fathers, plural noun

In the Cape Town area: a collective name for witdoek vigilantes.
1986 Argus 2 Jan. 1They claimed..the ‘fathers’ travelled in a large group of between 200 and 300, wore white headbands and leg ties, and were led by certain community councillors.
1986 Cape Times 3 Jan. 2The ‘fathers’ — conservative men, supportive of the community councillors,..have been hunting militant ‘maqabanes’ (comrades) in a feud which began on Christmas Eve.
1986 Cape Times 9A leader of the vigilante group of ‘fathers’..said yesterday the group had been assured police would not interfere with their operations. The ‘fathers’ were ‘trying to get discipline into the township’...If the ‘maqabanes’ would not listen to the ‘fathers’, then ‘we want to catch them...We will take them to the police, but if they fight with us we will kill them’.
1990 R. Malan in Cosmopolitan Apr. 167Conservative vigilantes known as Fathers were killing their comrade sons, and everyone was exterminating those they regarded as traitors.
1993 D. Elles in Democracy in Action 31 Aug. 14You know the famous story of the faction fight between the so-called ‘conservative fathers’ (later called witdoeke, because they wore white cloths tied round their heads or arms) and the youth of New Crossroads (comrades)...To us the so-called fathers were vigilantes who wanted to impose an undemocratic tribal system in an urban set-up.
In the Cape Town area: a collective name for witdoek vigilantes.

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