Browse content similar to South Africa: The Massacre that Changed a Nation. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This programme contains some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting
South Africa is facing a crisis.
I basically made the decision it's time to shoot some warning shots.
After nearly 20 years of democracy,
millions are still homeless and unemployed.
The workers have been angry for a long time and patient for a long time.
Violent protests have swept the country.
Our security members was overwhelmed and killed
and both these vehicles torched.
Leading to the worst police killing since the end of apartheid.
Weapons you would bring where you aim to kill.
Weapons of war.
With a government mired in allegations of corruption
that reach right to the top.
I have built my house. No government has paid for my houses that are built there.
I returned to the country of my childhood to ask why is South Africa,
once a beacon of hope, now the scene of such tragedy?
If we can't find a way to deal with the workers of this country...
we already are, Peter, we're facing the crisis.
Wonderkop, a sprawling shanty town of 40,000 people.
Many here work at Marikana, one of the world's largest platinum mines.
What happened here over six days last August
has changed South Africa forever.
Fed up with low wages,
thousands of the miners went on an unofficial strike.
Over the course of six days,
the protests became increasingly violent.
On August 16th, the police moved in in huge numbers.
They were determined to take control of the area.
Today is the day that we intend to end the violence.
I'd arranged to meet some of the miners
who got caught up in what happened next.
Hello. Nice to see you. Yeah, yeah.
Nice to see you. Thank you.
The miners had been gathering on a hill.
Many of them were armed with machetes, spears and knives.
The police wanted them off the site.
What happened next shocked the world.
Cease fire! Cease fire!
Within seconds, 12 strikers lay dead
and many more were injured in the full view of TV news cameras.
Anele showed me the fragments of bullets that are still in his body.
One, two, three, four. And here.
The terrified miners fled, but the killings continued.
Away from the TV cameras, 22 more strikers were shot dead
and 78 injured, the aftermath caught on police video.
The strikers claim it was cold-blooded murder.
The police maintain they were acting in self defence throughout.
Wherever the truth lies, you can feel the bitterness in Wonderkop.
Zamayka, it's very nice to meet you.
I went to visit the widow of one of the 34 men killed that day.
What do you feel about the mine,
the way your husband was killed?
Zamayka is left with six children to support.
Her anger is directed towards the government and the ruling party -
the African National Congress.
For a hundred years, the African National Congress
has been the champion of black people's rights in South Africa.
Since Nelson Mandela came to power,
they have ruled this country and stood for the principles
of a better life for all, especially the poor.
But the massacre at Marikana
has led Zamayka and millions of ordinary South Africans
to ask how the ANC could let this happen
and even whether they're fit to govern the country.
For me, this is a very personal journey.
I grew up in apartheid South Africa in the 1950s and '60s.
It was a brutal regime that stripped non-white people
of their basic rights and freedoms.
Government and big business were run exclusively by the white minority.
My parents were liberals who campaigned against apartheid.
My mother used to support and help black activists
who were victimised and tortured by the apartheid regime.
One of them was a 15-year-old protestor called Dikgang Moseneke,
arrested and put on trial for treason.
So, can I begin by giving you a present from my mother, Adelaine?
I so truly appreciate this. Thank you, Peter.
She remembers bringing you those similar chocolates
and all sorts of things. Do you remember that?
Well, I can say that it was a larger slab than this.
For a middle class white woman like my mum to ally herself with a black militant
made her an outcast amongst most in her own community.
Your mother was incredible. We all called her Mrs Hain.
The first day she came with a pot of soup...
..beautiful potato soup, with a touch of cream and black pepper
and then she started scooping out for each one of us -
the 16 accused.
And we're asking, who is this lady?
Are we in danger of being poisoned or something?
And she said, well, I don't embrace apartheid.
I reject it. It's an evil system, she said.
And she would, at the end of this, would give each one of us a hug,
particularly me. I was the tiniest and the smallest of the lot.
She brought a slab of chocolate just about every single morning
because she asked me, what did you love most, and I said chocolate.
She was amazing and I'm eternally grateful.
And she did much to form my own...
notions of a non-racial South Africa.
Because suddenly she criss-crossed, she cut across lines
that we though were...
