By Hein Marais
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Extra info for South Africa Pushed to the Limit: The Political Economy of Change
It was not until 1967 that a major effort would be made to launch a guerrilla war when MK fighters tried to infiltrate into South Africa through the Wankie Game Reserve in Rhodesia — apparently in response to growing disaffection among cadres in the training camps. 61 For the next decade, the armed struggle remained little more than a strategy on the drawing board. The state, meanwhile, reorganised its repressive capacities. It viciously crushed remnants of internal resistance and set about resolving some of the main sources of tension in the ruling bloc.
So, for instance, the state’s decision after 1961 ‘to rule by force alone’, thereby shutting out ‘all lawful modes of opposition’55, would be presented as the clinching rationale for resorting to armed struggle. But, in the view of Fine and Davis, that line of analysis ignores the conscious, rational side of social movements; their capacity to make programmatic and operational choices, to learn from the past and from theory, to combine their own experience with the experience of other movements abroad, to question themselves through debate and criticism and to rebuild afresh (1985:25).
The economy seemed to be relatively mature and diversified — at least in relation to much of the rest of Africa. Living standards of whites kept rising and concerted anti-apartheid resistance seemed a thing of the past. Beyond South Africa’s borders armed struggles continued, but to little manifest effect. In Rhodesia, the Ian Smith regime seemed to have matters in hand, while the Portuguese colonialists in Angola and Mozambique claimed to be unperturbed by the efforts of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) and the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo).