The debate as to whether ethnicity is pre-political or implicitly political can go on forever, without necessarily finding resolution, but there must be a new way of representing difference that does not entail the violence of chauvinism or the poverty of structural abstractions which cannot account for experience. merely a gesture, a reactive response, and a rhetoric that needs reconstructing. We need a language of politics and society with which to fashion new identities that goes beyond the rhetoric of the 1950s, in which much of our discourse is still frozen. [1]


This chapter seeks to provide a conceptual framework for understanding how class, consciousness and organisation interact with each other and collectively determine political outcomes. In the latter part of the 1980s and early 1990s it became commonplace to undermine the relevance of class and accentuate the variables of gender, ethnicity, race and religion. While endorsing the importance of class, I try to avoid class reductionism and to locate gender, race, ethnicity and religion as critical components of a class analysis of modern South Africa. This chapter seeks to provide an understanding of consciousness, class and ethnicity. In examining the salience of ethnic discourses, questions of race, caste, gender, community and structural context are considered. Black Consciousness (BC), non-racialism, pan-Africanism and ‘rainbowism’ are examined as they constitute the key discourses during the period under review. A brief discussion of how media manufactures and reinforces political identities is also included. This chapter provides a framework within which an analysis of processes, events, discourses and practices is conducted.

Understanding consciousness

The question of what constitutes political consciousness and how consciousness changes has been a preoccupation of the South African left. In the 1950s it was argued that:

the combined realisation of the badness of the old society and the need to change it and create another is referred to as political consciousness, depending on the extent to which subjective factors are linked with context and above all revolutionary activity on the part of the mass of the people, their political consciousness will be heightened and developed. At this stage political consciousness (which is a subjective factor) itself becomes an objective fact which must be taken into account.[2]

Discussions about the nature and content of political consciousness continued to find currency in the 1980s. There were debates about the appropriateness of the term ‘conscientise’, and whether there should be a linear process that prioritised the need to conscientise, mobilise and then organise the oppressed.[3]

In these debates it was recognised that consciousness, viewed partly as an attitude of mind, must also be treated as an objective factor.[4]

Some activists recognised that the oppressed were products of historical processes which had resulted in blacks carrying a heavy ideological baggage.

Consciousness, viewed within this debate, indicated people’s increasing political understanding and their willingness to participate in political action. Political awareness was understood as political knowledge whereas consciousness indicated the commitment to resist the state with a view to transforming existing political and economic realities. Consciousness, therefore, was not considered as increasing political awareness in itself but instead viewed as applied awareness. To quantify the consciousness of a heterogeneous grouping such as Indian South Africans is difficult since consciousness tends to be uneven, and generalisations are inappropriate. Furthermore, to evaluate the exact way that a particular event or set of events affects consciousness is an elusive enterprise.

In the 1980s, some Durban activists developed informal criteria for determining progressive consciousness. At a basic level these encompassed an anti-apartheid, majority-rule disposition while at the other end of the spectrum it embraced socialism. Four criteria were employed by resistance leaders to assess how consciousness was changing amongst activists and to ascertain whether those active in political work were becoming more committed to the project of fighting apartheid.[5]

These criteria are listed and explained in the following table.

Criteria Political Knowledge Political Vision Political Strategy Political Commitment
Explanation of Criteria. Assessing one’s understanding of the apartheid system Assessing one’s understanding of the programmes of anti-apartheid organisations, particularly the capacity to articulate a vision of a new society. Assessing one’s understanding of how change was to come about and how political struggle should be waged. Assessing the extent of one’s willingness to participate in the processes of change.

Given the dangers of state repression, various tests of levels of trustworthiness were developed within the resistance movement. One distinction made was that between a “new activist” and an “old organiser”. Khetso Gordhan, NIC/ANC activist, offers an example:

This person knows a lot more about theory and this person knows less, this person knows a lot more about socialism and how it happened in other countries, this person knows more about organisation and strategising, this person is always willing to make a commitment and this person is not. By using these criteria you were soon concluding which of the activists had a higher consciousness.[6]

What I propose to do in this thesis is apply these criteria to Indians to assess shifts in consciousness.

In applying these criteria a number of questions need to be addressed. For the Political Knowledge Criteria we would need to ask:

  • Were large numbers of people beginning to understand the complexities of the apartheid system and how it was sustained?
  • Did people recognise that a conscious “divide and rule” policy was being implemented?
  • Did they identify their adversary as apartheid, or capitalism, or both?

For the Political Vision Criteria we need to consider:

  • Were people identifying solutions based on non-racial unity and the need for African majority rule?
  • Were they conceptualising a society free from political and economic exploitation?.

The Political Strategy Criteria needs to ask:

  • Did people believe that change was possible, or did they believe that the government was invincible?
  • Were significant numbers of people beginning to identify methods by which the government might be weakened and resistance strengthened?

Finally, for the Political Commitment Criteria we ask:

  • What was the extent of attendance at mass meetings?
  • What was the conduct of people at these mass meetings?
  • Was there participation at political demonstrations?
  • Did people offer their homes for anti-government discussions?
  • Were people joining progressive organisations?
  • Were people willing to openly wear political T-shirts or badges that reflected support for political organisations?

If these criteria are linked to other indicators, the model can be strengthened as a tool. The emergence of radical arts and drama and the politicisation of religious, youth and sporting organisations all deserve consideration. By examining these various criteria we hope to be able to discern shifts in political consciousness.

There are inherent difficulties in adopting this approach since the construction of consciousness is not a linear process. It is characterised by fluidity, contradiction, multiplicity and deviation. Consciousness rarely develops uniformly, and there are clearly limitations when attempting to measure consciousness change. In various campaigns it was not easy to trace indices of consciousness change, and often such changes remained hidden and attempts to do so in the 1980s were often unsatisfactory and marked by triumphalism. Even when there was political activity, the question remained: how much real mass participation was there? What were the unarticulated reasons for participating in political activism or abstaining from it? There are also problems in assessing the participation of different classes and class fractions. For example, many middle-class areas had working-class or lower middle-class people who were tenants. These tenants were often tempted to follow their landlord’s politics or, if they differed, they had to be discreet.

Consciousness needs to be recognised as valid and relevant, without being rejected as false or reactionary. Given their intermediate structural location in the South African economic and political system, it would have been unrealistic to expect Indians and Coloureds not to have acquiesced in part to the logic of apartheid. Many Indians embraced neutrality from 1961, when the state recognised Indians as part of the permanent population and confirmed their citizenship, albeit in second-class terms. In this thesis a number of forces influencing consciousness formation, primarily the state’s direct propaganda machinery, the discourse and activities of resistance organisations, and the alternative media are also examined. It is maintained that class, race, ethnicity, gender and age are important factors determining political consciousness.

