Dictating the local balance of power: Election-related violence in South Africa

  • David Bruce
Keywords: South Africa, violence, elections, political violence


The 2009 South African national election has come and gone and was generally regarded as having been a great success. Voter turnout was high and the event took place, virtually without exception, in an orderly and calm manner. Despite this, there were numerous incidents of election-related violence in the build-up to the elections, and a few in the immediate aftermath. The 2009 election therefore cannot be described as having been violence free. That being the case, how should we understand election-related violence in South Africa? Is political violence during election periods here to stay, and is it something that we need to concern ourselves about in relation to future elections?

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