Video clips for the classroom. The programme uses first person testimony and news reports to look at apartheid in South Africa from 1948 to 1994.
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BBC NEWS THEME PLAYS
From prisoner to president.
Nelson Mandela is elected by South Africa's new parliament.
The people of South Africa have spoken in these elections.
They want change.
And change is what they will get.
THEY PLAY AN UPBEAT TUNE
They don't seem worried about the future in South Africa.
But how it goes depends on what they think.
Maybe they'll be content to accept the government's idea that they're inferior to the white man.
And they'll be happy to grow up as second class citizens in their own country.
Or perhaps things will go the other way.
In a few years' time, there could be a great African revolt and
those children might be taking part in it. I wonder.
This is Alexandra township, Johannesburg.
Even in dingy surroundings like these, I felt the vitality of the Africans.
And their overwhelming numbers made a tremendous impact on me.
South Africa may be a white dominion, but it's a black country.
There are just on 10 million Africans, over 1.25 million people of
partly African descent, nearly half a million Asiatics, mainly Indian.
These three groups of non-Europeans outnumber the whites by four to one.
In some areas in and near the towns, you hardly see a white person at all.
The whites are very conscious of their numerical inferiority.
The Europeans made South Africa.
They feel they ought to have the best place in it. They built towns like Johannesburg.
Parts of Johannesburg are so modern that they're almost like an American skyscraper town.
80 years ago, before the gold, there was nothing here at all.
Now, there is a rich town - sunlit, wide and spacious.
But at the back of their minds, the Europeans have a fear
that non-Europeans will somehow crowd them out of it.
This was explained by the editor of the leading Afrikaner newspaper.
If we give freedom
to our colonial peoples,
inside our own country, and they are a majority,
we would be swamped.
And that is our basic dilemma.
Prime Minister, what is the government trying to do with its policy of apartheid?
Apartheid, or separation, to use the English equivalent,
between black and white, has been the policy of both the English
and Afrikaans speaking people in South Africa for centuries.
Its object is to regulate life between black and white,
to eliminate friction between the two groups and to ensure the safety of the white minority.
Whilst providing scope
for the development of the Africans in their own territories
and in separate townships in the white man's area.
There has always been segregation.
Africans have to stand and wait for their buses. An empty seat may be a few yards away.
They cannot sit on it. It's reserved for Europeans at their bus stop.
Signs of separation are everywhere on public and private buildings.
Africans must go to their own cinemas and not to Europeans'.
At this place, Africans must queue to get their passes.
They must carry them everywhere.
If the police stop an African and he has forgotten his book of passes, they put him into jail.
Every African needs passes to work or live near a white town.
He must have another one if he wants to travel.
There are many types of permits and some have to be renewed monthly.
Once out of a reserve, the African lives in a sea of papers.
Those papers make sure that the African stays in his place - the locations.
Our policy is one,
which is called by an Afrikaans word, apartheid.
And I'm afraid that has been misunderstood so often.
It could just as easily, and perhaps much better, be described as a policy of good neighbourliness.
Accepting that there are differences between people.
And that while these differences exist, and you have to acknowledge them,
at the same time, you can live together, aid one another,
but that it can best be done
when you act as good neighbours always do.
Do you like apartheid?
I don't like apartheid. In apartheid Europeans go up and
Africans go down.
I can't say I agree with everything,
but I think it's the only policy that's working in Africa.
I feel everyone's entitled to their own sort of life and their own
sort of freedom, more or less.
Everyone shouldn't be told what to do and what not to do.
Do you mean that you would give the non-white majority political rights, votes?
Well, I feel everyone is equal and entitled to it.
They are a lower class.
They work under us, so it is just right that they must be there.
They've got their hospitals,
they've got schools, which the government has given.
Apartheid, to me, means separate development of people with
different aspirations, with different backgrounds.
I must reject it absolutely and completely as I try to do in my
own life and many of my friends and family try to do.
I honestly feel the that the native would rather live on his own.
They make very good servants and you get very good natives.
It's a terribly insulting concept to my personal dignity.
Stultifying, stagnating and it's restrictive of my development.
TRANSLATION: They wouldn't let me use their plates and cups.
