In March 1990, savage fighting broke out between Mandela's ANC supporters and the rival Zulu-based Inkatha party, led by Mongosuthu G. Buthelezi (1928-), after thousands of Zulus were forced out of their homes in ANC-loyal areas of the southeastern province of Natal. There Zulu Inkatha members, armed with guns, knives, and sticks, battled for control of the villages in the rugged Edendale Valley, where South African troops helped police stop the bloodshed and restore order. Factional fights broke out in other areas that police struggled to halt. From July to September 1990, the bloodiest clashes in modern South African history occurred when Inkatha launched raids in the Transvaal townships, where an estimated 800 persons were slain and ANC supporters boldly defended themselves. Police with machine guns stiffled the hostilities, but afterward sporadic fighting between the rival factions took place until 1994.