid-1980s. He added that the ANC did not condone violence, and that 'if SDU members were being trained by former MK [Umkhonto] cadres, it would pose serious problems'. Mr Mufamadi said legislation would be introduced to ban paramilitary training, for there were indications that right-wing groups, IFP-aligned SPUs and fundamentalist religious groups, as well as SDUs, were still receiving this.

The ANC in KwaZulu/Natal later reiterated that it remained committed to the peace initiative, notwithstanding Chief Buthelezi's criticism of it as 'an empty shell'. The ANC's provincial leader, Mr Jacob Zuma, said he was confident the remark would not jeopardise peace talks, and that both parties were committed to speeding up the peace process. The ANC would do its best to revive the process, and to follow up on pre-election pledges-to carry out joint visits to local leaders, for example-which practical considerations had thus far delayed. Towards the end of August, further endeavours were made to revive the peace process when a joint ANC/IFP rally was held at Impendle.

In late August, the ANC made a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and made little reference to the conflict which had racked Natal and KwaZulu from 1980 onwards. Addressing the TRC, Mr Mbeki said it had never been the organisation's policy to 'permit random attacks on civilian targets' and that it had always striven-since the formation of Umkhonto in 1961-to avoid unnecessary loss of human life. Bomb attacks had sought to avoid civilian targets, and those civilians who had died had either 'associated themselves with apartheid military aggression' (as in the case of the Pretoria car bomb in 1983 in which 19 people had been killed and some 200 injured), or had unavoidably been caught in the crossfire of the just war the ANC had waged against the apartheid state.

Moreover, many of the 'Wimpy Bar bombs directed at civilian targets, necklacings in the townships, and rogue action by self defence units were the work of state agents attempting to discredit the ANC'. They were 'apartheid regime false flag operations', designed to damage the image of the ANC. Examples of such operations included the death of Mr Griffiths Mxenge in 1981, the KwaMakhutha massacre of 13 people in 1987, and the bombing of Khotso House in Johannesburg, the headquarters of the South African Council of Churches, in 1988.

The ANC acknowledged that it had formed SDUs in the 1990s, to which clandestine units of Umkhonto had provided 'training and weaponry'. It stated, however, that this decision had been forced on it by 'the slaughter of civilians and resultant pressure from the people'. By April 1991, the ANC stated, some 2 400 civilians had died-and the organisation had been compelled to threaten its withdrawal from negotiations 'unless the government stopped the bloodshed'. Moreover, it was the NP government of Mr F W de Klerk that had 'deliberately subverted the units and used criminals and illegal means to discredit them'. 'The deliberate subversion of the SDUs,' stated the ANC, 'in order to ensure that people could not mount sustained resistance to state-sponsored violence, and to discredit the ANC in the eyes of the international community, is illustrated in the case of the notorious Phola Park SDU.' The legitimate unit in Phola Park-an informal settlement on the outskirts of Thokoza township, south of Johannesburg-had been overthrown by Mr Mngugi Ceba, and community leaders had been driven from the township. The Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation (the Goldstone commission) had 'uncovered details of plans to discredit other units in the same way it had happened in Phola Park'. The commission had also found that Mr Ceba was 'a police informer who had orchestrated an attack on IFP members for which an ANC member was convicted of murder'.

(The ANC also acknowledged to the TRC that 34 of its members had been executed in exile by order of its military tribunal, either for participation in mutinies or for the commission of serious common law crimes. It admitted that human rights abuses had occurred in its camps in exile, and that these had included 'excesses' against captured enemy agents. The abuses had occurred, however, 'against the background of a life or death struggle against increased NP government efforts to infiltrate the organisation', particularly in the aftermath of the Soweto revolt.)

In September, the IFP made a submission to the TRC in which it claimed that the ANC had been 'the father' of the conflict in KwaZulu and Natal, and that its own supporters had involuntarily been 'drawn' into acts of violence as a result. The ANC declined to comment on the IFP submission, saying that 'it had always seen the struggle in South Africa as one between the forces of democracy on the one hand, and the system of white minority rule in all its manifestations on the other'.

