"A Revolution Marches on Two Feet:" The MK’s People’s War in N’wamitwa and Beyond

  • Faelan Lundeberg


In the waning days of apartheid, an operative of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of South Africa’s most powerful dissident organization the African National Congress, returned to his home community of N’wamitwa after over a decade in exile. His mission was to spark a people’s war, an imported form of revolutionary warfare developed by Mao Zedong and perfected by the North Vietnamese in their revolutionary struggles. The goal of a people’s war is ultimately to involve an entire population in a conflict, eventually crushing a powerful state actor between a mobilized populace and a guerilla army. Through interviews with an insurgent who took part in the uprising in N’wamitwa, this piece seeks to tell the story of the early stages of the people’s war in N’wamitwa and to place the uprising in the context of the ANC’s national revolutionary strategy.