A murder and its aftermath: land, race and violence after Apartheid

Wednesday 29 January 2014 (17:00-19:00)

In October 1999, a young white farmer was assassinated while en route to tend to his cabbage fields in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. That the killers were his labour tenants was widely known across the district, despite the fact that nobody was convicted for the crime. Among black and white alike, the killing initially came to symbolise the ebbing of white power during South Africa's transition to democracy. Yet, over the years, as white farmers adapted and acquired new forms of social power, the meanings of the murder changed in surprising ways. This paper tracks the legacy of the murder in the district's various collective imaginations over a period of 15 years in order to understand the changing dynamics of race, land and violence during the two decades of democracy.