Class and consciousness

There were clear class differences with respect to the four sets of criteria. If we take the Indian working-class, their political knowledge, political strategy and political vision might have been limited. However, when mobilised around issues that directly affected them, such as rents, their children’s education or even workplace issues, political commitment was in evidence, although it certainly had several limitations and hardly ever came close to that of the African working-class. Working-class people had little economic and social space in which to be politically committed and had limited access to resources, but had a sufficient stake in the system to be wary of losing their relative economic and political privilege. The bourgeoisie had excellent political knowledge, political vision and had a sense of political strategy, but beyond a cheque book contribution to the struggle they had little political commitment. The middle-class, the most stratified of the three broad class categories, tended to have political knowledge, vision and strategy, and those who embraced a progressive perspective were politically committed. In sociological terms, this group had the space, economically and socially, to engage in the pursuit of resistance. Yet, this category was also the most contradictory, for while there existed a progressive segment, there was also a larger and stronger collaborative strand. In the main, those who abstained from direct political involvement were unsupportive of the collaborative strand and would have been broadly sympathetic with the progressives.

Religion and consciousness

Religion impacts strongly on Indian political consciousness. Among South African Indians there are three major religions: Hinduism, Islam and Christianity (see table 1.1).[7]

In 1980 it was found that all religious groups held a negative assessment of politics and politicians.[8]

Many believed that religion was effective in a psychological sense, giving them peace of mind, alleviating their sorrow and giving them a feeling of security. A large number eschewed political involvement in favour of active religious commitment. However, one study found that there were Indians who felt “that people can do without religion if they are emotionally strong”.[9]

Only a few people believed that religion inhibits progress or causes injustice, or that it had lost its relevance in modern times.[10]

A process of homogenisation was identified, and it was predicted that in a highly secularised society this process would gain greater strength. It was expected that religious attitudes would become less provincial and show more understanding of other points of view. There was a willingness to be tolerant despite the evangelistic approaches of some churches.[11]

Differences within various religions had an effect on patterns of relations and attitudes towards society as a whole. Hinduism struggled to retain a unified front in the face of differences between those of north and south Indian descent (see table 1.2).[12]

The darker-skinned south Indians sometimes felt discriminated against by north Indians. These attitudes, though they were not articulated publicly, appear to have been felt amongst Hindus and became obstacles to developing common political approaches[13]

Gender and consciousness

Indian women, like their African, Coloured and white counterparts, have remained largely on the periphery of mainstream resistance. In order to understand political consciousness in its entirety, there is a need to consider how it is gendered. There appear to be two main strands of thought about the place of women in political movements. It is claimed that ethnicity does not have as strong an appeal for women as it does for men, and that women’s ethnic consciousness is primarily the product of “culture brokering” by male ideologues, politicians and intellectuals.[14]

As Cheryl Walker points out, both these arguments overlook women’s active engagement with ethnicity, while the second view affirms that women are incapable of more creative roles in the construction of ethnic identity.[15]

Political identity and consciousness draw on cultural practices, and are not neutral in their intersection with gender: “maleness and femaleness are part of one’s earliest socialisation within any cultural group”.[16]

A child becomes more aware of his or her gender earlier than ethnicity and/or class situation.[17]

In the course of resistance in the 1980s, some women embraced newer ideologies which posed a challenge to their traditional roles. Others defended traditional roles ascribed by “Indian culture” to women and eschewed political involvement, while still others endeavoured to strike a balance between political activism and fulfilling certain traditional expectations.

Structure and consciousness

By the 1980s structural factors were significantly influencing consciousness formation. Like others, I have attempted to marry the insights gained from the new social history and the structural Marxism of the 1970s by looking at both individual agency and social constraints.[18]

Indians comprised the most urbanised of the four major population groups. A large section of the Indian working-class resided a considerable distance from their places of work and spent a large proportion of their time and money travelling. This of course limited the amount of space working-class people had for community activities and political involvement. However, the socio-economic living conditions for the working-class was ripe for civic mobilisation. Township residents could take either options of ownership or rental tenancies in houses or flats. They could also purchase land on which to erect their own dwellings. An important complaint, however, was that only a few could afford to build the houses they desired, and that they were forced into living in monotonous housing schemes.[19]

Low-income groups were faced with the problems of environmental deprivation which led to maladjustments and which had a definite effect on their political and social dispositions. Before 1980 Indian communities had little choice or say in matters that affected them. By ignoring the joint family structure of Indians in the provision of housing, deep-seated and centuries-old aspects of communal well-being were affected.[20]

Understanding class

When this study commenced in 1987, studies of social change and resistance often hinged on the concept of class. However there was little clarity about the definition of class or how it should be conceptualised.[21]

In recent times a strong challenge to class theory has been mounted and comes from three major strands as summarised by Harriet Bradley. First, the fact that class structure has changed so rapidly and significantly means that previous frameworks for conceptualising class have limited relevance. Secondly, theorists of race, ethnicity and gender argue that traditional class theory cannot explain gender and ethnic differentiation. What has emerged is a new orthodoxy arguing that social process is not reducible to class, and that race, class and gender need to be considered both independently and in articulation with each other. Thirdly, the postmodernist perspective derides ‘grand narratives’ and rejects traditional forms of theory, particularly those of Marx, as invalid. As noted by Bradley, postmodernism has shifted attention to the diversity of social experience in a way that endorses new forms of pluralism through its focus on the specific positions of different groups. At its most extreme, however, this can undermine all notions of collectivities such as classes, thereby promoting a view of society as made up of atomised, disconnected individuals.[22]

Postmodernism also seeks to ‘deconstruct’ linguistic categories such as ‘class’ or ‘women’. Deconstructionists consider such collective terms as socially constructed concepts which have no necessary ‘real’ basis beyond our use of them. It is argued that such conceptual categories impose limits on people who have to accede to polarised identities such as those of ‘man’ or ’woman’.[23]

Put differently, postmodernist praxis focuses on social meanings and the way they are embodied in cultures rather than focusing on social structures.

Therefore, postmodernists continue to study class, gender and ethnicity, albeit mainly as discourses and social constructs. Postmodern approaches sit uncomfortably with the study of material factors and strongly oppose ‘foundationalist’ accounts of society (those accounts which identify the underlying structures upon which society is established and which generate specific patterns of social behaviour).[24]

The recognition of diversity and difference which postmodernism establishes does not necessarily negate the possibility or the need for exploring complex commonalties. Global capitalism and its technological and information infrastructure suggest that new commonalties might yet emerge. The information superhighway has evinced even e-mail ethnicities, and this suggests that the construction of identities will be a complex process in the twenty-first century. However, class is critical in seeking to understand the nature and impact of diversity, whether it be race, gender, religion, age or language, and in understanding the basis of commonalties. Karl Marx’s classic framework posited the idea of class polarisation, whereas newer approaches stress the multiplication of class groupings and the evolution of new types of class cleavages. Classes are seen as fragmenting rather than polarising.[25]

Furthermore, political sociology, instead of focusing on the single category ‘race’, now correctly concerns itself with the interconnecting categories of ethnicity, nationality, culture and religion and the way these serve to fragment a country’s population.[26]

