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The Homelands Hurdle

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VIOLENCE in Ciskei - and the likelihood of renewed violence in KwaZulu and Bophuthatswana - demonstrates the lingering capacity for evil and divisiveness in contemporary South Africa. Although home- lands like Ciskei and the others are anachronisms of a failed era, their twilight existence continues to vex the ending of apartheid.

The African National Congress (ANC) seeks the rapid dismantlement of South Africa's 10 homelands, while the white National Party government continues to utilize homelands as political counterweights to the aspirations of the ANC.

ANC protesters were killed earlier this month on the edge of Ciskei when they attempted to demonstrate against the one-man rule there of Brig. Gen. Oupa Gqozo.

The peaceful march that resulted in 28 deaths was as much a protest against General Gqozo for turning against the ANC as it was against the Ciskei and homelands generally. It also focused local and world attention on the South African government's continued manipulation of puppet rulers in many of the homelands.

Part of the government's plan for the transformation of South Africa includes negotiations conducted with the ANC, other national political movements, and the homelands. Of the 10 homelands, three or four, notably the Ciskei, KwaZulu, and Bophuthatswana, remain allies of the National Party. Hence the ANC's move against Ciskei.

The target there was large. After Gqozo staged a coup in 1990 against Lennox Sebe, Ciskei's first president, he consorted with the ANC and appeared to welcome the overall leadership of Nelson Mandela, its leader. Then, as a result of the psychological warfare of white South African officers transferred to the Ciskei, Gqozo was turned against the ANC.


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