It is tempting to blame the violence on the grand corruption programme. In other words, to see the culture of corruption as something that starts at the top and filters down. But Greg Arde's book, 'War Party: How the ANC's Political Killings are Breaking South Africa', offers a different perspective, suggesting corruption also percolates from the bottom up.
A kind of civil war erupted in South Africa in the 1980s, and ran into the first half of the 1990s. The country was going through convulsions as the fight against apartheid gathered steam and the state reacted with increasing vehemence and violence.
The violence spread into many corners of South Africa. It also manifested itself in rivalries between organisations such as the Inkatha Freedom Party, then a Zulu nationalist party that had reached accommodation with the apartheid military, with its base in what was then known as Natal, now KwaZulu-Natal, and the then banned African National Congress (ANC), and its internal wing, the United Democratic Front.
The violence between Inkatha and the ANC started in KwaZulu-Natal and spread to the black residential areas of Johannesburg and Vereeniging, which lies about 60 km south of Johannesburg. It...