In 1980, some parents opposed to the school boycotts in Grahamstown formed a vigilante group called the 'Peacemakers', charged with the task of persuading children to go back to school. The Peacemakers did not succeed in ending the boycott. Instead, there was a violent clash involving students, Peacemakers and police at Andrew Moyake School in Joza, Grahamstown. Another vigilante group known as the 'Peacemakers' emerged in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, Cape, in 1984 to help the KwaNobuhle Town Council counter popular opposition to its decision to raise rents and service charges. Violence between UDF supporters, the police and the vigilantes escalated between September 1984 and March 1985. The police regarded the Peacemakers as helpful in maintaining law and order and admitted that members of the Peacemakers were acting as informers for the Security Police.
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