The Policy of Apartheid or Separate Development in South Africa was intended to keep each of the racial groups separate and in particular to keep the black tribes from uniting in defense of their collective rights. In effect it became a policy of divide and conquer. As the black violence against the whites escalated in the 1980's, the ruling Nationalist Party formulated a covert policy to instigate and foment violence between one black group and another in order to divert their attacks against the whites and to prevent a united stand by blacks against whites.


46.5" x 40.5" Mixed Media                          (1999)


The idea of a 'third force' was created under the Internal Stability unit in 1991 and this group was chaired by the then Minister of Law and Order, Adriaan Vlok. The 'third force' was a separate division of police specifically tasked with public order policing. The focus of the strategy was to arm and train the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) under Chief Buthelezi of KwaZulu (the homeland of the Zulu tribe) to carry out vigilante attacks on the African National Congress (ANC) and the United Democratic Front (UDF). 'Third force' activities reached their zenith in the early 1990's in KwaZulu, Natal. From 1990-1994 a total of 14,000 people died from political violence in South Africa, according to the Human Rights Commission, Feb.1998.


For many years under National Party rule, the existence and extent of the 'third force' was widely disputed and repudiated by the government. Through the investigations of the TRC a great deal of 'alleged third force activity' has been substantiated and documented, much of it with the help of a few security personnel, such as the infamous Eugene de Kock and John Deegan, who came forward, confessed and turned State's witness.


By 1985 the Black Local Authorities (BLA's; quasi-municipalities with limited powers) which governed the townships collapsed due to widespread unrest. These BLA's had little support from the local population since they were elected by only a tiny proportion (approx.10%) of the residents. The majority, encouraged by the powerful ANC, boycotted these government sponsored elections as they were perceived as a sham and the BLA structure was suspect since it had such limited powers. Given this ungovernable situation and the ensuing unrest in the townships, the SA government introduced auxiliary municipal police and special constables into the townships to promote law and order. They were drawn from the local population, trained by the SA Defense Forces and returned to the communities as police/counter revolutionaries.


By late 1980's there were 14,000 municipal police and 8,000 special constables who had received rudimentary training during which the ANC/UDF were presented as "the enemy". These forces had widespread powers granted under the States of Emergency declared in 1960, 1976 and again in 1985. The TRC found that "...special constables and municipal police served to provide an armed capacity to those individuals/groupings the State sought to defend and promote, particularly Inkatha (Freedom Party)". The TRC found the Minister of Law and Order, the Commissioner of Police and the entire former Government of SA responsible for this unrest and the ensuing violence and loss of life.


Protest depicts this black-on-black violence as instigated by the 'third force' showing some of the major events and players.