I had my own enamel plate and an empty tin can as a cup.
There was a dog's kennel out at the back and my dishes were put
next to the dog.
It was as though I was a dog myself.
They treated the dog better than a black person.
As a black, you were the scum of the earth.
You worked for these people.
They ate your food. But they despised you.
Under apartheid, it's intended that shanty towns
should be demolished and no-one would quarrel with that.
Thousands of Africans are living in these conditions.
But removing these fearful slums costs millions. Progress is very slow.
Extreme nationalist party supporters of the government are against spending too much money on Africans.
1,000 people use those lavatories.
This is Sophiatown. It doesn't look much, but when Africans are forced
to leave homes like this, there is often anguish.
Even though there are greater restrictions and more supervision by whites in the new African areas,
the new houses for Africans are better and many like it when they have moved.
Do you like it better here than in Sophiatown?
-Yes, it's better than Sophiatown.
-it better here?
-It's a nice place. The house was too small.
As well as Africans, the Group Areas Act will move tens of thousands of coloured people and
Indians from their present homes, where many of them have lived for generations.
How many of you have got to move, do you think?
All of us.
How long have you lived in your house?
-Where will you move to?
-Have any of you got businesses that you have to move?
-I'm in the centre of the city at the present moment and
my tailoring and outfitting business will have to move.
Where to, I don't know.
What do you think is the object of this legislation?
To dispossess all non-whites and reduce them to the position of non-citizens.
To divide and to keep the non-Europeans divided.
You mean even divided among themselves into separate groups?
-Africans, coloured, Indians.
-All divided out?
-Yes. And the Africans in their various tribes.
Not all Europeans agree that African and coloured workers can be kept rigorously apart.
For instance, here's a Labour member of parliament, Mr Leo Lovell.
Why do you think that the long-term policy of apartheid,
the complete territorial separation of the races can't work?
To answer that question, you must understand that
the economy of South Africa
is based upon African labour.
In 1910, there were only half a million Africans in the
towns of South Africa, which are popularly called the white areas.
Today there are nearly 3 million,
constituting about a third of the total African population.
If you were to separate the races out,
into separate areas, you would destroy the economy of South Africa.
What about the short-term policy?
The short-term policy is really a policy of white supremacy.
And a policy of white supremacy means that the denial of
all civil and human rights to the Africans in the white areas.
I don't need to answer that question.
Everybody knows it can't work.
In the heart of Johannesburg, places like Sophiatown, which for years
have been a threat to the the public health and safety, were tackled with a vigour and energy.
It was alleged that Bantu were dissatisfied and would refuse to move.
In fact, they were happy to get away from
these plague spots, where they had been obliged to live in thousands.
TRANSLATION: We sang this song to let them know we didn't want to move.
We all stood together before we got into the trucks.
The Boers surrounded us. They were armed.
We said, "We don't want to go to Meadowlands.
"We want to stay here in Sophiatown."
But they forced us into the trucks at gunpoint.
There was no choice.
Lorries transport the rejoicing Bantu, whose hearts are filled with happy expectations.
They're on their way to a new home, Meadowlands, where one can breathe freely.
I was shocked because there was nothing.
There were no cinemas, no proper shops, no cafes,
no playgrounds for children.
No recreational opportunities.
And I just, every night I saw these thousands of black people streaming
into the township and in the morning they streamed out again.
So it was actually only a slave camp, you can call it.
In Johannesburg, premier city of South Africa, there was staged
last weekend the first move in a campaign that may lead to civil disobedience.
Thousands of coloured people went to attend a protest meeting called by the African National Congress.
This is the most important African organisation in the union.
And it called on all coloured people to protest against the racial segregation laws.
What some of these laws involve is illustrated by our cameraman, Charles de Jaeger.
He reports that a coloured man must always carry these passes.
One pass permits him to reside in Johannesburg.
Another, renewable monthly, permits him to seek work.
If he is found without either, he is fined £1.
All those who wanted to attend the Johannesburg meeting
had to carry a special pass, calling on the police to admit people like Native Johnson.
Despite these restrictions, which have been in existence for some time,
a crowd of some thousands made their way to the meeting.
