Major Papers


Buthelezi, Economics, Apartheid, ANC, Marxism, Colonialism


By the late 1980s, the apartheid structures of the racially segregated Republic of South Africa were fracturing. The ruling National Party’s Bantustan system, whereby the living spaces of the majority African population were restricted to discrete zones according to their ethnic subgroup, had been failing for decades. In order to understand the outbreak of violence that took place in South Africa’s townships in the midst of this breakdown of apartheid society, the relationships that developed within these Bantustans must first be addressed. The most consequential of these relationships developed within KwaZulu, the “homeland” of Zulu Africans, beginning in the early 1970s when Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi began to formulate his own cultural and political organization: Inkatha. As Inkatha gained national popularity as a liberation group within KwaZulu, it economically enmeshed itself with both the Afrikaner National Party as well as its own Zulu support base. This paper examines the township violence of the 1980s and 90s in eastern South Africa as a result of the economically interdependent relationship that formed between these three groups.

Primary Advisor

Robert Nelson

Program Reader

Gregg French

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year