The location of adults in modern society is now determined more than ever before by economic realities. Most people in employment spend a substantial part of their lives interacting with the economic system as workers, irrespective of other social variables. Common experiences as workers notwithstanding, the differential reward systems for different types of labour have the potential to override, or at the very least complement, other processes of identity formation. Marx failed to predict the complex distinctiveness of the class formation processes. He predicted that the working-class would include everyone except a few remaining capitalists, though he recognized that “other classes would continue to litter the historical stage”.[27]

The lower middle-class, particularly shopkeepers, artisans, and peasants, would fight to save their own existence: “They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history”.[28]

He was also deeply sceptical of the lumpenproletariat, concerned that they might initially be “swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution”, but were more likely to become “a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue”.[29]

However, notwithstanding the deviations of social change from classical Marxism, it is still a salient fact that class location and class structure affect political consciousness, organisation and mobilisation in a fundamental way. What Marx and others did not adequately concede is that other social variables have the capacity to override class if creatively mobilised and if the objective basis is present. Clearly, classes are shaped by a combination of changing economic and social circumstances, while class consciousness is further shaped by the dominant ideas of a particular epoch, institutions and patterns of societal interactions.[30]

There is little contestation that ideas and beliefs grow out of and reflect existing society rather than lead an independent life. However, what is important for this thesis is that many Indian people seemingly dedicated their lives to ideas which had very little to do directly with surrounding circumstances, such as egalitarianism, non-racialism, justice and freedom. Furthermore, the Marxist law of increasing misery for the proletariat does break down to some extent with respect to the Indian working-class, which experienced improvements in its social existence during the period under review. Notwithstanding these limitations the problem is not that class and class differentiation are less important than other social determinants. What is of importance is that class is more complex, with greater fragmentation within traditional class bands, while it has also become depoliticised. The international decline of the status of ‘communism in practice’ has also contributed to this decline of class as a useful tool to understand current social realities.[31]

The Indian working-class experienced a clash between its class interests and ethnic identities and this has important implications for political consciousness. In examining the articulation of race, class and ethnicity, the question of leadership and the relationship between leaders and the masses is of significance. Radical leadership has come from both the middle-class and the working-class. During the period under review a segment of the middle-class responded with sympathy to, or actively supported, the Natal Indian Congress (NIC). The Indian commercial bourgeoisie, in the meantime, mainly collaborated with government structures despite being deliberately hemmed in by white political and economic interests.[32]

The Indian Congresses did not align themselves to a specific class interest. Organising on a race instead of class basis, the NIC and TIC found disfavour and generated anxieties amongst other left groupings, and from within their own support base. Some argued that despite the Group Areas Act fostering racial division, this was insufficient reason to organise ethnically. Indians have competing class interests, and the overwhelming majority are working-class. Critics of the NIC pointed out that there was no vacuum in non-ethnic political activity and regarded the NIC as petty-bourgeois and as actually having those interests at heart. The potential for having a divisive and debilitating effect on class struggle was present since there was no attempt at a class analysis in their public stance. However, the NIC argued for non-class based organising on the grounds that one should not confuse goals and methods. The logic was that the physical separation of oppressed people had imposed limitations, but the NIC was not an ethnic body per se, and would not encourage ethnic separateness. It is true that the NIC did not conjure up images in the public perception of ethnicism. However, the failure to advocate for a distinct class or ethnic politics created the potential for the NIC to become alienated from its intended support base. More Africans than Indians supported the NIC[33]

since the outcomes of a successful liberation struggle would be explicitly in the interests of Africans, whereas the situation of Indians looked less clear. Throughout the 1970s and for most of the 1980s a controversy between radicals and liberals, which started out as a disagreement about whether ‘race’ or ‘class’ was the determining factor in South African history, expanded and solidified into a theoretical and methodological question which imposed a functionalist and reductionist perspective on social analysis.[34]

Deborah Posel argued that “the very terms in which the ‘race-class’ debate was set up precluded a different mode of enquiry, and was oriented by a different question, which did not seek a uniform ranking of one variable over another, but rather their concrete interrelationships, in the ways in which racial cleavages and practices themselves structure class relations”.[35]

The inappropriateness of an attitude of ‘either race or class’ approach in a narrow prescriptive manner had begun to change by the early 1980s. These academic debates were directly informed by, and also directly informed, the debates within the resistance movement. However, Belinda Bozzoli wrote that reality:

does not fit into the interpretive straitjackets demanded by specific political movements, and one of the purposes of the researcher must be to reflect the ambiguities that reality contains...Thus while the trade unionist might wish ‘class’ to be the fundamental category within which all explanation should fit, and the nationalist might want ‘race’ or ‘internal colonialism’ to prevail as the major category, in truth...the realities of South African history were never clear-cut enough for either of these frameworks to hold true for all situations over the whole of the past.[36]

Class nor the supposed alternatives to it are timeless. As Bozzoli added:

To a historical materialist these, and all similar concepts, are to be understood as historical and social categories rather than reified universals. At some historical moments social groups may well appear to be driven by ideological forces, or cultural ones, which have come to gain a certain relative autonomy; and at others, the crude realities of economic necessity and process seem to prevail. And at all times we need to be alert to the interplay between these dimensions rather than regarding them as polar opposites.[37]

While Bozzoli and others of the radical school were sensitive to the interplay between class, gender and race, little attention was paid to ethnicity. However, it is fair to say that by the late 1980s, many analyses began to reflect an aversion towards rigid forms of social classification. Instead, studies commonly portrayed ‘communities’ as fluid, emergent, fragile and historically hybrid. Class concepts were used with a consciousness of their ambiguity and the blurred nature of their boundaries.[38]

This subtle and qualified deployment of class analysis ascribed to ideology an important function in shaping and determining historical action and political behaviour.[39]

Understanding ethnicity

The intensification of religious and ethnic identities elsewhere in the world during the 1980s and 1990s had been used to justify giving ethnicity a clear primacy, or at least an appropriate space, in analysing South African society.[40]

Much of this work has been helpful in illuminating the forces at work in various communities. Yet there is a major difference in South Africa compared with, Eastern European, where ethnicity was often actively down-played, while in South Africa, even before apartheid, the institutionalisation of ethnicity and race ran deep. Separate development had two distinct characteristics. One was the very wide and pervasive socio-economic and power inequality between whites and blacks, and within the black section of the population, which it helped to establish and maintain. The second major aspect was the official attempts to promote and develop the greatest degree of political autonomy and integration for whites while seeking to heighten fragmentation with respect to the rest of the population.[41]

After an extensive period of ethnic domination by the white racial oligarchy, the intricate ethnic engineering set the limits and possibilities for non-racial alliances. Thus the question of the persistence of ethnicity in a period of substantive political change is of considerable interest, given the ascendancy of ethnicity in the international environment at this time.[42]

Paul Gilroy has argued that the ethnic tendency is a serious problem in the ascendant anti-political configuration which dominates much contemporary scholarship. There appears to be no escape from the hermeneutic claims of ethnicity and nationality, “only an argument over the precise ethnic recipe involved in being able to walk that walk and talk that talk”.[43]