Today, Dikgang is South Africa's Deputy Chief Justice, but in 1963
he was found guilt of treason and sent to Robben Island for ten years.
For supporting black activists like him, my mother and later my father,
were banned by the state, meaning they were not allowed to meet
or talk with more than one person at a time or be politically active.
My parents were taking a huge risk.
The apartheid state routinely persecuted and imprisoned its critics.
A year later, something terrible happened
that forced us to flee South Africa.
I thought it was much bigger.
I've come to the High Court in Pretoria to meet Jill Vensel,
a close friend of my parents and member of the Liberal Party.
The police were inclined to make dire threats
and the security police would say, yes, you buggers,
we're not going to worry with the law, we're gonna just put you lot against a wall and shoot you.
This time the man on trial was white.
John Harris, a close family friend,
was frustrated that peaceful protests had become futile.
He planted a bomb in Johannesburg train station and telephoned a warning,
but the police deliberately failed to evacuate the station and a woman was killed.
Despite condemning the bombing and despite the huge risk to themselves
my parents publicly stood by the Harris family.
Your parents were extraordinarily courageous. We were all frightened.
I think the whole idea was to cringe away
and from association with him and Ann,
and your parents did the absolute opposite.
-They didn't agree with him?
-Of course, you attended the last day of the trial, didn't you?
-When the verdict came down.
Did you expect the death penalty to be announced?
I think we all did.
And, of course, when one saw the judge's face...
that seemed to be obvious.
John Harris was hanged in 1965 for murder
and my parents became pariahs.
The government stopped my dad working
and they had no choice but to leave.
Aged 16, I went with them to Britain.
It was emotionally difficult going into that courtroom.
It was an emotional turmoil because I'd never been in there before
and it, sort of, just brought everything back
and all the pain of it which is buried in my childhood.
In Britain, I continued my parents' fight against the tyranny of apartheid
and in 1969 I started the Stop the Tour Campaign.
'This is a campaign against the cricket tour
'and the rugby tour and apartheid in sport in general.'
The plan was to hit white South Africa
where it really hurt - sport.
We succeeded in getting their white-only teams banned
from international competition, especially in rugby and cricket.
I went on to join the Labour Party in Britain
and became a government minister.
40 years since our protest
and sport in South Africa is truly multi-racial.
Being here at Newlands, I think the most beautiful cricket ground in the world
with Table Mountain up there, and with this team of different races,
different colours, which was never the case in the past
and these are the young professional crickets of the future of South Africa and of today.
It's just what I fought for. When we stopped the all-white cricket tours
it was to achieve this and it's fantastic being here and seeing it happening.
And sport is not the only success story.
The country has a liberal constitution, an independent judiciary and a free press.
It has been transformed into a multi-racial democracy
with a vociferous opposition.
Here, as a teenager in the 1960s, I attended a leading state school,
Pretoria Boys High.
Under apartheid, black children were deliberately barred
from a decent education at schools like this.
I haven't been back in years
and wanted to meet the students there now.
So I was here in '63 to '66 and then I had to leave the country.
What's the atmosphere like in terms of multi-racialism now?
I guess we weren't around to experience what it was like
when it was a bit of a racial school, so I guess, for us,
it's just normal to be in a school with black and white people. There's nothing different about it.
We don't know any different. We were born after 1994, one of us was born in 1995,
so we've never lived a day in the apartheid era.
So what are you going to do when you get older?
My ambition is either going to be engineering or science.
-One of those two fields.
-Really important subjects those.
-I'm still torn between law, psychology and politics.
Politics? Good for you.
Myself, I've always wanted to be a doctor so my dream in life is to study medicine.
I just love to travel the world and I figured I may as well study travel journalism.
That way I can write about my travels.
Just looking at the boys leaving the school, there are black faces.
Mine was a whites-only school and that's the biggest change,
which is really quite moving to see.
Since coming to power 19 years ago,
the ANC has spent billions on education,
doubling the number of children in school.
Thousands of new schools are being built
and, 15 minutes away from my old school, on the other side
of Pretoria in Atteridgeville, is one of these new ANC schools.
-Hello, Mike, how are you?
-Good to see you.
-Thank you. Welcome to Edward Phatudi.
I used to be brought here by my parents to Atteridgeville
when we lived in Pretoria 50 years ago.