According to the organisers, they numbered between 10 and 15,000.
According to the police, there were only 4,000,
but whatever their number, they made up a very orderly crowd.
Several speakers addressed them and each speech was translated from Bantu into English.
In the chair was Dr Dadu, the president of the South African Indian Congress.
Each speaker urged his audience to take a solemn oath that they would muster all
their forces to end the crushing conditions under which they lived.
In conclusion, each speaker appealed to all coloured people to keep calm in this hour of crisis.
Since then, the Congress leaders have announced that
they will decide later this month whether to launch a civil disobedience campaign.
This would urge all coloured people to break the unjust laws and to court arrest.
It now became necessary to open a new chapter
and that new chapter was for us to go to the highways,
to mobilise more support.
That support would not be mobilised simple
by going into the townships and to the locations and calling meetings.
It had to be mobilised through some form of political action.
And we therefore advocated the idea of
industrial strikes, boycotts and so on.
And later, after we felt we had now
quite a solid support amongst the masses,
we then decided to select six laws which we felt were most oppressive.
We would defy these laws and
deliberately court jail
and not pay fines,
in order to focus attention on the repressive policies of the government.
So we then got our chaps, got volunteers, trained them,
pointed out that we want only people who believe in non-violence.
We don't want anything to be done, which would
give an excuse to the police to drown the muscles of people in blood.
This book was the only book,
which involved the life of a black person in South Africa.
If you haven't got this book, you are nothing.
It controlled the life of everybody.
It controlled your work, it controlled your movement,
it controlled your life as a whole. Without this book, you were nothing.
It was a re-enactment of Nazi Germany.
Except that the Nazis gave their Jews
yellow stars to wear, so that they could be identifiable.
In South Africa, you did not have to wear a yellow star but your skin,
that was your yellow star.
The skin, because you were black, it meant you had no right to be anywhere.
So the pass laws reinforced that.
They were a form of enslavement.
You could not get a house unless you had a pass.
You could not register your children for school unless you had a pass.
You could not get a job unless you had a pass.
You could not travel from one area to another unless you had a pass.
It was the most humiliating type of document.
You're walking in the street nicely, with your girlfriend, with your wife.
"Kaffir. Pass your pass."
You were humiliated at once.
TRANSLATION: There was a meeting to which we were all called
to discuss these pass books.
Chief Luthuli said they must be burned because we don't want these pass books.
"The whites don't carry them so why should we always have to?
"We should be like the Boers, white people, and not carry passes."
The plan in general was that in all of the big cities of the country,
people would then leave their passes at home and march to the local
police stations, police stations where they were living at the time.
Hand themselves over
to be arrested by the police in the police stations, with the words, "We haven't got passes.
"We've left them at home. Arrest us, because we have broken one of your laws.
"What we are going to do, we are not going to have any bail.
"We are not going to have any legal representation, and we are not going to pay any fine."
We went down to the pass office.
As we stood there, everybody was pouring in from the township, children, women, kids, you know.
We were singing a song of Africa. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
Singing, singing, waiting for the reply, people dancing, enjoying.
They were all happy, these people.
-The police were outside
when Captain Pienaar raised his baton.
Some men were standing next to their armoured cars, then they got in and closed the hatches.
There was another line of police in front of the armoured cars.
They had their rifles at the ready.
He dropped his baton and they shot us.
After quite a while, everything was quiet.
I pick up my hat
and I look around, I look around and find everything is quiet.
I find everybody, the bodies are laying down dead.
My uncle died there,
my younger brother,
and my sister.
Those are the people who died there.
I've lost people that I loved and people that I needed.
Sometimes, I sit down, I find my things are not going right and safe.
My mother was here. My uncle was here. Then things would have went right.
I saw a policeman taking
his rifle butt to a woman, well, to several women, who were
trying to retrieve the bodies of their, it would seem,
friends or daughters or someone close to them.
They weren't shot down but they were rifle-butted, so to speak, and kicked and booted.
We may not have seen that the number of people who would be killed and injured and
the way in which the event occurred, but it was always something in our contemplation,
because that is how the government has always responded to our demands and
and responding purely by brutal suppression of our demands.
It could have been a number of other places.
It happened to be Sharpeville.
The conditions that existed in Sharpeville existed in various parts of the country.
I felt very, very bitter.
Because I supposed to wait for myself to make a better living.
Today I can do nothing.
I can do nothing for myself.
TRANSLATION: After I got hurt, I could not walk properly.
I had to crawl like a baby if I wanted to move around.
Because I only recently got these crutches.
It was a peaceful march.
And we were killed.
From that day, we said,
"As from now, we'll never again go marching peacefully to these institutions."
From time to time in history, the name of an insignificant place
burns itself into the memory of mankind simply because of something that happened there.
Places like Guernica and Belsen and Little Rock.
And today there may well be another - Sharpeville, near Johannesburg in South Africa.
More than 60 Africans, including women and children, were killed
and more than 170 were injured a week ago today, when the police opened fire on a crowd estimated at 20,000,
which had surrounded Sharpeville Police Station.
The shootings happened during a demonstration against the so-called pass laws.
The hospitals of Sharpeville are still dealing with the injured.
Already, the United States government has officially regretted what it called "a tragic loss of life."
And this week, the Security Council will discuss the shootings.
Meanwhile, the South African government
has suspended the pass laws and has banned all political meetings.
He's Robin Day.
As the protests about the Sharpeville bloodshed grew,
I discussed two questions with South Africans in London.
Has the incident last week, and others like it,
made you doubt whether the apartheid policies are wise and sensible?
-Not in the least.
-Could I ask...?
I think it's quite clear from the fact that they're trying to...
Rather than solve the basic problems, they're trying to
keep down, by force, the people who have legitimate aspirations and therefore they have these
ruptures, like the riots.
We're keeping them down by force at the present stage, as a result...
If this is an indication of keeping them down by force,
this was purely an uprising, as a result of one specific thing, which was passes.
Some people have seemed to think that the police
shot down innocent demonstrators.
Well, I mean, everyone who's seen a crowd of natives or Africans in
South Africa peacefully, will never forget it.
It's an unforgettable sight, I can assure you.
Can I put to you this argument, which is heard so often in this country, that the violence
which occurs is due to the suppression of the natural rights of the African majority?
I think that point is completely incorrect, because people that know the history of South Africa
will realise there was more violence in South Africa amongst the blacks, in which marauding impies
went and murdered and plundered entire tribes and killed them outright, before the whites arrived.
That, of course, is perfectly true, but this riot in Sharpville is the first official riot against...
specifically against government policy, which we have ever had in the union.
The essential tragedy of South Africa, and it is a tragic situation, is, effectively, you
have a modern 20th century culture impinging on what is virtually
a stone-age one, and obviously from that you're going to get bloodshed, misery and a lot of unhappiness.
It is in this huge industrial centre that
the most significant developments of the last few days have taken place,
the open and mounting concern of South Africa's businessmen.
It's been reported that some of them have been to see Dr Verwoerd
to demand changes in policy.
Here is Mr George Palmer of the Johannesburg Financial Mail,
who is an economist and an adviser to Johannesburg businessmen.
What is the feeling among South African businessmen about the crisis?
It is absolutely essential to the future of South African industry for
there to be a contented, industrial, African labour force.
Without that, industry cannot develop at the pace which it must if
sufficient employment opportunities are to be given to the country's growing labour force.
Without that, there can be no fundamental attack
on the poverty of the African in the towns, which is one of the main causes of the present discontent.
What pressure can be put upon the government?
Well, the government has, in the past, taken great heed of the views of commerce
and industry because it realises that commerce and industry provide
the wealth and the prosperity to the country without which no government can continue long in power.
And here is one of Johannesburg's leading businessmen, Mr Colin Corbett,
who's a former president of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce.
What would be the most important change businessmen want to see?
I would say that this question of consultation is absolutely pre-eminent.
-With the African?
-With the African directly.
And out of that must come the various things that they most want to see redressed.
I feel particularly that the very strict control of the pass laws
is unfortunate and it has lead, in my view, to a steadily deteriorating relationship in the past two years.
Would you like to see some of the more responsible
African political leaders allowed to be free and to consult with the government?