An article in Business Day by Mr Wyndham Hartley described the IFP's claim that it had never initiated violence as 'poppycock'. While acknowledging that 'awful things had been done by both sides in the violence' and that 'many innocent Inkatha members had been victims' of the conflict, Mr Hartley said there were many other contributing factors to the conflict which the IFP had failed to mention. These included the violence attending the strike at BTR Sarmcol in 1985, when striking Cosatu-affiliated workers were replaced by members of the Inkatha-aligned United Workers' Union of South Africa. They included also the 'forced recruitment marches' mounted by Inkatha under cover of darkness, and 'numerous corroborated cases of senior members of the IFP's central committee, and of the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly (KLA), being placed at scenes of violence'. There had also been, said Mr Hartley, 'many court hearings in which central committee members and IFP office bearers were charged with crimes relating to political violence-and found guilty'.

The IFP submission, the article continued, required the reader to believe that Chief Buthelezi had 'never questioned the veracity of press reports' regarding the violence, nor asked members of the KLA 'implicated in violence what was going on'. Since he must have been told about the violence in the Midlands area, it followed that there could have been 'no instruction to Inkatha-supporting members, or to KwaZulu government appointed chiefs and indunas, to stop the recruitment marches'. Moreover, though Chief Buthelezi had apologised for the violence committed by his followers, he had not said how much he had known, or 'given any indication of what he had done within the IFP to limit or prevent the killings'.

Mr Hartley continued:

People I have interviewed have told how they would get a message from an induna or the chief that they had to bring their weapons to go and fight. I have witnessed

Inkatha members gathering in this way. On one occasion when I was questioning men about whether they wanted to fight or not, a senior member of the IFP grabbed my notebook and threatened me with violence if I did not leave the area.

The nature of the violence and Inkatha's role in it certainly does not accord with the impression created by the submission that IFP members were 'drawn' into the violence and that they were fundamentally victims.

Charges that the NP government was in cahoots with the ANC to such an extent that they conspired to destroy Inkatha, and evidence of ANC involvement in the violence, also does not square with the facts. What about the evidence of Vlakplaas operatives running guns to Inkatha which has emerged in the De Kock trial? What about the Operation Marion evidence now before the Malan trial? What about the fact that many of the 'kitskonstabels' who operated in the townships against the UDF [United Democratic Front] were Inkatha members? What about the training of Inkatha members in the Caprivi, which Buthelezi denied so many times? What about the Inkathagate scandal over SA taxpayers' money being used to fund rallies of the IFP?

The IFP submission is so one-sided it betrays itself It asks us to believe that Inkatha involvement in political violence was an accident as some members were 'drawn' into the conflict. That the IFP has never initiated violence. Poppycock.

An editorial in the newspaper commented that the IFP's submission did little to uncover the truth. The IFP had played a substantial role in the carnage in Natal, yet this was in no way reflected in its submission. Instead, this 'merely rehearsed its time-honoured litany of accusations against the ANC and its allies'. Chief Buthelezi had given 'no insight into the policy decisions, party dynamics and chains of command behind the depradations of Inkatha-supporting "warlords" in rural areas'. He had also 'shed no light on the links between Inkatha warriors and the apartheid security forces, of which there had been evidence in the Malan and De Kock trials'. In addition, Chief Buthelezi had given the commission 'no deeper understanding of Inkatha's role in the terrible hostel-based violence on the Reef in the early 1990s'. The IFP leader was correct in 'underscoring the inadequate focus on the killing of IFP leaders and supporters', but his 'glib apology for the actions of his members was not enough'. There could be neither truth nor reconciliation, the editorial concluded, without 'honest self-scrutiny'.

Explaining Continued Conflict in 1995 and 1996

From the viewpoint of the ANC, much progress was made in 1995 and 1996-but more remained to be done. The part played by the Zulu monarch was particularly significant, for the ANC had long wanted King Goodwill Zwelithini to 'play a fatherly role and not be involved in politics'. ANC endeavours in this regard at last bore fruit. Nowhere was this more evident than at Heritage and Shaka Day celebrations in September 1996, which brought ANC and IFP leaders together in an unprecedented demonstration of political tolerance. This could not have been achieved, however, without the unifying role of the Zulu king. It was unfortunate, accordingly, that 'some people were still crying for the past', and sought still to use the king for their own political purposes. This trend, said Mr Bheki Cele in October 1996, could have disturbing consequences, for it could lead to 'some very nasty incidents'.

