Home‎ > ‎

Soldiers in exile: The military habitus and identities of former Zimbabwean soldiers in South Africa

posted Mar 11, 2015, 12:58 PM by Annemiek Richters   [ updated Aug 4, 2015, 2:15 AM ]
Graduation Godfrey Maringira as Doctor Philosophiae, 18 March 2015
Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of the Western Cape, Capetown, South Africa
Supervisor: Prof D M Gibson
Co-supervisors: Prof J M Richters and Dr L Nunez

Soldiers in exile: The military habitus and identities of former Zimbabwean soldiers in South Africa

This study focuses on former soldiers of the Zimbabwe National Army: most deserted from the army because of declining professionalism, increased politicisation and promotion becoming dependent on loyalty to ZANU-PF rather than the Zimbabwean nation state. As exiles in South Africa they form a community of shared experience: of military service, having fought in wars in Mozambique and DRC and running the risk of detention of torture if they return to Zimbabwe. While many studies on former soldiers argue that military identities are fluid and that combatants can be demobilized and become civilians, Maringira’s thesis shows, contrastingly, that these deserters effectively remain soldiers. They cling to their military identities and military being as social and economic resource in their post-combat life. Because they are not South African citizens they lack security and status and are separated from their families. The thesis was recommended for publication and opens up new areas of research on ex-combatants.
Comments