That is undoubted, because although our knowledge of them
is not as precise as it might be, we have the feeling that a man, for instance, like Luthuli,
is a man of sterling character and undoubted moral integrity.
But if you are going to consult more with the Africans, and if you want to release men like Luthuli,
the African leader, doesn't that mean that
you are moving inevitably towards some sort of multi-racial state?
That's a natural question and must have a natural answer, and the answer is yes,
that there must be, and nobody is going to stop it.
Nobody, that is, at present or in the future, can stop the development
of these people who are with us in a closely knit multi-racial society.
On May 31st, the government of Dr Verwoerd will celebrate Republic Day,
a day that will be marked for ever as the day on which South Africa left the Commonwealth after 51 years.
Now, what do the people of South Africa think about Dr Verwoerd's
decision to make their future outside the Commonwealth?
We as British speaking people don't like it.
We didn't want it, but now that it's happened, we've got to make the best of it.
Do you feel that having been rejected by so many hundreds of millions of
people in the Commonwealth indicates that you in some way failed?
I don't agree that we were rejected by hundreds of people.
We were rejected by a few people who were representing
hundreds of people in the Commonwealth.
Do you as an Afrikaner feel that you can pursue apartheid now, surrounded by hostile African states?
The hostility is towards what they regard as suppression.
If we can prove to the world that it is not suppression but a desire to
let the non-Europeans develop, then the hostility will stop.
As a non-white here,
we are conscious that there must be some kind of pressure put on the rulers of this country
to bring about a change in our political status.
While in the Commonwealth, we were protected, to a certain extent, from world criticism.
The criticism of the world was cushioned, in a certain way,
by England and Australia and friendly countries.
Now we're alone.
Now all this criticism has been borne in upon us
with the utmost vigour and emphasis, and I think leaving the Commonwealth has had that effect,
and made us realise exactly where we stand.
Two days before South Africa became a republic,
a stayaway strike was organised throughout the country in protest.
But most Africans went to work.
10,000 of them were arrested before the strike began.
The army was fully mobilised, and an African knows he can be jailed for three years if he dares to strike.
I went to see the man who organised the stayaway,
a 42-year-old African lawyer, Nelson Mandela, the most dynamic leader in South Africa today.
The police were hunting for him at the time, but
African nationalists had arranged for me to meet him at his hideout.
He is still underground.
This is Mandela's first television interview.
I asked him what it was that the African really wanted.
The Africans require,
the franchise on the basis of one-man, one-vote.
They want political independence.
Do you see Africans being able to develop in this country without the European being pushed out?
We have made it very clear in our policy
that South Africa is a country of many races.
There is room for all the various races in this country.
Are there many educated Africans in South Africa?
We have a large number of Africans who are educated
and are taking part in the political struggles of the African.
The question of education has nothing to do with the question of the vote.
You don't have to have education in order to know that you want
certain fundamental rights, you have got aspirations and claims.
It has nothing to do with education.
Are you planning any more campaigns of non-cooperation?
The Pietermaritzburg resolution makes provision for a campaign of non-cooperation with the government,
and we are presently starting plans to implement this aspect of the resolution.
If Dr Verwoerd's government doesn't give you
the kind of concessions you want some time soon, is there any likelihood of violence?
There are many people who feel that the reaction of the government to our stay at home -
ordering of a general mobilisation, arming the white community, arresting ten thousands of Africans,
the show of force throughout the country,
not withstanding our clear declaration
that this campaign is being run on peaceful and non-violent lines -
closed the chapter as far as our methods of political struggle are concerned.
There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us
to continue talking peace and non-violence against a Government whose reply is only savage attacks
on an unarmed and defenceless people.
I think the time has come for us to consider,
in the light of our experiences in the stay at home,
whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate.
There have been growing protests from all over the world today, and
particularly in the United Nations and in Parliament
at the sentence of life imprisonment passed in South Africa on Friday on this man, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela, who is a lawyer, is an African national leader in South Africa.
He and seven fellow prisoners accused, with him, of sabotage were all
condemned to life imprisonment after a trial that lasted eight months.
