Original Research

The African National Congress’s factionalism and targeted killings as risks to human security in KwaZulu-Natal province

Collin O. Mongale, Jan C. Venter
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 16, No 1 | a1502 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v16i1.1502 | © 2024 Collin O. Mongale, Jan C. Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2023 | Published: 26 April 2024

About the author(s)

Collin O. Mongale, Department of Political Studies and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Jan C. Venter, Department of Political Studies and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

A prevalence of political violence and political assassinations characterised post-1994 South Africa. These politically motivated killings appeared to be dominant in the controversial KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. Political killings in South Africa started as a form of inter-party warfare, especially during the transition to democracy, when the two rivals, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), fought each other for some areas of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. However, following the dominance of the ANC in the KZN Province, members of the ruling party fought each other for positions in government and political party structures. Considering this, the article analyses the crisis of factionalism by examining the ANC’s intra-party tensions and targeted killings, and how this poses a risk to human security in KZN. Methodologically, the article employs a qualitative literature assessment and content analysis is used to delve into the impact of intra-party tensions and targeted killings on human security in the KZN province.

Contribution: In quest for curbing the crisis of factionalism in the ruling ANC, the article recommends that the ANC needs to re-visit its leadership selection as these killings have seemingly happened during leadership selection, which leads to ruthless competition of positions in government and party structures. Members of the ruling party need to identify themselves as one, as opposed to belonging to different factional groups within the party. Failure by the ruling party to address divisions within the organisation shall result in more fatal killings resulting from competition for positions and resources.


Keywords

African National Congress (ANC); factionalism; human security; Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP); KwaZulu-Natal; political assassinations; targeted killings.

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