RealNews

Zululand raids seen as ANC show of strength

Unofficial aim is to extend state control in run-up to polls. The convoy leaves before dawn, snaking deep into Zululand while villages sleep. By first light we are at the rendezvous and ready for the final day of Operation Rolling Thunder. Helicopters clatter down on to the field and in groups of 14 soldiers and police officers scramble aboard as the machines rise and race towards mountain peaks. “Go, go, go,” yells the flight engineer and the passengers tumble out into grassland, running hard as they split into two groups and surround the hamlet of Amaswazini, one of dozens to be raided this morning. Officially the objective is to seize illegal weapons and cannabis stores but unofficially it is to extend state control over a rogue province in the run-up to next week’s election. Depending on your viewpoint it marks the completion of South Africa’s democratisation or a hunger for more power by the ruling African National Congress. Full Story

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