Robin Day, who had gone to South Africa to see the republic's reaction to growing pressure from the world
outside over its policy of apartheid, and in particular the threat of economic sanctions,
was in court in Pretoria during the last two days of the trial.
A remarkable demonstration by a crowd of several hundred outside the courthouse in Pretoria,
the courthouse in which Mr Justice de Wet delivered sentence
in the sabotage trial, which had lasted 86 days.
Nelson Mandela, whose wife you just saw, leader and
founder of the sabotage movement and a leading member of African National Congress, was accused
with the others of plotting sabotage to overthrow the South African government by force and revolution.
The verdict of guilty on eight of the nine accused was
not altogether surprising, because Nelson Mandela himself and others had admitted guilt on certain charges.
Mandela had declared in court "I planned sabotage because all lawful methods of opposition were closed.
"I have cherished the ideal of democratic society with equal opportunity for all.
"That is an ideal," he said, "for which am prepared to die."
The next day, armed police massed in even greater force as
Mr Justice de Wet was passing sentence, his words recorded for the government radio.
RADIO: 'The crime of which the accused have been convicted, that is
'the main crime, the crime of conspiracy, is in essence one of high treason.
'The state has decided not to charge
'the crime in this form.
'Bearing this in mind and giving the matter very serious consideration,
'I have decided not to impose the supreme penalty,
'which in a case like this would usually be the probability for the crime.'
What has been the result of this trial?
The South African government has crushed a plot to overthrow
the South African government by sabotage and revolution, with communist assistance.
But the supreme question still faces the South African people.
If the black inhabitants of South Africa are not allowed a share in their government, will not
leaders arise who are bound to see no alternative but violence and alliance with communists?
At the back entrance to the Pretoria court, large crowds gather to watch
the accused being driven away to start their life sentences.
And outside the Pretoria court, Nelson Mandela's wife
stood with the crowd around her singing the African freedom song.
After the sentences had been passed, I spoke to her alone.
Well, I am slightly relieved. It could have been far worse than this.
In fact, my people and I expected death sentences for all the accused.
Could you explain to us in your words what it is that your husband has been aiming at and what he has been doing?
My husband has been fighting for the liberation of the African people,
for the working harmoniously of all the racial groups in this country.
We admit that we did many of the things that you accuse us of
but we should not be in the dock.
We were forced to do the things which are contraventions of your laws because we had no option.
I said to our chaps
"We are going to die in any case.
"Let's disappear under a cloud of glory.
"Let's show them that you can use their platform to fight them".
of a democratic and free society, it is an ideal for which I hope to live
for and to see realised.
But my Lord,
if it needs be, it is an ideal
for which I am prepared to die.
Right up to the time when the judge said, "Stand up for your sentence"
on 12th June 1964, we expected the death sentence.
So there was a collective sigh of relief when he said, "Life imprisonment, with hard labour."
The vast majority of the white people expected the death sentence
to be imposed, and they were disappointed that it was not.
What was their view of Mandela then?
He was a terrorist.
If you asked ten white people,
what was Mandela's occupation,
nine would not have known that he was an attorney.
He was just a black terrorist.
Everyone here is breaking the law.
It's a secret African school.
Africans may now be taught only in state schools.
There, the teaching is in native languages.
Africans think this is done to keep them inferior.
They say it's no good learning arithmetic in a native tongue.
To get round the law and use English, they're pretending that this is a club.
All these games are really mathematic classes.
Children learn to add in English by keeping the score playing marbles.
Even so, the headmaster and one teacher have been arrested,
but the secret schools will go on because Africans have a desire for progress.
They know they can only get it by learning the techniques of the Western world.
All the other information about the outside world was extracted
like a tooth out of our education system.
What was left was the skewed sense of an education,
which prepared us to be good servants, and nothing else.
What is it?
It is a piece of soap.
-All together? ALL:
-It is a piece of soap.
You say "I want to be a teacher, I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a doctor, I want to be an architect."
Your parents would say, "Those are dreams for white children"."
MAN SPEAKS AFRIKAANS
Afrikaans was difficult as a subject, so we couldn't imagine having to do subjects
like history and mathematics and all what have you.
So we had to indicate that we don't want Afrikaans.
