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Do violent groups that operate independently of a nonviolent movement or on its fringes increase or decrease the likelihood of success of the civil resistance movement? This talk focuses on the South African anti-apartheid struggle and examine how simultaneous campaigns of civil resistance and organized military violence against apartheid interacted with each other. It shows a complex and paradoxical relationship and argues that the ANC’s almost exclusive focus on armed struggle between 1961 and 1979 severely undermined civil resistance. Ironically, it also held back the development of armed struggle itself, and retarded the achievement of ending apartheid. The talk concludes that civil resistance inside South Africa led by the United Democratic Front (UDF) eventually far surpassed armed activity as a force for change in South Africa in the 1980s.