The appeal of nationality and ethnicity corresponds to actual political choices and to the broader field of political struggle. “Yielding to them”, suggests Gilroy, “makes the world a simpler place”, though this drive towards simplicity should be distrusted.[44]

The left in South Africa, in its attempt not to concede any space to apartheid logic, largely negated the existence of ethnicity as a factor in progressive politics during the 1980s. In a volte face, however, some sections of the left, following the unbanning of previously illegal political organisations, and in the light of the explosion of ethnic enmities in the former Yugoslavia, sought hastily to embrace ethnicity as a defining feature for the future of South African politics.[45]

A common-sense belief in the existence of ‘races’ was understandably widespread, even if in some cases this was merely the categorisation of physical differences. More often though it was accepted that these physical differences were linked to cultural and other differences. The notion of race is arrived at by selecting physical features as a means of classification, and selecting from the range of differences in these physical features to signify supposed difference between people. These ‘races’ are then given distinct cultural characteristics. As Maré points out, when social relations have been structured in such a way to define different social collectivities, racialisation has occurred, and the attribution to these groups of any undesirable characteristics is racism. This idea of ‘race’, then, is very different from that of ethnicity. Ethnic groups can exist in the racialised category, but although it is probable that all members of an ethnic group will belong to a racialised category, it is not essential.[46]

The left often cast ethnicity as simply part of the policy of ‘divide and rule’employed by the apartheid state, as was the case with the colonial powers of the past. Ethnic theories appeared to have taken racial theories and linked these closely to questions of ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’. The word ‘nation’ or ‘national group’, argued AZAPO, was very dangerous since it enforced separatism, preventing the various oppressed groups from organising themselves together to overthrow the oppressive political systems. Racial group ideas, it was held, strengthened the position of the middle-classes and paved the way for separatist struggles in which the idea of a single nation was vital, because it represented the interests of the working-class.[47]

South Africa provides a fascinating example for ethnic studies, given the ethnic engineering undertaken by the apartheid state, and there is an assumption that intense ethnic identity will prevail. It is argued that ethnicity comprises one among a number of important identity-shaping variables which include class, religion, age, residential area, gender and cultural-linguistic associations. Gellner and others have suggested that ethnicity is not a given, but a construct of the state itself.[48]

It is precisely because ethnicity was so integrally interwoven with apartheid that a strong anti-ethnic strain developed both within the resistance movement and in academia in South Africa. Undeniably social distance and structural separation were powerfully enforced by the apartheid state. Bogardus defines social distance as “the degree of sympathetic understanding that exists between a person and a person, a person and a group, or a group and a group.”[49]

Given the limited interactions that the Group Areas Act imposed, it is not surprising that the social distance not only between blacks and whites but also between Indians, Africans and Coloureds was significant.

The separation of Indian from African over the decades has encouraged a xenophobic minority syndrome based on some aspects of Indian reality.[50]

The construction of this identity was promoted by the GAA and the broader system of apartheid, so much so that Indian reality was such that ordinary Indians could arise from their Chatsworth home, send their children to an Indian school, travel on a bus owned and driven by Indians, buy a lunch time meal of Indian curry from an Indian owned take-away, consult Indian doctors at the R.K.Khan Hospital, be represented by an Indian attorney, pray, play, shop amongst Indians, be protected by Indian policemen and sleep to the tune of an Indian radio station.[51]

However, Indian ethnocentrism lacked a common territory, language or religion, and Indian ethnic identity was characterised by several strands of thought and practice. For example, as will be illustrated in chapters three to six, the growth of Indian resistance between 1979 and 1984 spawned a distinct activist sub-culture. To counteract this strand, by the early 1980s the state aggressively sponsored ‘Indian culture’. Indian languages were offered at schools and pupils were even given a half day off in mourning for Indira Gandhi’s death.[52]

Both the state and the resistance movement recognised that youth could play a significant role in shaping political consciousness, particularly in the working-class townships. Youth displayed a relative dominance in resistance across the racial divide, and youth resistance grew rapidly in the 1980s, developing a high degree of organisational and strategic sophistication. The socialisation processes implemented by National Party rule were a powerful determinant of the nature of the youth experience in general and their resistance initiatives in particular. It was claimed that in the social struggles of the 1980s, youth “were both the motor of the rebellion, and its outriders”.[53]

The dominant trends in youth activism were characterised by a complex mixture of political maturity, passionate commitment and sometimes misdirected militancy.[54]

The specific location of the younger generation, their active and passive assimilation or rejection of the norms, ideals and values of apartheid society, and their quest to relate to broader social processes that take place around them are important for understanding the process of political socialisation.[55]

A sociologist specialising in youth movements has observed: Although youth is universal as a definite stage in life, its social status has a concrete historical and class nature and depends on the social system, culture, socialisation processes and mechanisms intrinsic to a given society as a whole, and also on the concrete class and stratum to which this or that young person belongs.[56]

Much that has been written about South African youth in the 1980s suggests that they constituted some kind of monolithic block. As a result, inadequate attention has been accorded to the more subtle and complex forces affecting this section of the populace.[57]

In liberal media usage, ‘youth’ tended to signify anyone who engaged in ‘unrest’, was younger than thirty, and unemployed.[58]

Failure to disaggregate youth into its various components resulted in unproductive generalisations. In attempting to understand Indian resistance during the period under discussion, I have tried to avoid the homogenisation of both Indian and other South African youth.

The daily life of Indians allowed for minimal contact with African people. The racially divided education system perpetuated isolation. While it was the objective of younger progressive activists, building non-racial unity was difficult for the older generation who believed that Africans were anti-Indian. Conservative elements capitalised on this perception to destabilise the project of building African-Indian solidarity, a project that was in any case an elusive enterprise:

The endemic poverty of the African people, especially in Natal where the vast majority of Indians live, makes the contrast starker given the relative economic advance of the Indian people over the past two decades. The relationship between Indians and Africans is confined to largely master/domestic servant, boss/worker, supervisor/underling, shopkeeper/consumer. The way many Indians relate to Africans at a personal level helps to fan the hostility.[59]

This was further exacerbated by Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, periodically brandishing the spectre of the 1949 riots in order to breed fear and dissuade Indians from embracing the Congress movement. Karrim observes that the spontaneous reaction of Indians was to withdraw into their purdah and sleep with the devil they knew, and suggests that Indian ethnocentrism and anti-Indianism are two sides of the same coin since they feed on each other.[60]

Compared to their counterparts in other parts of Africa, South African Indians display distinct differences in their socio-cultural make-up. It is only Mauritius that shares a history of indentured labour. There were fundamental differences in the class structure of other Indians in Africa, who tended to be predominantly from the merchant class. Furthermore, in South Africa a significant number of Indian migrants had come from south India, whereas elsewhere in Africa they were mainly north Indians. As Karrim suggests, strictly speaking it is incorrect to regard their culture as ’Indian’ since it has adapted to local conditions and transformed itself substantially. If anything it is a distinctly Indian South African culture.[61]

