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It is heart-warming to read about the toenadering between entrenched royalty and litigious republicans making common cause of land reform at a time and in a country where skin-deep identity is advanced as casus belli. Yet there is nothing strange about parties that identify along racial markers to delineate differences and then put those aside to achieve a shared goal, so to contradict the platitude about strange bedfellows. In an SA context of war, for instance, black warriors joined white warriors against the Boers not long after their own war against British imperial forces, as did blacks join white kommandos against the invading uitlanders. In the trenches, they say, faith is revived and usually trumps facile notions of supremacy; when their intertwined bones bleach on the veld, who knows who belongs to what. Now the papers are reporting the imminent agreement between King Goodwill Zwelithini and rights lobbyist AfriForum to stand together against the ANC’s intention to promote ...

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