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


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


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collaboratoran informer or 'sell-out'; one who agreed to collaborate with the state or security forcesReferences
comradesUDF and ANC supporters, civilian and combatantReferences
councillorsConflict between local councillors and political activists intensified in townships around the country during the 1980s, as pressure mounted on councillors to resign their positions on councils created under the Black Local Authorities Act and without popular support. Councillors who refused to resign risked attacks on their homes, families and business premises.References
Cradock FourFour Eastern Cape UDF activists were abducted and assassinated by members of the security police on 27 June 1985 as they drove back to Cradock from a meeting in Port Elizabeth. The four were Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkonto and Fort Calata from Cradock, and Sicelo Mhlauli from Oudtshoorn. Before their deaths, all had been frequently detained, tortured and harassed by the police. Their deaths sparked a national outcry and resulted in street protests in many regions across the country.References
Delmas treason trialTwenty-two Transvaal UDF leaders were tried for treason in January 1986. Eleven were convicted in December 1988 and were given sentences from five to 11 years' imprisonment. The Appellate Division overturned the convictions at the end of 1989.References
Dikwankwetla National Party (DNP)ruling party of the QwaQwa homeland administration, headed by Mr Kenneth MopeliReferences
drive-by shootingsBetween January and October 1993, 139 people were killed in drive-by shootings and attacks on taxis in communities across the East Rand. Gunmen opened fire from fast moving cars, often shooting indiscriminately at people. This strategy was adopted by the IFP and other political groupings, and was designed to sow terror in the hearts of communities. Many such attacks were directed at mourners gathered at night vigils. All the shootings were marked by repeated allegations that the police failed to respond to calls for assistance, sometimes allegedly allowing the killers to drive through townships for several hours.References
Duncan VillageViolence erupted in Duncan Village, outside East London, following the funeral of slain Durban-based UDF leader Victoria Mxenge in nearby Rayi villageon 11 August 1985. Returning mourners carried out arson attacks on various buildings including the rent office, schools, a beerhall, a bottle store and a community centre. That evening, rampaging youths swept through the Ziphunzana area of the township, singing freedom songs. All six community councillors' homes were burnt down and homes of police officers and suspected collaborators were also attacked. Violence continued on the following days with looting and burning of commercial and delivery vehicles, and running battles between youths and members of the security forces, who resorted to deadly force to restore order in the area, arresting many injured people as they were being treated at a local church aid centre. Five people were dead by 14 August. By 16 August, the toll had risen to 19 people dead and 138 injured. References
Eagles Cluba state-sponsored vigilante youth organisation in the OFS, opposed to the UDF and ANC References
East Rand violenceFrom mid-1985 until the early 1990s, East Rand townships experienced some of the most violent conflict ever experienced in the PWV area. Train violence, taxi violence, conflict between township residents and hostels, between ANC self-defence units (SDUs) and IFP self-protection units (SPUs) and the activities of the Khumalo gang resulted in an unprecedented number of deaths and injuries. Covert operations by security force members also contributed to a general escalation of violence in the region. The security forces repeatedly ignored warnings of impending attacks and frequently refused to become involved in what it termed the 'black-on-black' conflict. They were accused by many of orchestrating and fanning conflict in order to undermine and weaken the recently unbanned ANC. References
Ekuthuleni attacksOn 2 February 1992, IFP supporters, allegedly accompanied by members of the KwaZulu Police, carried out two attacks on an informal settlement at Ekuthuleni, Umlazi, Durban. Eight people were killed and ten were injured, while more than 120 homes were burnt. More than 50 further homes were burnt down in the days following the attacks. References
End Conscription Campaign (ECC)a group campaigning against the conscription of white males over the age of 17References
Eshowe attacksOn 27 November 1993, IFP supporters carried out several attacks in the areas surrounding Eshowe, Natal, allegedly at the instigation of a local IFP-supporting chief who wanted to drive ANC supporters out of the area. Several people were killed there that month, and more than 45 homes were burnt down.References
Esikhawini attacksVictims' statements refer particularly to two incidents at Esikhawini, KwaZulu, near Empangeni, Natal, in February and August 1992: On 16 February 1992 , IFP supporters returning in buses from a rally called by tribal chiefs in the area attacked three ANC-dominated hostels and 17 homes at Esikhawini, KwaZulu, near Empangeni, Natal. At least 12 people were killed and 22 injured in this attack. The ANC claimed that its supporters were attacked in full view of the SAP and KwaZulu Police (KZP) by impis bussed into the area for the meeting. On 2 August 1992 , men wearing balaclavas and armed with KZP pump-action shotguns carried out several attacks on homes in Esikhawini, KwaZulu, near Empangeni, Natal. At least 11 people were killed and three injured in the incident, which was thought to have been the work of the Esikhawini hit squad. The killings took place following a community march to the local KZP police station to protest against the conduct of members of the KZP.References
Esikhawini hit squadA group based at Esikhawini, KwaZulu, near Empangeni, Natal, comprising local IFP officials, senior members of the KwaZulu Police, Caprivi trainees and other IFP members. The group planned and executed attacks on ANC supporters in the Esikhawini area and in other areas of northern Natal between 1991 and 1993.References
February 1994 attacksSeveral reports were received of attacks by ANC members on IFP supporters in Ndwedwe in February 1994. About 20 deaths, of both IFP and ANC members, were recorded that month, together with at least 28 incidents of house-burning. Hundreds of people were forced to flee the area, and schools and shops were forced to close.References
Folweni massacreOn 26 July 1992, a group of IFP supporters armed with AK47 rifles attacked several homes in Folweni, KwaZulu, near Umlazi, Durban. Eight people were killed and at least ten seriously injured. The attackers torched eight homes, burning three people to death. The attack coincided with a local stayaway to commemorate the killing of MK operative Sbu Mkhize by police.References
Gaborone car bombA car bomb exploded in Gaborone, Botswana, on 22 April 1987, killing a woman, her daughter and an infant niece, injuring another family member and causing extensive damage to property. The operation, targeting senior members of MK's Special Operations Unit, was undertaken jointly by the Northern and Western Transvaal Security Branches and SADF Special Forces. The head of the Security Branch and four Northern and Western Transvaal Security Branch operatives were granted amnesty for this operation.References
Gaborone raidOn 14 June 1985, SADF Special Forces, together with members of the Security branch, launched a cross-border attack ANC targets in Gaborone, Botswana. Twelve people were killed and six wounded in the operation. Among those killed were eight South Africans, two Botswana nationals, a Somali and a Lesotho citizen. The ANC claimed that only five of those killed had links with the organisation.References
Gadaffisa breakaway group from the UDF-aligned Khutsong Youth Congress supported by younger 'comrades'. At least 17 people died in intense political conflict between the Gadaffis and the Zim-zims, another UDF-aligned breakaway faction. Police exploited the divisions between the two factions.References
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