The position of the amakhosi in KwaZulu/Natal was more problematic, however. The local polls in the province in June 1996 had revealed a clear urban/rural divide, in terms of which 'the ANC ruled the urban areas and the IFP the rural ones'. The consequence was that 'whoever had the loyalty of the chiefs would then control the rural areas'. The IFP was aware of this, and sought accordingly to give the amakhosi powers in rural areas which were inconsistent with the national constitution. It wanted the chiefs 'to keep holding on to false powers, so that they could keep controlling the masses in the rural areas'.

Many of the chiefs, moreover, were resisting democratic transformation. They felt threatened by the new disposition, which was inconsistent with their traditional and autocratic form of rule. So uncomfortable were some of the amakhosi with impending change that they were trying to 'go back into the laager'-and it would thus be difficult to effect the transformation so urgently required. What was certain, however, was that change would come. 'People will reject the structures they see as oppressive,' said Mr Cele, 'just as it happened in France. People in South Africa are highly politicised. Whether they live in rural areas or not, many are members of Cosatu, many are unionised. There is a lot of resistance among them to the old ways, though formally they pay their respects. But if traditional structures are not allowed to change, they could rise against what they regard as oppressive.'

The payment of the amakhosi remained an issue, furthermore, requiring speedy resolution. Some of the chiefs had approached the ANC and asked, 'Why don't you liberate us and let us be paid centrally? We need to know that we also belong to South Africa.' The IFP, however, had continued to assert an undue 'power of patronage' over the amakhosi, and had obstructed the proposed payment of the chiefs by central government. The Constitutional Court had also failed to give a clear ruling on the issue, for it had said that both national and provincial administrations had the capacity to pay the chiefs. The court's decision was confusing, however, for it was clear from the constitution that national legislation was supposed to override provincial law on a matter of national importance. 'The question,' said the ANC, 'will have to be resolved along these lines.'

According to the ANC, IFP allegations regarding international mediation-though frequently reiterated in 1995 and 1996-had no validity at all. 'Who is to mediate?' asked Mr Cele. 'And what is there to mediate about? You can agree to do something, but if the thing has been washed away by the currents of history, you are not going to come back to it.' In general, said the ANC, mediation is necessary only when two parties have tried to resolve a point of dispute, and have failed to reach common ground. The IFP, however, had not attempted a resolution at all. 'The IFP cannot stay away [from constitutional negotiations] and shout for mediation.' It should have participated in the deliberations of the Constitutional Assembly, and been willing to bow to its decisions-especially after the Constitutional Court had upheld the final text on all but 'some very small matters'. 'Why,' asked the ANC, 'should the IFP feel so much bigger than all other South Africans?' The IFP, in the April 1994 general election, had been accorded only 10% of the vote-and it could not expect to 'hold 90% to ransom'. It should be able to 'follow the path which others had followed', and the question of international mediation should never have arisen at all. It could certainly not be undertaken in the future, for there was 'nothing to mediate about' and the term itself was a 'dead term'.

The IFP was also wrong to accuse the ANC of obstructing investigation into the shootings at Shell House in March 1994. While the IFP claimed that no progress had been made in police investigations, the reality was that significant headway had indeed been made. What was emerging, moreover, was increasing evidence that 'certain IFP officials had met with police to plan the march past Shell House'. If anybody was trying to block investigation, accordingly, it was the IFP together with the police-both of whom feared the anger that would arise once it became known that 'people had been hoodwinked and used as surrogates, that they had been organised to be cannon fodder'.

In addition, said the ANC, it was important to remember than more than 50 people had died on 28 March 1994. Most had been killed in the townships and near the hostels. It was vital that investigation focus on these deaths as well, instead of concentrating on the eight people who had died outside Shell House. Moreover, the ANC had been fully within its rights in protecting its headquarters from planned IFP attack. Allegations that the ANC had impeded ballistic testing of firearms held at Shell House were also false, for 'guns were handed in, and then handed in again'. The firearms first handed in were those 'known to have been used on the day'. Their initial selection was made by ANC security personnel in Shell House with control over all weapons in the building. When the ANC's leadership became aware, however, that there had been other firearms in the building too, they had insisted that these be given to the police as well-even though they knew these guns could have no bearing on the issues. Opposition parties like the DP-which had slated the ANC in relation to the Shell House question-had been selective in their focus, moreover, for they had 'made no noise at all about the trucks of guns that Col de Kock had admitted supplying to the IFP'.