-Is it? So you are familiar with the place?
-A bit, but it's changed a lot.
Head teacher Mike Masango and his staff have a formidable task.
Most of the children at the school come from families who have never had jobs.
The teachers worry it leaves little incentive for students to study.
You mean they can't get a job?
Even for those who study hard, fees for college or university
make further education impossible for most.
Talking to Mike and his staff, it's clear the end of apartheid
hasn't yet produced a new world of opportunities.
Despite the huge spending on education, housing
and infrastructure, the ANC hasn't created anything like enough jobs.
In some communities, unemployment is even as high as 80%.
To understand why, you have to go back to the end of apartheid
and the deal that was struck when the ANC first came to power.
When white rule finally came to an end,
the fear was that South Africa would descend into civil war
and the economy would collapse as white businesses left the country.
But Nelson Mandela's extraordinary leadership
and insistence on reconciliation
meant that a stable multi-racial democracy emerged from the transition.
The big businesses stayed too.
A black majority now ran the government
but the white minority still ran the economy.
A deal that is now in crisis.
Lonmin is the British company at the centre of this riot
that led to the massacre.
Its mine at Marikana produces nearly a quarter
of all the world's platinum.
And Lonmin symbolises the post apartheid settlement
that kept such businesses operating in South Africa.
I've been underground in coal mines in my constituency,
but I've never been down a platinum mine before.
The mining industry is as crucial to South Africa today
as it was under apartheid,
contributing to almost 20% of its economic output.
This is a huge operation
and the area of these mines is 250 square kilometres.
It's a massive operation in every sense employing over 30,000 workers.
And the level of investments and the steel
and the sheer construction down here is extraordinary.
As part of the deal struck with the ANC government,
companies like Lonmin have brought black South Africans
into their management.
In return, the ANC aligned unions try to ensure that production was
not disrupted by strikes.
This arrangement has produced enough profit to keep foreign investors happy,
but it has left the workers on low wages.
What's really striking about this is you've got a high-tech mine
in the background, Lonmin, Marikana,
and people living in destitute circumstances, in shacks.
No running water, no proper electricity, no sewage,
The company provides accommodation on site for some of the workers.
Vice president Natascha Viljoen showed me around.
-I'll follow you.
Good morning, good morning.
-So, this is four people in a room.
-Four people, yeah.
-It's pretty basic.
Thank you very much.
When would these have been put up?
These could have been put up anything from 15 to 20 years back.
Quite a number of these would have been around in this Wonderkop area
since the start of the mine,
and some areas in the mine are 30 years old.
So this is a typical bathroom that is shared amongst
-everybody that lives in this block.
-In this block?
So, they will typically come off shift, have a shower...
And this is what's available for them.
So, as you can see, very basic.
Yeah, very basic. No proper sort of...uh...
Shower heads, tops off. Um...
-The taps is always a challenge because they do disappear.
They do disappear, as do toilet seats.
-No toilet seats, no.
These are the kind of things that tend to disappear
over a period of time.
Small kitchen area with a kitchenette, a sink and a stove.
And to the side, you have two bedrooms and then a full bathroom.
Lonmin are updating the old hostels, but with such an enormous workforce,
they'll never be able to provide enough.
In the end, you're only able to house
a small proportion of your workforce?
Yes. And again, it also goes about whether our workforce
choose to live here or choose to live in their own accommodation.
That's sometimes easier in the informal settlements.
For years, wage increases at Marikana had been negotiated with
the ANC-affiliated mining union,
but in August last year,
some key workers had grown dissatisfied with the union
and attempted to negotiate directly with Lonmin.
The company ordered them back to work. Violence soon followed.
On the Sunday, um, the 11th...
Before the massacre?
Ya, the massacre was on the 16th.
..we had a group of people that came down this road and just here,
right behind us, here and just across the road over there,
there was two of our security vehicles parked.
And our security members was overwhelmed
and killed, and both these vehicles torched.
What was different about this compared with the last 20 years?
Just the amount of incitement in the group of employees
and the violence that's gone with it.
We haven't seen them killing people in this way before.
I can tell when you're explaining it,
-it's still very emotional, isn't it?