Initially, our aim was not to destroy.
The aim was a peaceful demonstration.
Suddenly, a tear gas went off.
We didn't understand what was tear gas.
As we were retreating, trying to resist,
tempers flared and we started throwing stones to the police.
And the children were around there and running away, running this way.
And all these mothers, they would stand outside here and cry
"Stop, stop shooting our children!
"Stop shooting our children!"
The children were running over here and
coming to our houses and hiding themselves.
We went on burning property, everything that was owned by whites in the township.
Post office, municipality office, it was just a target, because it was
the government's things, so we had to destroy all those.
We went to those shopping centres which were on fire, and we were looting.
To us, we were taking what belonged to the white men, what belonged
to the system.
I think police pressure is only successful now in containing
black consciousness, but not in killing it.
You cannot compare the results of police action in 1963 and '64 to the results now.
In '63 and '64, they managed, for instance, to eliminate all
political discussion even when black people were alone, purely by
their security spies, who were everywhere amongst black people, and because of the resultant
problems if you were caught talking politics, criticising the Government and eventually arrested.
But now the numbers are so much, so much more than that time, that it would take something like
20 times the present police force to completely obliterate political activity amongst blacks.
And blacks are speaking with a new pride now.
The kind of unrest situation which was prevalent in this country
last year is only possible because nowadays, we have a breed of young people
who couldn't be bothered or be scared at the prospect of being shot at by police.
They have something that they detest, and they detest this with pride.
Now with the numerous deaths that we have suffered in
Soweto and the many black townships where people were killed,
we find a new
kind of empathy, because these are parents.
They have got their kids being killed. And like parents, they are also angry.
Now, the comrades of the young ones feel, "We cannot lose our brothers and sisters for nothing."
The parents feel, "We cannot lose our sons and daughters for nothing."
So there is a kind of common rallying point now between the young and old.
Millions of blacks inside South Africa are convinced
that the revolution will come,
that they are now writing the epitaph on white South Africa's grave.
That 4 million whites cannot for ever rule 20 million blacks.
That one day, the land of South Africa will be theirs, stained with their blood if needs be.
We are fighting for power in the country.
We have a just cause on our side.
It IS our country.
We are settled here. It's our land.
We fought for it, we've worked for it, this is ours.
These sons of farmers are professional men.
Artisans and technicians have left their tractors, desks and machines
to man the mechanised power of South Africa's defence force.
Whatever the cost, white South Africa will give its blood as unsparingly as those who seek to destroy it.
The South African security forces believe there are at least 4,000 guerrillas
under training in camps in Mozambique, Angola and other frontline states.
The guerrillas' song is about 1976, about June 16th.
These young guerrillas here are outside the borders of South Africa.
We cannot identify the location, and we cannot show who they are for reasons of security.
All we can say is that many of these young people left Soweto five years ago
in the aftermath of the riots of June 1976.
What makes you think you can defeat
the most powerful army in Africa?
But the Americans weren't defending their own country.
White South Africa is.
The guerrillas sing of the man they regard as their leader, the jailed nationalist Nelson Mandela.
"Show us the way to victory," say the words. "Freedom is in your hands."
Nelson Mandela was the first commander-in-chief
of the ANC's guerrilla army when it was founded 20 years ago.
That's why he's spent the past 19 years in a South African jail.
Our people, the African majority, have become convinced and have realised
out of their own bitter experience that they will have to reply the gun
by the gun and that the thousands of young people who were murdered in June 1976 shall surely be avenged.
Well planned acts of sabotage have convinced white South Africa that the words are more than mere bravado.
Since 1976, the guerrilla campaign has escalated.
In 1977, there were 11 reported attacks, mostly of the bombing of railway lines.
The first of the exiles were returning to South Africa, now fully-trained guerrillas.
In 1978, the pattern continued with 15 further bombings and shootings.
The police believe the guerrillas were now engaged
in detailed reconnaissance and establishing cells and arms caches.
In 1979, the attacks became more sophisticated.
In May, three guerrillas hit a police station in Soweto with hand grenades and guns.
One policeman was killed.
The attacks on police stations marked a new stage in the campaign.
