We’re traveling through the South
of a continent on the move. Africa is rising, they say. But how?
And what are the stories behind it? Four countries, eight stories.
Straight through Africa. straight through Africa my guerrilla, my guerrilla South Africa my guerrilla, my guerrilla Fellow South Africans,
my fellow-countrymen… Good day. We extend our deepest gratitude. His message is that the spirit
of the people cannot be crushed. I can’t believe my ears. Every time the screen shows a glimpse
of South Africa’s current president… the whole stadium flies in a rage. But when I lived here
five years ago… the ANC was completely
dominating political life… with Zuma as its standard bearer.
He seemed unassailable. But now they can’t stand
the sight of him. How embarrassing is it to be treated
this way on Mandela’s memorial day? What’s going on in this country? after Mandela Nelson Mandela dies in the week of my
return to South Africa after five years. It feels as if he had been
waiting for me. This place has become
my second homeland. It has gotten under my skin so much
that I couldn’t resist its call. The light, the sky, the stories… Just this street holds
so many memories for me. Not all of them nice. This is it. Number 74, Fifth Avenue. This is the house where I lived for
seven years, before leaving for Turkey. I used to have wooden doors
until burglars walked up one night… and tried to come in using an axe. Fortunately,
we managed to chase them off… but to be sure
I installed steel doors. They should hold for a while longer. I still have the keys.
Let’s see if they still work. This is typical for Johannesburg. High walls, barbed wire
and a lot of keys. It’s still working. Look. Vermeulen, B 74, Melville. Still mine. And there’s my dog, Blanka. Yes. He still knows me. This is Blanka.
People are renting the place now… and they thought the name Blanka
was too racist for South Africa. So they renamed him Yasha. I still have a dog,
but under a different name. Go on. Nothing in this country has been
unaffected by racial issues. The weight of forty years apartheid
is felt in every conversation. Like a sword of Damocles. Mandela got rid of the rough edges
by talking about reconciliation… but if you take a look
in the richer areas of town… you see the persistent problem. South African society is still
one of the most unequal in the world. The black middle class is growing… and is retreating behind the same high
walls and the same materialistic dreams. But on the outskirts of town anger
with Mandela’s successors is growing. It’s the time for EFF. Fuck Zuma. Come. Malema is already talking, guys.
Come inside. Come on, fighters.
-Is he in already? Just go straight. This is the time for EFF,
this is radical change. Power to the people. you’re a traitor, Zuma and you too, Mantashe you’re a traitor, Zuma Power to the people. Twenty years into democracy… and still you live
under the most horrible circumstances. You have struggled to get out of it. But under apartheid you had water.
Now you’re free, and you don’t have it. What is there to celebrate? Because his children
are still dying from hunger. Because his grandchildren still
don’t have anything to eat. Because his grandchildren walk
to school without any shoes on. Their parents also
went to school barefoot. We must give the ANC a wake-up call. Power to the people. Jacob Zuma
and all his possessions must go. Jacob Zuma
and all his possessions must go. Mr Malema, how are you doing?
Bram Vermeulen, pleased to meet you. Why does Julius Malema understand the
plight of the poor better than the ANC? Because the ANC is compromised
and led by capitalists… who are in bed with the leadership. The leadership wants to impress
the capital more than the people. They have replaced the word ‘people’
with ‘investors’. Every time they say:
Invest in this, invest in that… they refer to themselves
and their business partners. Who is Julius Malema to say all these
things? What’s your background? I come from a very poor background. My mother was a domestic worker
who was suffering from epilepsy. She stayed in a shack in the back room
of her mother’s house. We used to go to school without shoes,
we went to school without milk. But we were a big family,
staying in a four room house. There were at least twenty of us.
So that’s where I come from… and that is why I can easily understand
the plight of the poor people. When you talk about poverty, I don’t
rely on newspapers and statistics. I know it. It seems like it rained. What is this?
-Sewage. Did the sewer overflow?
-Yes. there’s Malema with his whip
Zuma is going to get whipped We want to talk to Malema.
He helped Zuma get to where he is. You say that because
you’re from the ANC. Let him depose Zuma now.
-Take off that T-shirt. Malema helped Zuma become president. How do you mean, Zuma killed people?
-We want to listen to Malema. I’m not going to listen to Malema. Malema didn’t kill anyone.