No, I mean, it's not something that you deal with,
the employees' families... And we're talking all employees,
we're talking the ten people that lost their lives before the 16th,
you're talking about the people that lost their lives.
They were still our employees.
There were unhappy employees, but they were our employees.
It's a real puzzle.
This visit has showed me an incredible operation
and yet nobody saw this explosion coming. And it all just fell apart
in the catastrophe that engulfed the company and the wider country.
'Outrage in South Africa as police fire on protesting miners
'in an episode reminiscent...'
'Police had earlier called this D Day,
'but no-one could have predicted it would end in this...'
'South Africans are marking a day they will recall
'as one of the darkest in the country's modern history.'
The massacre on 16th August 2012
created a wave of revulsion across the world.
It looked like the ANC had turned its guns on its own people,
with dreadful echoes of the apartheid era.
For the more radical elements in South Africa,
like controversial ANC rebel Julius Malema,
Marikana is a symbol of the cosy deal between the ANC elite
and white-run businesses at the expense of South Africa's poor.
Marikana is a true reflection of our discipline in South Africa.
It might have taken place in a small isolated town,
but that's what our people experience every day.
Sitting together as two communities,
you know, in one country.
The community of the rich
and the community of the extremely poor people.
So do you see Marikana as a clash between
the poor and the dispossessed
and the rich, with the State behind the rich
and the ANC behind the rich as well?
A white monopoly capital conniving with the State
and the ruling party against the poor of the poorest.
It's not in Marikana only. It's everywhere.
I'm a child of a domestic worker, and half past four she will
find me at the bus stop waiting for her to come out of the bus.
I don't look at her face.
The first thing I do, I will look at her hands
to see if she's carrying a plastic.
And if she's carrying a plastic, I know she came back home
with the leftovers, and I know that day
there will be a meal before I go to sleep.
I've lived that life. I know it.
And when I see a person living that life,
all memories come back.
I know the pain those people are going through.
There are two communities.
And the ANC has got no clear policy
on how are we going to resolve these two economies in one country.
When the ANC came to power in 1994, it was faced with an enormous task.
The legacy of apartheid meant that a third of South Africans had
no access to clean water, electricity or proper housing.
In the last 19 years, the ANC'S built three million homes
and provided access to clean water
and electricity for millions of its poorest people,
but still nearly half of South Africans
live on less than £3 a day.
The Eastern Cape is the poorest region of South Africa.
This is where Nelson Mandela was born,
and is still the heartland of the ANC.
Many young people leave here to find work in the cities and mines.
I was hoping to meet the family of one of the miners
killed at Marikana, Mafolisi Mabiya.
Heading into the hills, the road became impassable
and we had to abandon the car.
This family lives right in the middle of the village up there.
Eventually, we reach the home of Mafolisi's mother.
Good day, Mama.
Very nice to meet you.
Like millions of other rural South Africans,
Mafolisi left his family to look for work.
What are you doing now that this money's no longer
coming from your son for the family?
How are you surviving?
These were the very people the ANC promised they would help
when they came to power. Yet, nearly 20 years on,
I can't see how their basic standard of living has improved.
And what are you going to do in the future now?
As we left and headed back down the mountain,
we met Mafolisi's widow
making the long walk home from the nearest town.
Nice to meet you.
How are you going to survive?
Lonmin, the mine owners, they paid towards the funeral,
but nothing else?
We've walked about two and a half hours, and it's been hard going,
but can you imagine what it's like living up there?
I mean, that family is right on the edge.
They're living with nothing.
No electricity, no sanitation, no running water.
The mother's too young to get a pension, which might have
supplied the household. There's no income coming in at all.
I mean, I couldn't survive up there.
How on Earth are they?
They're just victims in every possible way. It's tragic.
South Africa's one of the richest countries in Africa,
with a strong economy.
Driving around, you see million pound properties, luxury cars
and expensive restaurants.
The old white elite has been joined by new black elite
on the boards of companies, in governments and the civil service.
But this new ruling class, centred around the ANC,
faces almost daily allegations of corruption.
National newspaper City Press is one of the largest papers in South Africa
and I went to meet the editor, Ferial Haffajee.
So your newspapers led the fights against corruption.
I mean, how serious is it in South Africa today?
Corruption is far more serious than I thought it would have been
18 years into a democracy.