The caste system that prevailed in India could not be transported to Natal with the indentured Indians. This system relied on various social and economic prescriptions, not least the division of labour.[62]

It is this system that changed radically in the process of migration, whereby many of the migrants sailed to Natal with strangers and became friends on the voyage. These relationships often cut across caste barriers. High caste migrants lost caste simply by crossing the ocean as a result of the practicalities of boat life. On arrival, segregation did not return and caste distinctions served more as social customs.[63]

Work in Natal was largely agricultural and tended to destroy any differentiation since people of different castes did the same jobs, worked in the same gangs and were paid the same rates.[64]

The political system of the estate was further detrimental to the caste system. Decisions made by white managers had to be obeyed by all labourers, and the management were not keen to have a secondary social system which could upset their power structure. Once indenture was completed, the caste system did not return.[65]

By the 1980s, marriages across caste and religious lines (though Muslims were the most unlikely to marry out) became increasingly common with most people having no sense of their caste location. Many marriages were also based on personal choice and romantic love, while caste status gradually made way for class status. However, those of Gujerati merchant class origin were most likely to adhere to caste conventions. The legacy of caste, however, continued to leave its mark with even the leadership of the NIC in the 1980s reflecting a disproportionately high presence of those of upper caste origins. The joint family system had also weakened considerably by the 1980s. Nuclear families were increasing and this process was boosted by economic changes that led to the erosion of the extended family system.[66]

The depiction of Indians as a homogenous community was commonplace amongst the Indian left as well as the right. The apartheid state also constructed Indians as a single community. In so doing it ignored the linguistic, religious, class dimensions and history of regional heterogeneity of South African Indians. Fatima Meer has observed that Indian South Africans’ feeling of common identity was to an important extent thrust upon them by their very precarious position as a minority. Surrounding non-Indians saw them as a single political and status entity....Yet, despite their integration into a community, the dependants of the three streams of immigrants from Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, continue to maintain, to some considerable extent, the cultural differences that marked them in India, and are thereby divided into a number of sub-groups, most conspicuously recognisable by language and religion.[67]

The notion of ‘community’ was thus made synonymous with ‘ethnic group’ and generally appeared in NIC rhetoric, often as the ‘Indian people’ or the ‘Indian community’. While fighting for non-racialism, the NIC retained the tag ‘Indian’ in the organisation’s name and provoked strong criticism from those who had anxieties about homogenising Indians. The retention of ‘Indian’ demonstrated that the NIC conceived of the disenfranchised groups of South Africa as being racially segmented, while the presentation of its history expressed the notion of community as being a homogenised whole. “Community” has to be regarded in the context of the specific situation referred to, as in the Indian sense it could denote the ethnic group “Indian” or residential or geographic constituencies, and questions could be asked over its relevance to members. Alternatively, the NIC argued for the ability of the ‘community’ to conjure up a broader conception of unity that cut across ethnic boundaries, and appeal to ‘the community’ may well have provided cohesion across racial lines.[68]

The relationship between ethnicity and gender is under-researched and under-theorised. Different roles are attributed to men and women through socialisation, and it is necessary to consider which characteristics are applied to men and women in an ethnic group, whether these characteristics be “warrior”, “primary care giver” or “mother of the nation”. Ethnic social identities are inscribed with gender roles, and so the mobilisation of an ethnic group in a political struggle is never a gender neutral affair. This matter is further complicated by the fact that male presentation of ethnicity assumes that these gender roles are accepted, and often ethnicity is described entirely from a male perspective. The family is a strong force in ethnic mobilisation, reinforcing not only authority but also gender distinctions. It is an element that binds the ethnic group, and thus a greater understanding of gender is a pressing requirement if one is to understand political mobilisation comprehensively.[69]

Indian women, I will argue, had the potential to enter, and did get involved in, various political, union and civic struggles during this period. However, to a large extent their location within the struggle was mainly as mothers and wives and hardly ever as independent agents in their own right. While there were strong progressive feminists amongst Indians, they were not able to have an impact amongst Indians themselves. The impact was felt more within the non-racial structures of the resistance movement. In any event, the contending ideologies and political discourses of the left were intense and we must therefore give this issue further attention.

Indian identity and political discourses

Black Consciousness

Black Consciousness (BC) succeeded in the 1970s in developing a definition of blackness that included all “non-whites”. However, in its application there were many doubts amongst Indians about its efficacy and some Indians feared the black power slogans, considering them as alienating. This was despite the fact that some of the high profile leaders of the BCM were Indians. Generally, those supporting ‘blackness’ as an all inclusive rubric of all ‘non-white’ South Africans were unable to win mass support for the identity and politics they were advocating.

Several tenets of BC philosophy gained acceptance, even within those groups which were avowedly Charterist, and many of their actions can be attributed to a BC orientation. BC leader Saths Cooper argued that the language of BC was used by supporters of UDF-aligned organisations in the 1980s, and drew attention to the use of “system”, which connotes the wider repressive and ideological apparatuses of the state; “collaborator”, which was effectively used to marginalise and isolate individuals who were deemed to be working for or assisting the state by a whole range of actions. Others included “conscientise”, which depicted the process involved in making people aware of the unjust political situation that they were in, and also encouraged them to commit themselves to working towards ending that social condition; a phrase about being either “part of the problem or part of the solution” was used repeatedly in the 1980s to summarise the view that there was no political middle ground in South Africa but that polarisation was inevitable.[70]

The retention of certain slogans and ideas that were prevalent in the BC-era in the 1970s is no surprise given that many of the participants in the UDF and other Charterist organisations either had their schooling in the BCM or were supportive of BCM endeavours during that period. Cooper has argued that the significance of BC in the 1980s must not be measured in terms of the number of BC organisations or their numerical strength but in terms of their ideological influence.[71]

Since Indians were dominant in both the BCM and Congress, why then did most Indians not embrace a black identity?”


During the 1980s, when demands for the dismantling of apartheid were articulated, the word ‘non-racialism’ was heard repeatedly.[72]

However, it is wrong to claim that non-racialism constituted an unbroken thread in resistance discourse and practice in South Africa.[73]

Rather it formed part of the vision of a future, free SA and it was used to mobilise people. However, non-racialism did, hold out the hope that a new democratic state would not tolerate race as a public and legal criterion of exclusion.[74]

Non-racialism’s dominance as a resistance ideology ensured that it was regarded as a sufficient basis for a politics of identity, without giving recognition to the power of ethnic identities, both popular and legitimate, as well as imposed and illegitimate.[75]

Ethnicity, with all its shortcomings, was clearly not going to disappear with the demise of apartheid. As Chetty noted, “to rely on such a hope is not better than imagining, as modernisation theorists did, that ethnicity and race would become irrelevant with the inexorable march of progress”.[76]

Within resistance circles there was no serious introspection as to what non-racialism really meant, what its building blocks were or how it would be built in the future. There was, we might say, an intuition about what non-racialism was, a wisdom conveyed osmotically to new activists, and a statement of rejection of the racism of apartheid. By the early 1990s non-racialism had attracted greater criticism. Kierin O’Malley dismisses it as a “fuzzy notion”, while Neville Alexander suggested that it is “the founding myth of the new South African nation.”[77]

Shula Marks engaged with the question of whether non-racialism suggests a boundary-less society and concludes that this was not the intention. She notes that there was a recognition, albeit mainly at leadership level, that the non-racial democratic South Africa “will have to defend people’s rights to be the same and their right to be different”.[78]

Indians probably embraced non-racialism more easily than BC since it was vague enough for people to interpret its content in a comfortable way. There was the space to create, recreate, imagine and re-imagine different identities. Non-racialism was read by Indians mainly as an anti-apartheid ideology which did not recognise racial discrimination.


