"Not one single conviction for political violence over past few years"

Senior researcher and academic Dr Richard Pithouse and independent researcher and head of the KZN Peace Monitor Mary De Haas joined host Eusebius McKaiser for a discussion on political violence in the country.

The discussion had a special emphasis on the attacks that have rocked KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in recent weeks.

Pithouse says there are parts of South Africa that experienced change and even peace, post the negotiated settlement in 1994. But, he says, unfortunately, the winds of change didn't sweep through KZN.

I think what happened was is that, after 1994, there was an assumption in many people's minds that when violence was present, it was the past still hanging on in the future and that it would go away in time.

Dr. Richard Pithouse, senior researcher and academic

De Haas tells McKasier it is becoming increasingly difficult to document the body count of political violence because of the evolving nature of violence. She recorded a total of 4000 deaths between 1994 and 1998.

It was quite obvious then, that the activities were carried out by the African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), stirred up by reactionary policing forces adds De Haas.

Even in the 2011 local government elections there were lots of tensions because of the divisions within the ANC.

Mary De Haas, KwaZulu-Natal Peace Monitor

There has not been a single conviction in the last three and a half years where political violence is concerned. She adds that KZN probably has the worst policing in South Africa, owing to historical reasons.

Also read: ANC not in good shape, I can't turn the other way - Sisulu on presidential race

Political violence in KZN should not be contained as a local problem but understood as a national crisis.

Dr. Richard Pithouse, Senior Researcher and Academic

Pithouse warns that if the political violence remains unaddressed in KZN then they will spill over to other parts of the country.

Take a listen to the full conversation here:


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