Our newspaper does a lot of work at local level
and often the thing making people protest
is not roads or sewage or water or electricity,
it's the perception that the money for those things
is being corrupted by their own councillors.
The allegations of corruption
spread to the very top of South African society
and the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma.
He is accused of using government money intended for security measures
to refurbish his lavish private home.
More than £20 million is alleged to have been improperly spent.
Nkandla, the story of the massive spending on the President's estate,
has caused people to see in very physical form
how self enrichment has become such a part of our lives.
Usually, these things are hidden,
but here we have 250 million rand spent on one man
when you've seen the poverty
in the deepest rural areas of our country.
And I think that's why it's caused a spark, and it's also why we're
sticking with it, although the ANC is getting very cross with us,
government's getting very annoyed.
Sadly, the ANC with its 100-year-old history,
it no longer holds the moral high ground.
If there's one place that really embodies the moral high ground
that used to be held by the ANC, it is Robben Island.
It was here that Nelson Mandela
and his comrades were imprisoned by the apartheid regime.
Despite the cruelty of their imprisonment,
a generation of revolutionaries emerged from here
to lead their country
and preach reconciliation with their white oppressors.
-That's you there?
-The only one I can recognise is myself.
Ahmed Kathrada is now 84 years old.
An ANC veteran and ex MP,
he spent 18 years imprisoned here with his close friend,
President Zuma, Deputy President Motlanthe,
they were here for ten years, they never saw us.
-And we never saw them.
That's how isolated we were.
How do you describe the ANC's fundamental values and its morality?
Look, its policy...
..from which flows everything else,
was to struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa.
And in terms of the personal conduct of ANC leaders and members,
was that something everybody just assumed would be
based on morality and honestly and probity?
You know, it didn't have to be written down.
We took it for granted.
Do you have, as one who spent so much of your life
here on Robben Island,
do you feel that somehow the vision has gone astray of the ANC?
What I'd say is, it's on the back burner.
It's still entrenched in policy.
It's in the implementation,
and that is where
we see some of the irregularities and more than irregularities.
Every second day that you open a newspaper,
there's some report of corruption.
And how do you feel about that?
No, one feels very disappointed.
I listen to the radio, I see in the media...
rank and file ANC people expressing their disappointment
and disgust at some these things.
'Let there be justice for all.
'Let there be work, bread,
'water and salt for all.'
Jacob Zuma also spent ten years on Robben Island.
-I sit here?
But his presidency has been mired in allegations that seem
a million miles from those original values.
What has troubled me is ANC members have told me
the length and breadth of South Africa this past two weeks
that they don't trust government politicians or the party anymore.
Are you worried about the gap that has opened up
between the leadership and the grass roots?
Not in the ANC.
I know that at times you could find even a few on the ends saying so.
Do you think, as many have told me,
that there's a need to raise the standards and morals
of the government and ANC leadership in the tradition of Mandela?
Do you think there is that need to do that?
That need will always be there.
When the ANC came into government in South Africa,
for the first time, we talked about corruption.
Nobody talked about corruption during apartheid,
and nobody can say there was no corruption.
There was lots of it?
Talking about it, you'll actually go to jail.
Where nobody talks about it, nobody deals with it,
nobody does about it, and therefore people think there is no corruption.
Here we fight it.
The country is behind everyone to fight corruption.
And yet a head teacher, again an ANC voter,
said to me that he's in pain because he can't get enough text books,
but the presidential home is being built for £250 million rand.
He feels a lot of pain about that.
Again, that is a big mistake. I've built my house.
No government has paid for my houses that are built there,
but that's how it has been put.
Government wanted, since I became a President,
to include the security features in my homes, right?
They did a bunker.
They did the bullet proof, not in every place, in my bedrooms,
which they said is a requirement.
And, it's not 250 what government has done.
I think if... I don't have the figure,
It could be between seven to eighty hundred.
I mean, seven to eighty million rand. I'm not sure.
The ANC has been in power nearly 19 years
and still millions without jobs or housing and living in poverty.
The issue really is... is that before 1994,
nobody even knew how many people were out of the mainstream
of the economy of South Africa.
Fact of the matter is that because of the huge challenge of it,
you couldn't deal with it in 18 years.