– Didn’t you hear what he just said? We’re not here to hear
about Malema’s personal details. He’s lying. It’s all lies. I always saw Malema
as an attention seeker. After being expelled from the ANC,
he threw his toys out of the pram. Angry with everyone,
resistance being his trademark. But just like with my young driver, he
appeals to many young South Africans. Something is brewing in this country,
an anger I haven’t seen before. We’re driving to the northeast of South
Africa, where all the money is made. That’s where the platinum mines are. There’s no better place to feel
what has changed in this country… than the place we’re going: Marikana. Marikana is the symbol of everything
that has gone wrong in South Africa. Two years ago miners were striking
for weeks to demand better wages… until the patience
of the British mine owner ran out… and asked the police to end the strike. These images could be
from the apartheid era… except that it was the police
from Mandela’s ANC government… that opened fire on the miners. 34 miners died
within a couple of minutes. This is it,
a very emotionally charged place. This is the Wonderkop… the place where those miners
stayed for days on end… hoping that their strike
would triple their wages. You see how close everything is. As usual, those little shacks, made
from wreckage and corrugated sheets. And on the other side of the road
we see the Lonmin mine… where the platinum is extracted. I don’t know how I survived. I ran and ran, until I was lost. At a certain point… They didn’t fire just one shot at us… but a whole series… Over my head. I went… I couldn’t hear where it was coming from.
I was completely lost. It was all about surviving.
I was covered in blood. People in front of me were shot down. I didn’t have any serious wounds. My legs were wounded,
but luckily not broken. I could still walk straight. But I was hurting everywhere. My body felt
as if I was incredibly tired. Did you have a weapon on you? Did you have like a knife,
a spear or a gun? No gun. How shall I call it? It’s called ‘nduk’. It’s a weapon. Like a Zulu spear?
-Yes, a Zulu spear. Like a stick?
-Yes, like a stick. And so I did carry
some sort of a weapon. Because you needed a Zulu stick
to defend yourself. On the mountain you needed a weapon. And a gun, pistol?
-No one had a gun. Nobody. No guns?
-No guns. Because the police said
the mine workers had guns. That’s not true. Are you still working in the Lonmin mine?
-Yes, I am. You’re still going down every day?
-Every day. Even today I’m working there. But now I have a 15 minute break,
so I can talk to you. But… Why don’t you leave?
-You leave what? Why don’t you leave?
-For? Somewhere else.
-Because of… Even if I would leave
and go to the next mine… there is no work there.
That’s why you have to stay here. So I wait here. The mining industry is a relic
from the time of apartheid. It became big
thanks to all the low-wage workers… who were recruited
in the poorest provinces… and leave home for months on end
to support their families. During apartheid the ANC protested
against these harsh working conditions. But even after twenty years
of ANC government… the miners feel
that things have hardly changed. The work is very hard. Working with the drill is very hard. You start drilling early
in the morning… and work until very late. When it’s time to start,
you go to work. What you do,
depends on which hall you’re in. This applies to all halls. There’s a lot of dust. One has to push the wagon… and the other pulls it. After that you have to drive
the next wagon into the next hall. There is no time to rest. To sit and do nothing for a while,
like now. You work continuously,
in a stooped position. You can’t stand up straight. You start right away
in a stooped position. You can’t stand up straight. It’s not very healthy either… because of all the dust
and the lack of fresh air. People end up at the hospital
all the time. But when you’re in hospital,
you don’t get paid. Whether you’re on sickness benefit or
not, after 21 days you don’t get paid. You can’t support your wife,
and you have worries. There’s nothing to eat. You get nothing after the first 21 days. Even though you’re the one doing
all the hard work below the ground. How are you? Shall I take my shoes off?
They are very muddy. Good evening. This is him. He is still young. He’s from 1974.
-1974? He is as old as me. Here is his card for…
-The clock card. working in Lonmin. This is from the mine. What’s his name?
-Mphumuzeni. It means: Gives his family peace. His father and his mother. I asked him where he was.
He said: On the hill. They were shot at,
and so they stayed there. I asked him to come back. He said he couldn’t do that because he
needed money and was a hard worker. You didn’t say: Don’t go?
Don’t go striking? Yes, I asked him to not go striking. He said: As a miner union member
I have to be there. Because he needed the money. And so did I, of course. That’s why I let him go. He loved me
and his children very much. He did everything for them. He made sure
they never went without. For Christmas he bought them clothes. He made sure they went to school
and I didn’t have any financial worries. Who do you blame for all of this? First I blame the NUM,
the mine worker union. And I blame Lonmin too.