During this period the Pan-Africanists insisted that white supremacy had to be destroyed if apartheid was to end. For them, part of this process included destroying the idea that blacks could not govern themselves, and that it was acceptable to have white leadership as long as it was “left” or liberal. While standing on this principle, they recruited Indians and some white militants to join their ranks.[79]

There was significantly less support for Africanist ideals amongst Indians since “African” was constituted both by the state and by various sections of the resistance as an identity of those persons who were historically indigenous to South Africa. For most of the 1980s, not only was Pan-Africanism weak during the overall national resistance discourse, it was even weaker amongst Indians.

However, since the democratic elections in 1994, there has been an ascendancy of Africanist ideals even within the ANC. The first formal sign of the ANC’s new approach to South African identity, and specifically the articulation of Africanness, came at the adoption of the new Constitution in June 1996. Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, described no less than 15 South African identities and bound them into a single African identity. His speech was punctuated by the statement “I am an African”, and prompted a response from Clarence Makwetu, the PAC President, that he was glad that at last the whole country was embracing Pan-Africanism since all the other party leaders, including the NP’s Klerk, proclaimed their Africanness. At present South Africa is witnessing the reconstruction of an African identity. The four-nation theory (African, Indian, Coloured and white) embraced by the ANC and its allies is now under considerable strain. This new development poses specific challenges to Indians and begs the question of just how African South Africa’s Indians are? While the Coloured component of the population is an “indigenous” creation, and Afrikaners have largely indigenised themselves, what can be said of Indians?


The political liberalisation process created space for a new construct to emerge, that of the rainbow nation. In 1991 Archbishop Desmond Tutu said to a congregation: “Look at your hands - different colours representing different people, you are the rainbow people of God”.[80]

He went on to proclaim that: “They tried to make us one colour; purple.[81]

We say we are the rainbow people! We are the new people of the new South Africa.”[82]

This first reference to rainbowism rapidly gained currency amongst many advocates of reconciliation both within and outside of the ANC. There is presently a wide, uncritical, usage of the rainbow nation as a nation building discourse.[83]

Even avowedly progressive movements, such as the National Literacy Co-operation, the umbrella body for voluntary organisations working in adult literacy, endorsed a conference theme in 1995 which asked the question: Can the rainbow nation win if 15 million South Africans cannot read and write? However, rainbowism has recently been assaulted from both left and right. Ashwin Desai, for example, has contended that the rainbow nation project reinforces ethnicity. He observes that:

the particular form that South Africa’s democratisation of its political system has taken has allowed the different racial flowers to blossom. So the image associated with the settlement is not allowing a new identity to be re-imagined. The vast differences in wealth and lifestyle within the Indian community are glossed over as we dig deeper into our invented past for a cultural homogeneity that the Afrikaner, and before them the English, tried to obliterate. Gandhi is trotted out as the traditional leader who represented all Indians, as an example to which we might return.[84]

Conservative Indian politicians such as Amichand Rajbansi suggest that present day South Africa is a ‘zebra nation’ rather than a rainbow nation, a nation that has space for black (meaning Africans) and white, but not for Indians and Coloureds. Some Indians and Coloureds have stated that under apartheid they were not white enough, but that in the democratised South Africa they are not black enough. Some AZAPO and PAC activists also argue that the Mandela government has prioritised reconciliation too highly and that redress is not given enough credence. They also point out that there is no black in the rainbow.[85]

In the first two and a half years of majority government, non-racism, equality, integration and the rainbow nation have been energetically proclaimed by the ANC. However, the ANC is finding it more difficult than it had imagined to convert all South Africans “to true non-racialism and it has been forced to accept that ethnic identities” are part of the current South African reality, and part of its troubling inheritance.[86]

Rainbowism is an extension of non-racialism and is aimed at those who were not part of the project to build “a non-racial, unitary and democratic South Africa”, but who want to be part of (or whom the state would like to accommodate and include in), the post-apartheid social arrangements. Like non-racialism, however, rainbowism evades definition. Unlike Desai, notwithstanding the apparent fuzziness of rainbowism, a project that seeks to transcend the ethnic and racial divisions institutionalised by apartheid should not be dismissed too easily. Rainbowism and non-racialism both need to be given content, and can potentially be cast as conceptual categories that promote new identities and encourage non-ethnic alliances and interaction. Within the discourse of non-racialism and rainbowism there is a potential space for a new class and gender politics to emerge.

The mass media and the construction of compliance

By the 1980s, the overwhelming influence which the mass media exerted on political systems was clearly evident. In the western democracies a tiny business elite had used the media to sell its values and perspectives to the bulk of society. As with any successful propaganda programme, the selling of sectional interests was never overt.[87]

The mass media, as a system for communicating messages, symbols and images seeks to inculcate values, beliefs and codes of behaviour that are intended to integrate citizens into the institutional structures of society. As the gap between rich and poor widens on a global scale, and conflicts of class interest fester, to fulfil the goal of “integration” requires a coherent political approach and a systematic propaganda system to back it.[88]

In apartheid South Africa racial oligarchic interests became synonymous with national interests, freedom of the individual and private enterprise. The power of the media has been well documented in various studies.[89]

Chomsky and Herman have shown that the image that the media is cantankerous, obstinate and ubiquitous in its pursuit of truth is a fallacy.[90]

In reality, an underlying elite consensus tends to structure all facets of information dissemination.