I travelled out into the Western Cape,
one of South Africa's
richest areas and home to one of its most famous industries.
Until 20 years ago, I campaigned for people to boycott
South African wines, and now I'm an enthusiastic consumer.
And since the end of apartheid,
the country has become one of the world's largest producers.
But here, too, there are worrying signs.
That says gun shops in the area where we're going have been
emptied by locals hell bent on protecting their properties.
That containers and containers of assault rifles were moved
to the area on Wednesday night.
Louis De Kock is the owner of one the biggest vineyards in the region.
So, how much of this is yours, Louis?
Yeah, it's up to the trees over there,
right up to the road.
This place is... I'm the owner of it,
but actually I'm the manager of it
because I believe it's God's, I just managing it.
And it's for all, the benefit of all the people here.
But last November, the peace of this beautiful region was shattered
as thousands of farm workers went on strike over their pay.
Vineyards across the region were burnt
and strikers fought running battles with the police.
Louis De Kock was forced to defend his farm.
I, basically, made the decision -
it's time to shoot some warning shots.
We hurt no-one, there was no casualty, there was no-one
that was even hit or...
because it was warning shots.
And as soon as we started that, they started running.
Northing really justifies shooting, does it?
Um... Yeah, if people's lives are getting threatened,
then you can fire warning shots and even kill someone if it's necessary.
The farm workers are generally paid the national minimum wage,
69 rand, less then £6 a day,
though Louis De Kock says his employees get more.
My workers were actually perfectly fine with their wages,
because I pay them much more than minimum wage.
-Minimum wage is 69,
so I add their bonuses of another, um,
ten, 15 rands per day, some of them even 20,
25, 30 rands a day is added.
I mean, surely something's wrong
here if people are only getting a 100 rand a day.
I mean, you couldn't live on that, I couldn't live on that.
And, you know, isn't that a reason why it all erupted?
That there's got to be a way found to pay people better?
We have to make it work
economically so that's basically what
the farmers can afford, but we give them transport to and from work,
even, we actually take their children to school and back.
Even food they get for free for a great period of time.
-What, grapes? By food you mean grapes?
but you'll be surprised at how many grapes they eat,
percentage of their diet.
I mean, they would just go 50% on grapes, kind of a thing.
There are many farmers in the region.
Some of the workers live in a nearby shanty town.
They see things differently.
The farmers say they're paying you 100 rand a day with extras,
is that true?
Was the ANC helping you when your wages were so low?
Uh-huh, no, no. Not at all.
There was no union of part of ANC or something
that has gone to help or try to sort things out for the farm workers, no.
Just like at the Marikana mine,
the workers here are also angry with the ANC.
The government has frozen the minimum wage
for the last three years.
So people simply can't survive on this. It's impossible.
They must at least try
and fulfil our needs to that we can meet them half way.
If they don't meet you half way,
if they don't have justice, what is going to happen?
If they don't meet us half way I think we are going to lose,
both of us going to lose, because we, as farm workers,
we are not going to work, and who is going to work there on the farm?
Farm workers living on £6 a day, miners existing in poverty
and staggering levels of unemployment - this was not
what the freedom struggle against apartheid was supposed to deliver...
Still less a liberation movement
accused of widespread corruption and cronyism.
For a view of the political situation,
I wanted to visit another old comrade.
Ronnie Kasrils is a legend of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The ANC has the right to build up its forces in this country
because no ceasefire is in place.
Ronnie was also an ANC minister under previous presidents.
Peter, welcome, welcome.
There's one subversive to another.
Somebody was telling me that the ANC are now at a critical point.
Well, we're in a difficult phase.
Big sections of the people beginning to lose faith
and belief in the government,
and I'm talking here about the people that the ANC always said
were the motor forces of our revolution -
the working class, the black working class.
I believe it's an actual watershed,
which the ruling party needs to understand.
I feel that we have lost our way to quite a degree.
In terms of creating an independent country
where you control your economy, you've got to develop a middle class,
you've got to create wealth, and that's not happening.
The ruling party and they've become, in a Marxist term,
the comprador elements of overseas investment
and with it, the corruption,
not just through the overseas factor, linking to the mining houses,
forgetting that their task,
and this is our unions as well as government, is to create
better life conditions and salary and so on for the working people.