More were to follow.
In April 1980, the ANC rocketed a police station in a white area of Johannesburg using a Russian RPG-7.
But above all, it was the simultaneous attacks on two Sasol refineries
150 miles apart in June last year that convinced most whites that the ANC guerrillas were a real threat.
Russian limpet mines sent the refineries sky high, the damage running to millions of pounds.
Most recently, a fortnight ago, during the Republic Day celebrations,
the ANC blew up the main Johannesburg to Soweto railway line.
They also bombed an army recruiting office in Durban, where the main celebrations were being held.
In all over the last four years, there have been 62 officially
reported acts of sabotage in South Africa.
When you were released from jail three years ago, people thought that
black majority was going to take over government in this country.
It now seems that you're planning to share power after three years with the whites.
Why are you doing that?
Well, the process has always been our idea.
We have never thought of
anything romantic in taking over power.
We have to phase our assumption of power in accordance with the conditions of,
the concrete conditions in our country.
But why can't you, as the majority, simply say, "Your time, the creators
"of apartheid, is over, and we're coming in?"
If we had achieved a military victory in the battlefield, that was possible.
But once you negotiate, you need a different standard altogether.
The problem that is facing us here is not so much
winning a general election.
We are confident we will win.
But the problem that faces us is to retain political power and
And the concept of a government of national unity
is based on the fact that to take over,
to assume political power, is going to be
a protracted process, because it means
we have to gain control of the civil service,
of the army,
of the police force, the co-operation of business.
These three services were built up in order to defend apartheid.
White minority rule.
And if we are going to retain power,
we have to gain control of these three services, which cannot be done overnight.
We don't question the rights of any party, including the ANC.
We are in a discussion with the government.
But we resolve that any party, with the government,
should reach an understanding and make a decision, which impacts on
the rest of South Africans without any representation of the rest of us.
That is the crux of this demonstration.
Insistent that his Zulu interests are being overlooked, Buthelezi is proclaiming his support
for a separate solution for his region of Natal.
He wants the white areas of Natal to merge with the black in a new state.
It would be called Quazulu Natal.
Many of Natal's whites endorse this plan to go it alone.
It would be a quarter of the population of South Africa.
Virtually self-governing, it would be almost an independent state within the country.
How do you pursue that course when you know that
other parties to negotiations like the ANC are totally opposed to it?
Well, do you imply that because ANC is opposed to something, I must abandon it?
I think that if we want to talk about democracy, we
have as much right as the ANC to put our point of view.
Not everything the ANC stands for are things that we would ever support,
even if it means death.
Is it unreasonable in your view for chief minister Buthelezi to want power in his region of South Africa
and not for the power to be held at the centre by the ANC? Is that unreasonable?
Well, let us leave that
to the voters in South Africa.
If Chief Buthelezi believes in democracy,
then democracy means
that we should abide by the decision of the masses of the people.
-Not have to impose
on the people, on the voters.
That is what has happened in this country since union.
Why would you want a change in that position now?
Good evening from South Africa, where blacks have been voting in
a national election for the first time in history.
The moment of their liberation has arrived.
It was seven o'clock in the morning, the day when power began to pass from the minority to the majority.
Those white politicians here who used to maintain that black people had no interest in politics
and didn't understand it couldn't have been more wrong.
We have had this dream that one day, things will come right for us.
So now's the time, now's the day.
Never mind the bombings and things, they don't mean nothing.
We are going forward.
Finally, after long hours of waiting, the moment came.
People who had never before been consulted about their future were finally making their views known.
Many of the elderly white people who voted seemed to share this sense of a new beginning.
I'm very excited.
It raised my blood pressure.
I was very happy that we're doing the right thing.
Today the new South Africa,
which was our vision for such a long time, is being born.
It's a good news day for South Africa and all its people.
Today is a day like no other before it.
Voting in our first free and fair election has begun.
Today marks the dawn of our freedom.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Video clips for the classroom. The programme uses first person testimony and news reports to look at apartheid in South Africa from 1948 to 1994.
People who were directly involved express their views on events which made history, including the jailing of Nelson Mandela, the Pass Laws and the massacres at Sharpeville and Soweto.