We need to refute the neutrality of the media even when direct controls are not evident. As Herman and Chomsky observe:

the powerful are able to fix the premises of discourse, to decide what the general populace is allowed to see, hear, and think about, and to “manage” public opinion by regular propaganda campaigns, the standard view of how the system works is at serious odds with reality.[91]

Walter Lippmann, writing in the 1920s, pointed to the critical importance of propaganda in the “manufacture of consent” and claimed that propaganda had become “a regular organ of popular government,” and was increasing in sophistication and significance.[92]

While some still argue the democratic notion that the media is independent and committed to reporting the truth, this was clearly not applicable in South Africa, particularly during the apartheid era. Not only did the state control the powerful electronic media via the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), it also constrained the commercial print media. While there is substantial evidence of self-censorship, there were clear attempts by the state to constrain the parameters of reporting by the print media with regard to resistance activities. Under various state of emergencies declared in the 1980s, draconian media restrictions were deployed to prohibit the reporting of atrocities by the state apparatus. There is little doubt that the state had prioritised the ideological war via the media and in fact intensified its usage and deployment in the 1980s as its reform intervention intensified.[93]

While the control of the SABC by the state security council was well known, the state also had a strategy of placing journalists in commercial newspapers under cover to spike stories of a sensitive nature.[94]

The mass media in South Africa under apartheid was an effective and powerful ideological institution that carried out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalised assumptions, self-censorship, and with some overt coercion. This propaganda system had become even more efficient during the 1980s and 1990s with the expansion of television and the range of restrictive legislation and direct intervention by the South African state. During the period of transition the ANC attempted to level the present playing field but could not guarantee for itself the same extent of media control and influence that the NP enjoyed. The consequences of decades of state propaganda form part of the situation that this thesis seeks to assess. However, the system was never an immutable and fully coherent monolith. A small independent press that struggled against many odds to survive was part of the response, as were weak and largely ineffective attempts to penetrate the English language print media.


This study asserts that class has been, is and will continue to be, an important and sometimes central factor in developing political consciousness and political organisation. Furthermore, it will be suggested that identities are not conveniently constructed by the ruling class alone but by a range of articulating agencies. The world we live in today is complex, fluid and multifarious, and a multiplicity of factors evoke various identities at different moments in history. However, these identities do not automatically lead to political action or inaction.

In using class as a key analytical category to understand Indian resistance politics, we consider the variables of ethnicity, gender, race, age, religion, socio-linguistic identity and residential location. Analysis will be informed by the above conceptual overview throughout this dissertation. However, this chapter is not intended to rein in and restrict discussion of the events and processes that constitute this study. Instead, it is intended to provide a broad sense of the key conceptual understandings that underpin the analysis. Definitions and identities are fluid during the period under review and what follows will reflect that fact.

End notes:

[1]D.Chetty, “Identity and Indianness: Reading and Writing Ethnic Discourses”, presented to Ethnicity, Society and Conflict in Natal, University of Natal, 15/9/1992. ↵

[2]The Lodestar, May 1954, cited in Treason Trial Records (1956-1961), p.850.

[3]Interview, S.Maslamoney.

[4]Treason Trial Records (1956-1961), pp.15983-4

[5]Interview, K.Gordhan.

[6]Interview, K.Gordhan.

[7]G.Oosthuizen and J.Hofmeyr, A Socio-Religious Survey of Chatsworth (Durban, ISER,1979), p.2.

[8]G.Oosthuizen and J.Hofmeyr, A Socio-Religious Survey of Chatsworth (Durban, ISER,1979), p.264.

[9]G.Oosthuizen and J.Hofmeyr, A Socio-Religious Survey of Chatsworth (Durban, ISER,1979), p.264.

[10]G.Oosthuizen and J.Hofmeyr, A Socio-Religious Survey of Chatsworth (Durban, ISER,1979), p.264.

[11]G.Oosthuizen and Hofmeyr, Religion in a South African Indian Community (Durban, ISER, 1981), p.140.

[12] For a more detailed discussion on local Hinduism see A.Diesel and P.Maxwell, Hinduism in Natal (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1993).

[13] For a more detailed discussion on local Hinduism see A.Diesel and P.Maxwell, Hinduism in Natal (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1993).p.134.

[14]C.Walker, “Gender and Ethnicity”, Conference on Ethnicity, Society and Conflict in Natal (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, September 14-16, 1992).

[15]C.Walker, “Gender and Ethnicity”, Conference on Ethnicity, Society and Conflict in Natal (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, September 14-16, 1992).

[16]C.Walker, “Gender and Ethnicity”, Conference on Ethnicity, Society and Conflict in Natal (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, September 14-16, 1992).

[17]C.Walker, “Gender and Ethnicity”, Conference on Ethnicity, Society and Conflict in Natal (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, September 14-16, 1992).

[18] K.Smith, The Changing Past: Trends in South African Historical Writing, (Johannesburg, Southern, 1989), p.213.

[19]Oosthuizen and Hofmeyr, op.cit., pp.12-13.

[20]Oosthuizen and Hofmeyr, op.cit., pp.12-13.

[21]H.Bradley, Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1996), p.1

[22]H.Bradley, Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1996), p.2

[23]H.Bradley, Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1996), p.3

[24] H.Bradley, Fractured Identities: Changing Patterns of Inequality (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1996), p.1

[25]Bradley, op.cit.,p.4.

[26]Bradley, op.cit.,p.4.

[27]A.Taylor, “Introduction” in K.Marx and F.Engels, The Communist Manifesto (London, Penguin, 1967), p.30

[28]A.Taylor, “Introduction” in K.Marx and F.Engels, The Communist Manifesto (London, Penguin, 1967), p.30

[29]A.Taylor, “Introduction” in K.Marx and F.Engels, The Communist Manifesto (London, Penguin, 1967), p.30

[30]A.Taylor, “Introduction” in K.Marx and F.Engels, The Communist Manifesto (London, Penguin, 1967), p.33

[31] H.Bradley, op.cit.,p.212

[32]A.Karrim, “The Indian People and the National Democratic Struggle”, The African Communist 122, Third Quarter, 1990, p.37.

[33]Attendance at NIC mass meetings is one indication of this opinion.

[34] D.Posel, “Rethinking the ‘Race-Class Debate’ in South African Historiography”, Social Dynamics, 9 (1), 1983, p.50.

[35] D.Posel, “Rethinking the ‘Race-Class Debate’ in South African Historiography”, Social Dynamics, 9 (1), 1983, p.52.

[36]B.Bozzoli, “Class, Community and Ideology in the Evolution of South African Society”, in B.Bozzoli (editor), “Class, Community and Ideology in the Evolution of South African Society” (Johannesburg, Ravan, 1986), pp. xvii-xviii.

[37]B.Bozzoli, “Class, Community and Ideology in the Evolution of South African Society”, in B.Bozzoli (editor), “Class, Community and Ideology in the Evolution of South African Society” (Johannesburg, Ravan, 1986), pp. xvii-xviii.

[38]T.Lodge, Resistance and Ideology in Settler Societies (Johannesburg, Ravan 1986), p.5.

[39]T.Lodge, Resistance and Ideology in Settler Societies (Johannesburg, Ravan 1986), p.5.

[40] See for example R.K.Thiara, Migration, Organisation and Inter-Ethnic Relations: Indian South Africans, 1860-1990, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Warwick, 1993; S.Bekker, Ethnicity in Focus: The South African Case (Durban, Indicator South Africa, 1993).

[41]L.Schlemmer, “Between, Race, Class and Culture: Social Divisions in South Africa’s Political Transition and Their Policy Implications” in U.Ra `anan et al (editors), State and Nation in Multi-Ethnic Societies: The break-up of Multinational States (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1991), p.175.

[42]L.Schlemmer, “Between, Race, Class and Culture: Social Divisions in South Africa’s Political Transition and Their Policy Implications” in U.Ra `anan et al (editors), State and Nation in Multi-Ethnic Societies: The break-up of Multinational States (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1991), p.175.