So we've had the miners in strike.
We've had the farm labourers of the Western Cape wine fields
up in uproar.
And it's pointing to the fact that South Africa's
got to re-think our economic position.
If we can't find a way to deal with the needs of the workers
of this country, we are going to, and I believe we already are,
Peter, we're facing the crisis.
Aside from the traditional foreign and white-owned businesses
Ronnie and other ANC activists I spoke to believe that the ANC
has failed to develop an economy that benefits everybody.
The ANC was so popular following the fall of apartheid
that they've dominated the political scene,
but has this almost guaranteed re-election made them lose touch
with ordinary South Africans?
We are very much in touch with the people.
We talk to them. We interact with them.
We are able to deal with them.
And again, I want to... I don't want to be judgemental,
because it is the manner in which the reporting in South Africa,
which is quite negative,
that influences the minds of the people general.
But there's still, cos I've found this and it's dismayed me,
this big lack of trust in the government leadership,
the trade union leadership, the party leadership.
And, to take the country forward, surely that has to be closed?
You have to establish trust.
But you can't close it if you are not owning the media.
Well, the media is the one that exaggerates things
on a daily basis and through TV.
Now, you must know that influences the thinking of people,
and people begin to believe what they hear all the time.
The ANC leadership's becoming increasingly
frustrated by the barrage of criticism they face in the media.
They're currently pushing through a new secrecy law
that journalists believe could prevent legitimate investigations
into government corruption.
Lawson Naidoo worked in the ANC'S London office.
He fears the new law will threaten South Africa's vibrant free press.
All governments bring in official secrecy legislation,
why has this bill excited so much criticism
and so much antagonism about the future of the country?
This current piece of legislation going before Parliament
gives the State far greater powers than even the apartheid government
took upon itself.
So, the ability of the State to classify information is now
actually greater than it was under the old legislation.
The real concern is that given the escalating levels of corruption
and mal-administration within the public sector that we have seen
over many years now, there is a real concern
that this act will be used to cover up corruption and suppress
information about mis-management and corruption in government, whether
it be at national, at provincial or at local government level.
And you being an ANC man through and through for years.
What do you actually feel emotionally now about the direction?
Well, you know, one almost... Well, it feels that the ANC that is
there today is an ANC that I no longer recognise.
The freedoms that we enjoy now are freedoms that we must cherish
because we fought hard for these freedoms, for the freedom
to speak openly, to have robust political debate, to disagree
with the government of the day and for that government to listen to us.
South Africa's independent media is something to cherish
after the suppression of free speech under apartheid.
It was the extensive and disturbing media revelations about the massacre
at Marikana that led President Zuma to set up a commission of enquiry.
The families of some of the people who were massacred,
they're coming to the court hearing, to the commission hearing,
to see what is actually going on and to witness, play witness.
Hundreds of witnesses have been called
and the enquiry is lasting months.
Today, they are hearing testimony about the weapons the police
were carrying on the day of the killings.
R1 rifles and R5 rifles
are weapons you would bring into a situation
where you aim to kill...
..the targets at which they would be fired.
So it would be difficult for me to try and say that they were...
they surely and I can agree with you there,
surely they have the capability of killing.
The sombre, serious, calm commission
is hearing evidence from a police ballistics expert
that they were issued with automatic machine guns,
not the normal pistols
that all police officers carry in South Africa.
This is a kind of weaponry that is used by the infantries
in the National Defence Force.
Weapons of war.
That is correct.
Jim Nichol is an old comrade from the British anti-apartheid movement.
Today, he is one of the lawyers representing the families
of the dead strikers against a government
run by the very party he fought to bring to power.
So, could you just tell us
the sheer scale of the operation at Marikana that day?
Oh, it's monumental!
I mean, there was in excess of 800 highly skilled,
trained police personnel there,
trained in automatic machine gun fire.
Each of them was carrying a pistol.
There were 800 pistols.
There are 600 R5 machine gun rifles
that fire at the rate of 600 bullets per minute.
There were nyalas, which are armoured trucks,
perhaps 30 or 40 or them.
There was barbed wired and razor wire being run out.
It was monumental.
And what does that tell you about how the massacre happened?
