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Content

The glossary provides an explanation of places, groups, vernacular terms and events discussed in the TRC hearings.

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Select 'references' to view references to each term in transcripts, lists and the Final Report. Select 'export' to download the database on this page.

Glossary

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NameDescription
QIBLAA movement of pro-PAC Muslims established by Achmat Cassiem in the 1980s with the aim of intensifying Muslim involvement in opposing apartheid.References
Queenstown shootingsOn 17 November 1985, members of the SAP in Queenstown, Cape, disrupted a residents' meeting at the Nonzwakazi Methodist Church in Mlungisi township, and opened fire. In the ensuing conflict between police and residents, at least 11 people were shot dead and many were severely injured. The dead were buried at a mass funeral in Mlungisi township on 13 December 1985.References
Rasta ganga government-aligned gang active in Zola, Soweto, in 1989 References
Ratel(Afrikaans: Cape badger) an armoured vehicleReferences
Red and Green factions, BhambayiDuring 1993, competition for resources and political dominance in Bhambayi, near KwaMashu, Durban, led to intense political conflict between the ANC-aligned 'Red' faction and the increasingly IFP-aligned 'Green' faction. The latter was alleged to have the support of members of the ISU. Monitors estimated that as many as 200 Bhambayi residents died violently between May and July 1993. When an IFP branch was launched in the area in August 1993, nine people were killed and 11 injured, and 18 houses were burnt down. About 22 deaths and 19 injuries in 14 incidents were recorded in September 1993. The death toll for the year was more than 300, and hundreds of homes were burnt down.References
Richmond attacksAt least 16 people from ANC-supporting families were killed at Ndaleni, Richmond, Natal, between 21 and 23 June 1991 when IFP supporters, allegedly transported by the police, carried out attacks on ANC supporters in the Ndaleni, Magoda, Esimozomeni and Townlands townships of Richmond. Two IFP supporters were granted amnesty for their role in the attacks.References
Richmond Farm arson attacksA series of arson attacks that took place between 11 and 15 February 1990 at Richmond Farm, KwaMashu, Durban, in violent political conflict between UDF supporters and Amasinyora vigilantes. The Amasinyora launched attacks on two areas in KwaMashu, destroying about 30 homes on the first day, most of them belonging to ANC supporters. ANC supporters retaliated by attacking Siyanda and Richmond Farm. The conflict erupted shortly after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, and retaliatory attacks between the two groups continued for about six days, setting fire to between 200 and 300 homes. More than ten people were killed, including a member of the KZP. Thousands of residents were forced to flee the area. References
right-wing attacksPrior to February 1990, violations committed by members of right-wing organisations took the form of isolated attacks with a strong racist character. During the early 1990s, members of right-wing organisations, perceiving themselves to be placed under siege by the process of constitutional negotiations for a democratic dispensation, carried out a large number of attacks aimed at securing the political interests of conservative Afrikaners. Isolated racist attacks on individuals were replaced by mass demonstrations and orchestrated bombing and sabotage campaigns. Between April 1993 and May 1994, right-wing groups engaged in a range of activities to disrupt the negotiations process then underway, and later to destabilise the electoral process. Many of these acts were directed against persons perceived to be supporters and leaders of the ANC, the SACP, the UDF, the PAC and the National Party, and resulted in gross violations of human rights. Violations of a purely racial character were also carried out against black people. During the pre-election period, the AWB and other right-wing organisations engaged in a bombing campaign with the aim of derailing the electoral process. The objective of these activities was to move towards 'overthrowing' the National Party government and to establish a Boererepubliek (Boer republic) and volkstaat. Public areas such as taxi ranks, bus stops and railway stations were targeted, as were private residential and business premises of those associated with the ANC or the unfolding democratic order. State property was also targeted, especially following the announcement that the Group Areas Act was to be repealed and schools opened to all. A number of formerly 'white' schools were bombed. The campaign involved many acts of sabotage, some of which led to the loss of life.References