Attempts by the IFP to draft a provincial constitution for KwaZulu/Natal had also had an important bearing on continued conflict in the province. This was because, said the ANC, 'some people felt that if political pressures were high, it would force others to concede more than they would otherwise have done'. It was significant, however, that the IFP's secessionist agenda had been exposed and then brought to a halt. It was also important that the Constitutional Court had rejected the entire provincial constitution, not merely specific sections of the draft. This meant that the drafting process would have to begin all over again-and it was unclear whether this would happen at all. 'It will take two years to start it all again,' said Mr Cele. 'And in 1999 a provincial constitution may not be needed at all.' The IFP could not assume-especially after the outcome of the local polls in June 1996-that it would win the provincial election in 1999. If the ANC were to win it, moreover, the organisation would 'throw the provincial constitution away and use the national constitution instead'. Given these circumstances, it was doubtful if political parties would want to waste their time in attempting to reformulate a document likely to be of short-lived duration. It would be unfortunate, moreover, if drafting were to resume-for it would raise the political temperature once more.

Though violence had diminished to an important extent-especially following the peace initiatives preceding the local government elections-it still remained too high. Leaders in the ANC and IFP had begun a process of rapprochement, but 'not all people in the province thought the same way'. In the Mandini area in northern KwaZulu/Natal and along the south coast near Port Shepstone-to cite but two examples-the violence continued. In the Izingolweni area, in particular, 'violence had flared again after the withdrawal of cases and the grant of bail to the Shobashobane suspects'. This showed that the key to resolving the conflict lay in the conduct of the police-and of the courts. The importance of both had been downplayed in the past, and this would have to be addressed. 'If people can act with impunity,' said the ANC, 'they will continue with illegal conduct. National government will have to act in future in relation to the police, the courts, and the prisons.'

In the viewpoint of the ANC, the importance of the role played by the prosecution and the courts was demonstrated beyond all doubt by the outcome of the trial of a former minister of defence, Mr Magnus Malan. The acquittal of the accused showed a failure in effective prosecution that was directly attributable to the conduct of the prosecutor in the case, Mr Tim McNally, the attorney general of KwaZulu/Natal. Given his long-standing failure to prosecute IFP warlords and third force elements within the police, the only surprising aspect of the case was that the ANC should ever have believed that Mr McNally would begin to do a proper job. 'He belongs to the old order,' said Mr Cele, 'and would not send Malan to prison. Even the judge asked the state why they did not bring enough witnesses. The next question is why McNally should have done this. He messed up the case. The press said it some time ago. It was so glaring that even an ordinary reporter could see this.'

The reason for Mr McNally's conduct, said the ANC, lay in the fact that 'third force structures were still well in place' within the province. Many former security policemen had remained in the new police force, and still continued their nefarious activities. Progress had been made, for Col de Kock had done much to reveal the wide-ranging scope of third force operations. Moreover, the trial of Mr Romeo Mbambo had brought to light important evidence regarding hit squad operations in KwaZulu/Natalcix and 'about 200 policemen in KwaZulu/Natal were under investigation for crime or being involved politically'. The NITUs remained in place and had played an important role in trying to 'rescue the situation here and there'. Problems remained, however, for three of the four NITUs remained under white command-and the only African commander, Capt Vilakazi, had been 'harassed by the other commanders because they did not like to see him in so senior a role'. Allegations that Capt Vilakazi had been involved in the death of an IFP suspect at Eshowe had been disproved, however, in court proceedings ordering that Capt Vilakazi be reinstated in his command. The false claims against him had been made, moreover, at the behest of a white IFP MP in the area, Mr Hugh Lee, who wanted to discredit the NITU because it was 'coming too close' to discovering the truth about violence in northern KwaZulu/ Natal.

Overall, concluded the ANC, much progress had been made in 1995 and 1996. Violence had dropped considerably in response to peace endeavours and more effective policing, coupled with increased exposure of the third force role in conflict. The key challenge in the future would be to transform those institutions which had continued to prove recalcitrant-particularly the amakhosi, the prosecuting authorities in the province, and elements within the police. Peace would follow once democracy pertained in all respects, and the culture of impunity-under which the third force had flourished for so long-had finally been ended.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.