Created: 2/1/1981

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Venda. "independent" sinces locatedemote area of northern Transvaal near South Africa's borders wilh Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Its isolation has hindered (be developmenl of industry andigh rate of emigration to white South Africaeavy dependence on subsistence agriculture. In addition. Venda's unpopular President Patrick Mphephu hasariety of tactics to suppress both real and imagined political opponents

GcogTapfak aad Demo- The Venda tribal group is linguistically related lo the Shoaa of Zimbabwe andof the northern Transvaal. The Venda first moved into the area from

Zimbabwe inontact with whiles beganut il was not uniil ihch century, afler lhe Anglo-Boer War, thai lhe Venda were brought under ihe administrative control of the Transvaal Governmental

Venda is located in the most fertile pan of northern Transvaal. Onlycrcenl of tbe homeland is arable, but nearly two-thirds of thai area is under cultivation. Roughly ibe size of Delaware. Venda is divided into one large and one small parcel.0retoria's forced resettlement drove the rate ofin resident population toercent annually, increasing the population fromo

Economicis the most isolated of all the homelands from centers of white population.

Nearly all of its farmers engage in subsistence agriculture because there is scant incentive to produce crops for distant dties. As is tbe case in several other homelands, ibe large number of cattle in Venda hat led to overgrazing, resulting in excessive soil erosion. |

One bright spot, however,ectare treeinby the South African Government and now controlled by thethai will shortly begin yielding wood for processing and saleplantation is successful, Il may

be expanded byectare tea plantation has started production: conditions for tea cultivation are excellent, but inefficient operations and high transport costs nuke Venda's tea about twice as expensive as other lea imported into South Africa J

Local efforts at industrial development have failed. Venda has virtually no supporting services for industry, and transportation and communications links wilh South Africa are few An industrial developmenl consultant hired byew years ago concluded that it was futile toreate local industrial jobs because Venda is destined toabor exporter. Of ihc moreeople who


cmer (he homeland's labor marker annually, most depart for widely Mattered cities in white South Africa in search of employment.igh proportion of local income is spent in white-owned stores in nearby white areas, or in local stores that are covertly owned by Indian merchants who send iheir profits out of Venda

in promt*

held its first electionphephu's Venda National Pany {VNP) was opposed by the Venda Independence Pany 1VIP1 The VIP wonf theontested seats. Mpbephu then whisked theppointed chiefs, whoajority of the Venda Parliament, awayearby resort. On their return, after several days of feting, Ihey all backed Mphcphu. who became Chief Minister!

The VIP was again victorious in8 election, winningf theontested scats. Mphephu. using emergency powers,umber of the newly elecied VIP legislators until ibe appointed chiefs had chosen him as Prime Minister At "independence"9 Mphephu was insulted as President



Mphephueople arrested following an ANC grenade attack in1olice station in the capital in which two policemen were killed. The detaineesfour of the nine Lutheran pastors in Venda who had ministered to theercent of the Venda population thai is Lutheran. The four were tortured,

Alarm over the detentions and reported torture was widespread. Even Die Vaderland, an Afrikaner newspaper that favors Pretoria's homelands policy, attacked the Venda Government. Mphcphu's government subsequently dropped all charges agamit the clergymen in exchange for pleas of guilty to leuer

Theplam step up number of po-

liticalGilbert Bakanc. who claims

to have the support ofercent of the Venda people, including most of iboseoutside the homeland. Bakanc, who lives in Sowcto, recognizes that he will be detained if he returns to Venda to take hi* seat in parliament. Aside from ilstohe VIP differs little from the VNP. Both parties are moderately socialist and opposed to lhe ANC.(

We believe ANC infiltration into Venda from Mozambique and Zimbabweistinct possibility because of their proximityZimbabwe'sand cultural ties. To prevent such penetration, the Venda National Force tVNFt. ao ami-insurgency unit withersonnel, patrols tbe north of the homeland in cooperation with the South African Defense Forceside from ihese patroli, the VNFs activities are primarily ceremonial. The VNF. like the security units of the other "independent" homelands, is subordinate lo the geographic commands of the South African Defense Forcc*||

Original document.

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