reds and I
aek violence in South Africa has spiralcd since
implcrr.cm ation in imiicd political rirshit to Cc denying them to blacks Pretoria's efforts black jniest have beer, hampered b>nd iiUcaaky.ailu'r to eradicate the causes of black dissatisfaction, and bj an inability to control the major perpeiratort of violence: black you:hs
The black youthsrror.jr townships and stretch the resources of the secuMy establishment are poorly edcca:ed. unemployed, and irdisoplined They go by several names, but "comrades" appears to be the most popular Some youths belong to "youthyouthnd undent organizations, but most belong to poorly organired jlrect gangs, each led by tbe neighborhood's toiighcsi, most violent black. The gangs are most active in eastern and western
Cape Province and in the black townships
surrounding Pretoria and Johannesburg J
Opposition groups, such ai the outlawed African National Congress IANO have long called for the stolen: overthrow of the white minority regime. There are growing indications that many South African blacks, particularly thoseave come to share this view, and many observers now describe the situation in South Africa at prercvolutionary. The followng profile-omposite drawn from numerous reports or separate individual*lacko. we believe, typifies
ives inlackon the northern outskirts of Pretoria, with hit mothernd focr younger siNines An older, married unci reside* if Sowcto. onelder brother! lives elsewhere inthe other brother left the coumry several years ago for pjrts unknown .Mikc'v family areand he has many relatives living
|ft!LL NEMEP- STCP-LS
in the independent homeland of Bcphuthaiswana, which hasdetonatedengthy drought.
aw his fatherhen he was laid off iaryestern fast food conglomerate, ibandoncd the family shortly thereafter Imoiiommon with hi* mother.o the conservative Zkm Christian Church, the lotgcvt black religiowscginuanc in ibe coumry He has unst.ccessfsll> triedersuade her to support thebe boycotts and tbe need for violence, but she has only aitempiee to get him off the streets and intu schoil
-Hxccpl for intermittent luioiing sponsored by theanliapanhcid United Democratic Frontike tuts not attended school* He does not plan to resume his education until the ruling Afrikaners are driven out of power He and his friends believe there -ill be enough time for education after blacks take over the country, which thev believe is certain lo happen within the neu few >eari. In any case, thev fear returning, to school because Ihe police often raid schools to arrest suspected troublemakers Mike has neverull-time job. but he occasionallyew rand selling parts from burned-oul ears to local garages. |
masses, and the Soviet Union. In recent months,as read banned books about Marxism and tracts published by the ANC; his reading skills are poor, however, and he only vaguely understands political concepts. J
Iniubemenl in Violence
Violence giveseeling of power, enables him to "expiess hisnd. probably most important, gives him something lolues violence His favorite activities have included throwing rocksrmored police vehicle* andart to enforce periodiciorcd boycotts of white stores. He
has ncier traveled outside Transvaal Province and has only vague imprcsS'.Onf about the outside world. Most of -hat he thinks he knows has beer; picked up from friends and older connadcs: his friends tell him the United Sl3les suppons the Boerv because itlack-ruled South Africa, lied nnd n;
uive. he accepts this. He also believes what the older comrades tell hm-abom the virtues of socialism and Marxismthe
prOCcvS .iJone employing strongarm tactics to enforce the bovcotts. He found this an excellent wa> to supplement his income and get desired consumer good* because he wasble to wring some monc> outowed boycott violator or to keep confucaicd merchandise.
throwing also has its rewards. Mike often iclls bis friends how be almostedia star the day be and several other comrades were throwing rocks at white policemen in the presenceestern television crew. His stint in the limelight was cut short, however, when the policemen counterattacked and confiscated theameras. His Opportunities to gain additional media exposure have been limited since the government banned press coverage of violence late last year. I
Mike has yet lo serve on the jur>people'solack poliecman't home, or to participatenecklace" killingollaborator. He wants to do all of these things, however, and believes thai the killing of black informants is necessary Black policemenavorite target, but they have become more difficult to find now that they and their families are moving out of the townships Mike and his friends know that black polieemer. are beginning to lash out against the comrades: in April off-duty policemen entered the township and began
attacking some of Mike's friends.ager to-confront such blacks and only wishesun.
.Attitudes1 Whites and Reform* Mike hates whites, particularly ibe Boers, because he believes they arc arrogant and treat blacks like stupid children. He also believes all whites are really racists, and he has little time for liberal social workers who occasionally try to help him or his friends Last month some whiteseighboring suburbuneral for victimsof unrest in Alexandra Mike was not impressed I
Mike's big ambition in life (besides celebrating black rulei is to walk into the adjoining white suburb (unlike man> black townships. Alexandra is adjacenthite residential areal andhite home or perhaps evenhite man. He is deterred, however, by the ad hoc patrols that have been
esiablished by ihe white residents. For now. he is content to throw rocks at white policemen and at motorists traveling to the nearby international airport
Statistical Pic tare
On (he basis ofsuperficial knowledge. Mike dismisses the government's reform program as irrelevant The only opinion he has aboui Pretoria's proposal to include blacks in new government institutions is that blacks willingailicipate in such schemes are telling out to the systeme had little respect for Alexandra's former black mayor, although the mayor's decision to resign eurlierear met with the comrades' approval I
Imohemenl With the ANC and UDF
Mike does not belong to the ANC. but he supports it because be knows it opposes the government. He believes ANC leader Nelson Mandela is (he country's legitimate leader, but he knows little about other ANC leaders. Mike is not as commiucd lo Ihe UDF because of its failurendorse violence He doubts the claims of UDF members in Alexandra who say they secretly work foe the ANC.f)
ike suspects that an older comraderecertify
moved to Alexandra from Bophuthatiwana belongs to the ANC. Some of his friends have told him ihe organizationarge arms cache, which will be broken out when (he "time isike docs not know where his expatriate brother lives or what he does, but he has boasted that his brother belongs to the ANC's military wing and may have been involved in ANC military operations along ihe Zimbabwe-South Africa border. This tall tale has earned Mike the respect of many of his peers |
Mike thinks lh.it he may have ta leave Alexandra soon to avoid Ihe police, and he has considered leaving ihe country lo jotn the ANC. He is concerned, however, that it will be years before he is traineduerrilla and allowed to return to South Africa. Mike believes thai he can do more to hurt nhucs by remaining at home Most of his comrades agree with him
Of thr thousands of blacki detained by police during ihe Slatemergency from5 to6ew 5rare of Emergencydeclared on. more thanercent tere undernd more thanercent were underccording to government and press reports, moreuarter of thelacks killed* wefthree of theetameei wAo died in police cells thaihe demographicpicture is also sobering half of the country'sillion blocks are under .YbibIOriginal document.