Yes, and the police. The union failed to stand up
for its people. They let their own people get shot. I blame Lonmin
for calling the police… for taking action
against their own people… and for killing their own people. I blame Lonmin most of all… because we saw that Lonmin’s
security staff were carrying guns. They shot at the protesters. I blame the police because
they shouldn’t be killing people. They should protect people. But they came there
with the intention to kill them. Marikana is a scratch
in South Africa’s collective memory. The government that once fought for
poor, black South Africans, miners… opens fire on its own people,
its own voters. The electronic record will show
that there was no tear gas… and we would put also that there
were no stun grenades. Let’s see what here was.
that we see in slide 200 of exhibit L… was the gap that hadn’t yet been closed
by barbed wire. I am going to identify the barbed wire… The whole thing made me sick. My son’s death was a heavy blow
to our family. He was shot in the back. The bullet went straight through
his heart, leaving two bullet wounds. After that he was hit in his chest
and in both arms. Police?
-Yes. For thirty years I have worked
in the mines. Thirty years I have worked in the mines,
and then I got a lung disease. After that, my son took over from me. So you sent you son to the mine?
-Yes. I asked him if he wanted to take my job.
The mine approved. I didn’t know I sent him to his death. All he did, was ask for a raise. death to Zuma and Ramaphosa they killed people in Marikana Power…
-To the people. Make sure the EFF continues to grow. Remember those people
who died in Marikana. They were killed
because they wanted a raise. A raise to support their families.
A raise… to send their children to school.
A raise to have a better life. They were shot to death, killed.
They were lying on the ground… until the others were certain
they were all dead. It’s interesting what he does. South Africa’s history
always starts in 1994. Everything before that was bad,
and after good. He says: It has been twenty years,
enough already. Thank you for freeing us
from the white people… but it’s time for a new conversation.
He marks a new point in history: Marikana,
the assassination of 34 miners. That’s what we need to talk about.
He broaches a sensitive subject. The mines belong to you.
The land belongs to you. You have a right to education
and medical care. There is too much money in the mines. And this money
is sent to London and America. They don’t leave any of it in Africa. We need the mines
to provide an education for our children. To feed ourselves and our children. To build a prosperous South Africa. A protest nation is
what Nelson Mandela has left behind. Five times a day somewhere
in South Africa people demonstrate… against the ANC’s broken promises. The legacy of apartheid
is no longer an excuse… for a populist like Malema. He feeds upon the disappointment,
and in turn feeds it. we are going to be initiated by the medicine man we are going to be initiated by the medicine man Never in the history of the mining
industry have there been so many strikes. Months on end, as if they want
to bring the old economy to its knees. Power.
-To the people. Viva AMCU, viva.
-Viva. Forward, workers.
-Forward. These miners have received
a new wage proposal… but it’s still not enough. Everywhere you can feel
the tension in the air. In 1994 we thought
that we had finally gained our freedom. That there would be no more strikes
in South Africa… because we elected
the government ourselves. We haven’t worked for three months now. Do you agree with their proposal? If not, say: No, no, no. Do you agree with their proposal?
-No, no, no. Power…
-To the people. Give us back our Africa.
-Give it back. The land is ours. The miners don’t feel represented
by the unions… that traditionally were tied to the ANC.
They now join unions like AMCU… who are more militant
and have been behind the recent strikes. we from AMCU, we come from the jungle we’re coming, we’re coming the AMCU is coming The platinum mines have British owners. The many billions that are made here,
all go to London. That was part of the deal in 1994. Mandela and his party
would be in charge… but the economy had to obey market
forces. The country was sold off. It’s this choice that the strikers
revolt against. The miners now want to put
their own people first. With so many strikes in South Africa,
the economy might shrink… and foreign investors wonder
if they should stay here. The country’s oldest mining company
is selling its platinum mines… and wants to use more machines,
because machines never go on strike. We’re not going back to work until
our financial demands have been met. You just sit here? We’re not working.
-So again you are on strike. Until December, if need be.
Until we get our money. Even longer than December. We’re staying put
until we get that raise. We black people are used
to living without money. We’re very good at improvising. As you can see, we are well fed. We don’t mind striking. We’re going
to keep it up until we get that raise. If people think we’re going to go
hungry, they had better think again. We’re from the country.
We know all about hard times. But with all the power we have,
we keep making demands. We have the power to decide
how we want to live. The power is yours, not the boss’.
-Not the boss’, ours. If the boss gives me assignments,
I give it my all. But if he doesn’t give me money,
he can go drill himself. Nelson Mandela gave South Africans
the right to say what they think. One generation later this freedom
backfires on his own party. You get to know a people, not by
how they deal with the higher classes… but with the lower classes. This was said by Nelson Mandela himself.