The massacre, in my view, was pre-organised,
it was pre-arranged some two or three days earlier,
and it tells me that whatever happened on that day
the police were intent on using violence against the strikers.
There is also testimony denied by the police
that some of the dead were executed in cold blood
and that guns were planted on some of the corpses.
I met witnesses who claim to have been intimidated
and even tortured by the police.
This is what is so hard for me to take, frankly,
as a supporter of the ANC and the transformation,
is that the brutality metered out at Marikana
and the fact that there was then an attempt to cover it up
and plant evidence and torture some of the strikers
and that some of the instructions for this may have gone
to a very high level.
It's deeply, deeply depressing, as well as absolutely outrageous.
The Commission will have to decide the truth of these allegations
and crucially whether the killings were in some way premeditated.
I had sight of a letter from the mining company Lonmin
to the ANC Minister of Mines
requesting a massive police crack down on the strike.
I put this to the CEO of Lonmin, Simon Scott.
What we were concerned about from the start of the strike,
when it started on the 9th until the events of the 16th, is what,
there had been a lot violence going on even during that period.
So, what was happening was in a context of public disorder.
But you didn't stop the violence. There's a massacre on 16th August.
Three days before you write to the Minister of Mines saying
the full force of the State must be brought to bear on the strikers -
army, police, intelligence services.
And then the killing happens three days later.
That looks as if you're demanding that that happens.
Not all, Peter. I mean, the tragedy of the 16th is going to live
with this country for many, many years.
Hopefully, we're all going to learn out of this
and we are going to address what happened.
We'll go and answer to the commission fully about all of our actions,
and that's what we want to do and we think it's important to do.
If the company has done something incorrectly, then we'll address that.
Any suggestion of collusion between the company
and the government in the Marikana killings is dangerous for the ANC.
President Zuma appears keen to distance himself from Lonmin.
It was a shock.
Nobody expected that to happen.
What happened in Marikana?
The company...the company... The company did provoke that.
-The company provoked it?
-Yes, it did.
Well, the company's not responsible, is it, for the way the police
-shot the strikers?
The company very much so.
When you have an agreement violated by offering money
to a particular category of workers,
then you provoke other workers to say "You have money, give us as well,"
-that's how it happened.
-But nothing justifies the police killings
after that, does it really?
No, nothing justifies it. Nothing justifies anything.
Nothing justified the company to provoke a strike,
to undermine and overlook an agreement reached
in a bargaining chamber.
So... And I'm just saying, it's not like the government
was not governing properly.
Marikana and the unrest across the country has caused some,
like Julius Malema,
to suggest a radical overhaul of the country's economic policy.
Nationalisation of mines is long overdue.
You went to Marikana, you saw what our people are experiencing.
But mines like Lonmin
are funded from investors in London, global investors.
If you just nationalise without compensation, that will drive
all foreign investment away and suck the economy dry.
London has been affected a lot from the exploitation of African minerals,
and we are not saying, "London, go away."
We are saying, "London, it is time for us to be included in our mines."
Let's share this slice of cake.
Democracy and political freedom is meaningless without economic power.
We have no economic power.
For many in the anti-apartheid movement, it was the 1960 massacre
at Sharpeville that brought the horror of apartheid
to the world's attention.
My first protest was in Newcastle Upon Tyne
in 1961 about the massacre at Sharpeville,
and when I talk to people,
people who have protested over the years, and when I talk
to them now about Marikana, it's like there's a death in the family.
People talk in hushed tones.
How is it that a black government turns these guns,
these weapons, on poor, black, migrant miners?
Today, many South Africans feel the Marikana massacre
must be a turning point for the ANC.
It's been a hugely successful liberation movement,
but after two decades in power,
can it now tackle corruption
and close the growing chasm between rich and poor,
making the economy work for all and not just for a few?
It's a big challenge. But as a politician also,
I would say there is no government in the world that can say it is ruling
and everybody's satisfied, not a single one.
I'm very confident about the future, as long as the ANC's in charge.
South Africa is an amazing and beautiful country
and Nelson Mandela's vision of a rainbow nation
has inspired a generation.
And, despite the huge challenges, I still remain optimistic
that it's vibrant democracy
will find a way of living up to that legacy.
MUSIC: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd