Apartheid based on race is outlawed now, but the system always went far deeper than that. The cruelty and injustice were underwritten by an economic apartheid, which regarded people as no more than cheap expendable labor. It was backed by great business corporations in South Africa, Britain, the rest of Europe, and the United States. And it was this apartheid based on money and profit to allow a small minority to control most of the land, most of the industrial wealth, and most of the economic power. Today, the same system is called – without a trace of irony – the free market.
John Pilger was banned from South Africa for his reporting during the apartheid era. On his return thirty years later with Alan Lowery, he describes the extraordinary generosity of a liberated people, but asks who are the true beneficiaries of a democracy – the black majority or the white minority? Won the Gold Award in the category of ‘Film & Video Production: Political/International Issues’, Worldfest-Flagstaff, 1998; Certificate for Creative Excellence (third place), U.S. International Film & Video Festival, Elmhurst, Illinois, 1999.
13 Comments / User Reviews
This doc seemed old, are there any more recent ones online? The constant news ticker tape running along the bottom of the screen was distracting.
Enjoyed listening to Pilger interogate the mining company rep. and Mandela.
Was amazed to see the women building their own homes for themselves. I hope they weren’t eventually bull dozed too.
A tad biased but well documented none the less. Mandela isn’t the little angel the world makes him out to be, but then again most icons rarely ever are. He was a great leader in that he did not turn to bitterness after his release and during his presidency, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have higher hopes for SA.
I believe the rational issue is more so looking at all sides. Chase Abrahams clearly has a very one sided view, but I feel that White South African is misguided too.
The murders are mostly Black on Black, unfortunately, and woeful that our government and more specifically police force are corrupt, cronyist and very misguided. Crime is frightfully out of hand, no matter who is doing it to who.
Then one cannot fail to see how the ANS has somehow left the Freedom Charter of 1955, favour of a more racist and selectively only towards Black people policy, as seen with Manyi’s talk in all of the first part of 2011.
And that’s severely wrong, Coloured people of the Cape for instance as it stands (who are the descendants [DNA shows them to the highest from of DNA of the Khoi] of the original people of Southern Africa – the Khoi people – before the Black or White people arrived) and who were also persecuted in Apartheid are getting second pick of the jobs (They’re the highest unemployed amongst all and the highest they’ve ever been). Black people are encouraged to move in to have first pick of the jobs over Coloured people, they also in the Western Cape get 70% of all the educational grants, and get privilege to all the government housing being built. Hence Coloured people don’t vote ANC.
Indians are also getting it in the neck, just investigate it a little. Racism by Black people in South Africa is very openly discussed. And it’s terribly sad it’s going back to that.
Then there is the trouble of people still living in squalor, well after Apartheid ended. And so many other issues, it makes living in South Africa a very tense place. There are tremendous issues with MANY government leaders who have all sorts of corruption issues. I SINCERELY hope that democratically we get rid of all these issues, as so much more needs to get done to sort South Africa out.
Facts like more than one tenth of White South Africans live as squatters as well, when all is supported towards one ethnicity. What we need is a system of equality for all.
And racism is very clear from our leadership within the ANC, we sincerely hope it comes to an end. We have educated Black middle classes who feel very differently as it’s been years later.
The black ANC government has systematically destroyed South Africa with its blatant hate of whites and their systematic murder. Those whites with the brains and money and opportunity left SA for civilized countries. I left in 1997. SA has gone the way of the rest of the Dark Continent – savagery, murder, corruption, and filth. There is no way to rehabilitate the country – it is done. Just like Rhodesia and all the others, the savages took over, and the politically correct western world won’t say a thing.
I don’t want to be notified of any comments – I don’t care what anyone has to say; the truth is the truth.
Robin spoken like a true thief who hides behind phrases of ‘Dark Continent”, glad you left. Africa has no room or patients for criminals , who want to plunder our motherland under the hidden agenda of savagery while you loot its resources. South Africa , Zimbabwe will life on and its children prosper .If you what to fight battles do it in your own backyards in the west , you have no business here in Africa . The truth is the truth you make me laugh sir , whose truth is it ? yours or the African people.
Of course the “politically correct” western world wont say a thing. It is in their interest that Africa collapses, so they can rape the continent of it’s abundant resources. We would be naive to expect otherwise.
@White south african
By the way you don’t seem to have a come back for any of my points on Health minister of the ANC, Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang or Winnie Mandela or is defining murder only based on colour?
Get over your white guilt!
Get a grip!!! Your racism is showing…
@White South African
Spoken like a true ANC supporter!
YOU said: Firstly he picks out 1 or 2 “good” things that aparthied did for the black majority like a decent hospital, he forgets the shacks with no water or electricity that surrounded that hospital. He also forgets the schools around “one of the most sophisticated hospitals in the Southern hemisphere”, where black people were given only a basic education because the aparthied government said they’d never need a better education.
they still have no water and still have no electricity after being promised it by the ANC. As for basic education lets not forget they burnt down their own schools!!!
YOU said: As for the murders and rapes that he’d like everyone to believe is happening to all whites, what a load of rubbish! I have a family of over 100 close relatives in South Africa, and not one has ever been murdered or raped, sure we’ve had stuff stolen from us, but who in the modern world where there are a minority of rich or middle class and a majority of poor people hasn’t had stuff stolen ?
Well, congratulations to your family! My family have all been attacked or know someone that has been attacked. If you were more informed and less ignorant you would know the crime figures speak for themselves as released by the SAP. Ah let me think….Thailand is a good example to the second part of your question. Did you sit and count all your relatives to make sure you had the right number?
YOU said:The fact is that when you spend centuries brutalising a nation based on their skin colour, you deny them an education and a role in the economy, how can you expect no violent crime or corruption ????
I guess that makes it all alright- Europe managed to get it right after the industrial revolution- sorry, your reasoning only justifies the means.
YOU said: The 20 000 people murdered every year is also misleading, as over 80% of these murders are committed by people the victims knew, now that tells you that our society is traumatised and violent, a legacy of Aparthied’s cruel propaganda war not against an enemy, but against it’s own people, black and white.
What absolute crap! The justification that ” murders are committed by people the victims knew” only applies to most civilized societies eg: Holland or America, where the larger portion of murders are related to domestic violence. According to a report by the SA department of security studies majority of the crimes are related to opportunism as we see with the amount of farmers being murdered. The attacks on whites can be especially brutal and can end up in the victim being tortured by having boiling water poured over them….raped and murdered, the blacks this is often not the case- it is opportunism. This is all too common in attacks on farms and in residential areas.
YOU said:@chase abrahams get real, stop defending our past, we white people were wrong, but we also made it right, our black brothers were hard done by, but they forgave, all round this is nothing short of a miracle..
You keep telling yourself that- good luck living in your little play play world. Give my regards to Zuma
@chase abrahams is a typical racist South African thinking that the past was all rosy and today is all doom and gloom.
As a 43 year old white South African male, I can only tell the world how wrong he is and here’s why…
Firstly he picks out 1 or 2 “good” things that aparthied did for the black majority like a decent hospital, he forgets the shacks with no water or electricity that surrounded that hospital. He also forgets the schools around “one of the most sophisticated hospitals in the Southern hemisphere”, where black people were given only a basic education because the aparthied government said they’d never need a better education.
As for the murders and rapes that he’d like everyone to believe is happening to all whites, what a load of rubbish! I have a family of over 100 close relatives in South Africa, and not one has ever been murdered or raped, sure we’ve had stuff stolen from us, but who in the modern world where there are a minority of rich or middle class and a majority of poor people hasn’t had stuff stolen ?
The black people in SA are still by far the overwhelming majority of victims in most crimes, not the whites who can afford private security.
The fact is that when you spend centuries brutalising a nation based on their skin colour, you deny them an education and a role in the economy, how can you expect no violent crime or corruption ????
South Africa is a miracle nation, we had a bloodless revolution and it will take a genaration or 2 to normalise our society, but the miracle is that there isn’t more violent crime or civil war.
The 20 000 people murdered every year is also misleading, as over 80% of these murders are committed by people the victims knew, now that tells you that our society is traumatised and violent, a legacy of Aparthied’s cruel propaganda war not against an enemy, but against it’s own people, black and white.
@chase abrahams get real, stop defending our past, we white people were wrong, but we also made it right, our black brothers were hard done by, but they forgave, all round this is nothing short of a miracle..
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – God save Africa
It’s evident after reading all the comments that CLEARLY no-one got off their hate-ful pedestal to actually READ what you wrote! Such a shame… for them!!!
Whilst the Apartheid government may have not allowed equal rights what this film does not show is the vicious and cruel means by which the ANC tried to come to power through bombing innocent civilians, with blacks supporting the ANC necklacing their own people and burning down their own schools and institutions.
Winnie Mandela advocated and supported the “necklacing” method for killing suspected informers in kangaroo courts, a barbaric and inhumane manner of murder- today she walks free
At one stage Baragwanath hospital was one of the most sophisticated hospitals in the Southern hemisphere- a hospital for blacks and mine workers- not whites.
The Health minister of the ANC, Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang is indirectly responsible for sentencing 350 000 black people to death for not supplying anti-retroviral drugs to them.
The current president Zuma has been charged with money laundering, bribery, corruption and worst of all rape- all charges were dropped due to the sensitivity of the possible backlash in the country.
ANC cronies have looted the coffers of state and corruption is rife.
Whites are raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered by feral gangs. Their jobs are taken away and unless they join the ANC cannot find employment- so much for equal rights or addressing these policies. BEE is a policy of reverse racism in SA.
Today there are over 20 000 people murdered every year in South Africa since 1994, that is more than the total a hundred fold over of all the people murdered during apartheid.
After all of this…what price does equal rights come at and was apartheid the true evil portrayed in this documentary?
Yeah, Apartheid was a true evil mate. Just because they were scumbags does not mean the ANC are above criticism, but I don’t think anyone is suggesting that.