[43] P.Gilroy, “Cultural Studies and Ethnic Absolutism” in P. Treichler et al, Cultural Studies (London, Routledge, 1992), p.197.

[44] P.Gilroy, “Cultural Studies and Ethnic Absolutism” in P. Treichler et al, Cultural Studies (London, Routledge, 1992), p.197.

[45]These views were expressed in debates around the NIC disbandment debate following the legalisation of the ANC.

[46]These views were expressed in debates around the NIC disbandment debate following the legalisation of the ANC.pp.48-50.

[47]Anon, “Nation and Ethnicity in South Africa”, Frank Talk, Vol.1, No.1, Feb/March 1984.

[48] Quoted in J.Kellas, The Politics of Nationalism and Ethnicity (London, Macmillan, 1991), p.51

[49]Quoted in H.Lever, Ethnic Attitudes of Johannesburg Youth (Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press, 1968), p. 11.

[50]A.Karrim, op cit., p.31.

[51]A.Karrim, op cit., p.32.

[52]A.Karrim, op cit., p.32.

[53]S.Johnson, “‘The Soldiers of Luthuli’: Youth in the Politics of Resistance in South Africa”, in S.Johnson (editor), South Africa: No Turning Back (London, Macmillan, 1988), p. 94.

[54]A.Marx, Lessons of Struggle: South African Internal Opposition, 1960-1990 (Cape Town, Oxford University Press, 1992), pp.111-2.

[55]V.Kultygin, Youth and Politics (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1987), p.8.

[56]V.Kultygin, Youth and Politics (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1987), p.13.

[57]J.Seekings, ‘Political Mobilisation in the Black Townships of the Transvaal’, in P.Frankel et al (editors), State Resistance and Change in South Africa (London, Croom Helm, 1988), p. 218.

[58]J.Seekings, ‘Political Mobilisation in the Black Townships of the Transvaal’, in P.Frankel et al (editors), State Resistance and Change in South Africa (London, Croom Helm, 1988), p. 218.

[59]J.Seekings, ‘Political Mobilisation in the Black Townships of the Transvaal’, in P.Frankel et al (editors), State Resistance and Change in South Africa (London, Croom Helm, 1988), p. 33-4.

[60]J.Seekings, ‘Political Mobilisation in the Black Townships of the Transvaal’, in P.Frankel et al (editors), State Resistance and Change in South Africa (London, Croom Helm, 1988), p. 34.

[61]J.Seekings, ‘Political Mobilisation in the Black Townships of the Transvaal’, in P.Frankel et al (editors), State Resistance and Change in South Africa (London, Croom Helm, 1988), p. 61.

[62]G.Buijs, The Influence of Migration on Ethnic Identity: An Historical Analysis of the Disappearance of Caste Among Indian South Africans, conference paper, (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal, 14-16/9/1992), p. 3.

[63]G.Buijs, The Influence of Migration on Ethnic Identity: An Historical Analysis of the Disappearance of Caste Among Indian South Africans, conference paper, (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal, 14-16/9/1992), p. 7.

[64]G.Buijs, The Influence of Migration on Ethnic Identity: An Historical Analysis of the Disappearance of Caste Among Indian South Africans, conference paper, (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal, 14-16/9/1992), p. 7.

[65]G.Buijs, The Influence of Migration on Ethnic Identity: An Historical Analysis of the Disappearance of Caste Among Indian South Africans, conference paper, (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal, 14-16/9/1992), p.8-9.

[66]G.Oosthuizen and J.Hofmeyr, op.cit., pp.259-260.

[67]F.Meer, Portrait of Indian South Africans (Durban, Avon House, 1969), pp. 60-61.

[68]G.Maré, Brothers Born of Warrior Blood: Politics and Ethnicity in South Africa (Johannesburg, Ravan Press, 1992), pp. 44-6.

[69]G.Maré, Brothers Born of Warrior Blood: Politics and Ethnicity in South Africa (Johannesburg, Ravan Press, 1992), pp. 44-7.

[70] Interview, S.Cooper.

[71] Interview, S.Cooper.

[72]J.Frederikse, The Unbreakable Thread: Non-Racialism in South Africa, (London, Zed, 1990), p.3.

[73]J.Frederikse, The Unbreakable Thread: Non-Racialism in South Africa, (London, Zed, 1990), p.3.

[74]H.Adam, “Nationalism, Nation-Building and Non-Racialism,” in N.Rhoodie and I.Liebenberg (editors), Democratic Nation Building in South Africa (Pretoria, HSRC Publishers, 1994), p.45.

[75]Chetty, op.cit.

[76]Chetty, op.cit.

[77]N.Alexander, “The Moment of Manoeuvre: Race, Ethnicity and Nation in Post-Apartheid South Africa”, South Asia Bulletin, Vol.XV, No.1, 1995, p.6.

[78]S.Marks, Non-Racism in South Africa (Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1994), presented to the Eleanor Rathbone Memorial Lecture, 8/3/1994, Somerville College, Oxford.

[79]Azanian Research Project, The Revolution in South Africa: An Analysis. A Tribute to Soweto Youth, 1976-1986 (New York, Azanian Research Project, 1986), p. 26.

[80]D. Tutu, The Rainbow People of God, (New York, Doubleday, 1994),

[81]Riot police used a purple spray to disperse demonstrators.

[82]Riot police used a purple spray to disperse demonstrators.p.188.

[83]See for example, “We are the Rainbow people”, Tutu, op.cit., pp.185-189.

[84]Desai, op.cit., p.120.

[85]Interview, S.Chetty.

[86]M.Edmunds, “Is Ethnicity In Vogue Again” Weekly Mail 30/5/1996.

[87]A.Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Propaganda in the US and Australia (Sydney,UNSW PRESS, 1995).

[88]E.Herman and N.Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (London, Vintage, 1994), p.1..

[89]J.Muller et al, Currents of Power: State Broadcasting in South Africa (Bellville, Anthropos, 1989); P.Louw, The Alternative Press in South Africa (London, James Currey, 1991); J.Prinsloo and C.Criticos, Media Matters in South Africa (Durban, Creda, 1991); K.Tomaselli et al, Addressing the Nation: Narrating the Crisis: Hegemony and the South African Press (Johannesburg, Lyon, 1987);

[90]Herman and Chomsky, op.cit., p.298.

[91]Herman and Chomsky, op.cit., p.xi.

[92]Herman and Chomsky, op.cit., p.xi.

[93]See I.Powell, “Aspects of Propaganda Operations” in C.Schutte et al (editors), The Hidden Hand: Covert Operations in South Africa (Pretoria, HSRC, 1994), pp.333-339.

[94]See I.Powell, “Aspects of Propaganda Operations” in C.Schutte et al (editors), The Hidden Hand: Covert Operations in South Africa (Pretoria, HSRC, 1994), pp.333-339.

From: Class, Consciousness and Organisation: Indian Political Resistance in Durban, South Africa, 1979-1996 by Kumi Naidoo