Rodora roadblock killingsFour people, including two children aged nine and 13, were killed by an AWB gang who set up a roadblock outside Ventersdorp, at the so-called 'Rodora crossing', on 12 December 1993, after being told by their Western Transvaal commander that the 'revolution' was to start that day. According to amnesty applicants, the victims were ordered out of their cars and told to sit on an embankment on the side of the road. They were then questioned as to their political affiliations and particularly asked whether they were members of the ANC. The applicants searched several cars for weapons and assaulted and later shot the occupants of two cars. They cut off an ear of one of the victims to show to their commander, who was not present at the time. Nine members of the AWB, who had been convicted for the killings and attempted killings, applied for amnesty. Amnesty was granted to only one applicant. References
Russian gangsee AmaRussiansReferences
Sarmcol strikeIn 1985, workers at the British Tyre and Rubber (BTR) Sarmcol factory in Mpophomeni, outside Howick, Natal, went on strike in support of demands for the recognition of the Metal and Allied Workers' Union (MAWU). Management claimed the strike was illegal and, in March 1985, fired all 970 workers. Following an Inkatha rally in the area on 5 December 1986, four prominent MAWU members were abducted and three of them killed (See MAWU abductions.) The killings set in process a lengthy period of political conflict in the area. In March 1998, 13 years after the initial strike, the Appeal Court ruled in favour of the 970 dismissed strikers. References
school boycottsSchool boycotts originated in the Western Cape in April 1980 and spread to several other regions in South Africa. Grievances initially concerned the standard and quality of education but these grew into wider political protest. Street protests and police actions resulted in widespread violence. In the Cape, police shootings led to over 40 deaths. In the Orange Free State, police made use of force and firepower to break up crowd demonstrations, often resulting in injury and, in some cases, death. In Natal, boycotting pupils in KwaMashu defied Chief Buthelezi's calls to return to school, resulting in clashes between pupils and Inkatha supporters. These boycotts allegedly led to an increased exodus of youth from the country to join the ANC. Towards the end of 1985 , the UDF adopted a campaign to make the townships ungovernable. Educational institutions and trade unions became key sites of revolutionary activity. School boycotts and strikes were transformed into scenes of violent conflict and bloodletting. A state of emergency was declared in July and extended in October. It continued until the first democratic election in 1994.References
Sebatakgomo movementa resistance organisation aligned to the ANC in the 1960sReferences
section 29 of the Internal Security Act No 74 (198a piece of legislation created to allow for indefinite detention for the purposes of interrogation. Detainees were held in solitary confinement. Many detainees were tortured while held under section 29. See states of emergency.References
self-defence units (SDUs)armed self-defence units set up in the early 1990s by the ANC to protect neighbourhoodsReferences
self-protection units (SPUs)IFP self-protection units trained at Mlaba camp in 1993 and 1994References
seven-day warA week of intense political conflict in the Pietermaritzburg area, which started in a confrontation between UDF and Inkatha supporters when the latter were returning from a Durban rally funded by the Security Police. UDF youths stoned the buses carrying Inkatha supporters on 25 March 1990. Inkatha supporters retaliated by conducting attacks in the wider Edendale and Vulindlela areas near Pietermaritzburg. In the next seven days, Inkatha attacks in these areas escalated, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 200 people and the displacement of over 20 000 people from their homes. Security forces either assisted the attackers or refused to intervene to protect those under threat.References
Sharpeville massacreOn 21 March 1960, 69 people died when police opened fire on unarmed marchers protesting against the Pass laws at Sharpeville, Tvl. The march formed part of an anti-Pass campaign organised by the PAC. That same day, a similar march took place in Langa, Cape Town, resulting in three deaths from police shootings. A national state of emergency was declared on 24 March, lasting until 31 August. Nearly 12 000 people were detained. Just over a fortnight after the massacre, the ANC and PAC were banned.References
Sharpeville SixOn 3 September 1984, six people were charged with the killing of a town councillor in Sharpeville, Tvl. All six were convicted and sentenced to death. Their sentences were commuted after an international outcry.References
Shenge vigilante groupan SACP-supporting gang active in Khutsong, Carletonville, Tvl, in 1993References
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