The "Third Force" was a term used by leaders of the ANC during the late 1980s and early 1990s to refer to an unknown group believed to be responsible for a surge in violence in KwaZulu-Natal, and townships around and south of the Witwatersrand (or "Rand").
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) would find that:
while little evidence exists of a centrally directed, coherent or formally constituted ‘Third Force’, a network of security and ex-security force operatives, frequently acting in conjunction with right-wing elements and/or sectors of the IFP, was involved in actions that could be construed as fomenting violence and which resulted in gross human rights violations, including random and target killings.
- Civil Cooperation Bureau - an apartheid era military hit squad
- Inkatha - Zulu cultural and political organisation
- Simpson, Graeme; Rauch, Janine (1993), "Political Violence: 1991" ([dead link] – Scholar search), Human Rights Yearbook (Cape Town: Oxford University Press) 1992: 212–239, http://www.csvr.org.za/papers/papolv91.htm
- "Section 4 Appendix: The ‘Third Force’", Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report, 6, 2003, pp. 584, http://www.info.gov.za/otherdocs/2003/trc/4_3ap.pdf