PEOPLE'S WAR - New Light on the Struggle in South Africa

Anthea Jeffery | May 19, 2019
Dr. Anthea Jeffery, Head of Policy Research at the IRR, has revised and abridged her seminal book, PEOPLE’S WAR - New Light on the Struggle for South Africa first published in 2009. The book covers the period 1984 to 1994 when the African National Congress (ANC), unsuccessful in waging the armed struggle in exile and disappearing from the public consciousness at home, embarked on the much more successful strategy of making South African townships ungovernable and destroying its black opponents.

20 500 people died as a result of the People’s War, not at the hands of a state-backed ‘third force’.

For context Jeffery looks at the chilling genesis of this war: a visit to Vietnam organised at the behest of the Soviet Union. The latter wanted the ANC to see how the master strategist, General Vo Nguyen Giap commander of the North Vietnamese army, had prosecuted a successful ‘people’s war’. North Vietnam lost the conventional battles against the Americans and South Vietnamese, but won the war.

The two chief pillars of the ‘people’s war’ are drawing large numbers of people around the organisation, and propaganda. By following this formula the ANC succeeded in becoming the hegemonic force in democratic South Africa for the past 25 years.

The ANC virtually destroyed the Azanian People’s Organisation and destroyed the credibility of Inkatha. Propaganda, terror and killings were all employed to achieve this aim.

Jeffery brings the threads together in an extraordinarily readable book. The book is published by Jonathan Ball Publishers.

The book is available at Exclusive Books.


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