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Return to the Scene of the Crime: The Returnee Detective and Postcolonial Crime Fiction

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Violence and Solace: The Natal Civil War in Late-Apartheid South Africa
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Price: R 295
Publication Date: 2020-10-02
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 978 1 86914 462 3
Ebook ISBN: 978 1 86914 463 0
Width: 150
Height: 230
Pages: 276

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Review by Gerhard Maré
South African Historical Journal, DOI: 10.1080/02582473.2021.1895878
Published online: 19 Mar 2021

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‘Reading this book will be a rich and illuminating experience on many levels. For those who are willing, it will also be a mirror for self-reflection and help others on their journey to healing and wholeness.’

Father Michael Lapsley, founder and director of the Institute for Healing of Memories

‘Mchunu brings a much-needed perspective to the Natal Midlands’ violence, combining first-hand experience of survival with academic examination of the gendered and spiritual activities of men and women that shaped the patch of violence. He sensitively portrays how people on both sides of the conflict understood their activities – a tremendous feat – and how they lived and live daily with the violence and its aftermaths.’

Jill E. Kelly, author of To Swim With Crocodiles: Land Violence, and Belonging in South Africa, 1800-1996

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Review by Christopher Merrett
The Witness, 7 June 2021

Two main narratives frame the civil war that engulfed the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One, broadly supported by local human rights monitors, focuses on Inkatha as a traditionalist, patriarchal, ethnocentric movement imposing its will on the region with the tacit, and often blatant, support of the apartheid state. This aroused the opposition of youth, community and labour organisations pursuing more modernist agendas usually associated with the United Democratic Front (UDF) or independent trade unions.



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The Natal Midlands was ravaged by conflict in the 1980s and 1990s between supporters of the United Democratic Front and Inkatha. The violence left thousands of people dead, injured, homeless and emotionally wounded. This book provides a historical study of the origins, causes and nature of political violence in the rural community of KwaShange in the Vulindlela district. This was one of the areas most affected by the political violence in the Natal Midlands, but it has been the subject of only patchy and partial investigation.


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Southern Africa

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