South Africa

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

|

Friday was the birthday of the recently deceased civil rights hero Nelson Mandela. Two decades after the end of apartheid, however, it appears that Mandela's dream may be turning into a nightmare. In May of this year, Reason TV took a critical look at South Africa's current political scene.

"Life After Liberation: Triumph and Tragedy in South Africa," by producer Rob Montz. Approximately 10 minutes.

Original release date was May 5, 2014. The original writeup is below.

"This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government."—Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.

South African voters are headed to the polls this week for the fourth national election since 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected president after the end of the apartheid regime.

Their country represents epic history in our lifetimes. After a decades-long struggle against brutal, state-run racial segregation, the black liberation movement emerged victorious in the early 1990s. Led by the transcendent figure of Mandela, South Africa swiftly dismantled the apartheid apparatus and, defying dour predictions of a bloody race war, peacefully transitioned to majority rule. Mandela's government ushered in pluralistic democracy on a continent long-defined by colonialism and autocracy. State officials established remarkably robust constitutional protections for individual rights.

Black South Africans would finally be afforded the economic and social opportunities they'd been denied for so long.

Or so everyone had hoped.

Two decades later, Mandela's promise of renewal has largely gone unfulfilled as Mandela's party, the African National Congress (ANC) has maintained its huge electoral majority. The beautiful dream animating the South African experiment is crumbling amidst ongoing corruption, violence, and failed economic policies. As Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu has said of the current regime, "This government—our government—is worse than the apartheid government."

"Life After Liberation," directed and hosted by Rob Montz, details the role played by political monopoly in South Africa's post-apartheid decline. The documentary shows how the ANC has grown corrupt and complacent—and how widespread resentment of the ruling political class is now fueling the rise of a populist demagogue, Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters, who is pushing precisely the sort of Mugabeist socialist policies that have ruined so many other African countries.

About 10 minutes.

Go here for links, downloads, and more resources about this video and South Africa.

NEXT: Elizabeth Nolan Brown: Punishing Prostitution Clients Isn't a Feminist Solution

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s Morgan Freeman’s birthday?

    1. **freckle appears on A Serious Man**

    2. Every time morgan freeman performs a good deed, he gets a freckle.

      Happy birthday communist who was so ignorant that he thought the apartheid was a free market capitalism function.

  2. Mandela put the struggle for freedom most clearly with the following:

    “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

  3. Nelson who? That famous rugby player?

  4. Well, at least he and monther theresa freed the slaves.

  5. And I see ‘Rob Montz’ both takes fashion tips from Matt Welch, and is a black-belt in “hand talking”

    1. Jesus, he hand-talks like a New York rabbi.

      1. I think technically he’s ‘Vogueing

  6. Wait, Nelson Mandela is dead?!

    1. I know, right? I saw them interviewing celebrities and a lot of them were surprised to find put about it. Especially Lou Reed.

  7. Rory McIlroy takes the Claret Jug, now three-quarters of the way to the career grand slam at 25. Amazing.

    1. I so wanted Sergio to win. And give him credit, until that bunker shot, he was in the hunt today. But McIlroy is looking mentally tough now. I think the days of him hacking away tournaments on Friday may be over.

      1. That story about his dad’s bet was cool too.

        1. I know, right. I would have done the same at 500-1.

  8. I’d totally vote for anyone in a red beret.

  9. I guess now would be a good time to repost this.

    R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, you were a great actor . . .

  10. In completely unrelated news, one of my good friends @ my first jobs out of college (mid-late 1990s) was a south african expatriate in NYC; being my age he’d lived through apartheid and its dissolution, and was initially fairly positive about the eventual prospects for the ANC to ‘get their shit together’.

    Long story short = his parents and sister were all murdered in their SA home 4 or so years later. just (what appeared to be) a petty-theft break in that resulted in his entire family being shot to death.

    Capper = he said that the police told him they were not entirely convinced it was “murder”.

    This was because the official policy of the government was to keep a lid on the rapidly expanding murder-stats under Mbeki

    The guy dealt with it better than i could possibly imagine anyone else doing. South Africans are tough people.

    1. From your link, it doesn’t sound like the murder rate was rapidly expanding.

      “The most reliable statistic is for murder, which is almost always reported. More than 21,000 people were killed last year, roughly the same number as in 2001. That is worse than some war zones?and is probably still the highest rate in the world. But population growth means that the per capita murder rate dipped a shade. Compared with ten years ago, when political violence was rife, it is much lower. Some other violent crimes, such as rape, also appear to be down, though statistics that depend on reports from the public are less reliable. The police guess they hear of only one rape in three.”

      It seems that the murder rate today, while still high, is less than half of what it was right as apartheid ended.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..ica#Murder

      1. yep, that piece isn’t exactly what i was talking about…

        This is a little better – showing the rise in crime, particularly in the cape, following Mbeki’s election. Since the 1999-2003 peak it has declined substantially.

        http://www.ihsglobalinsight.co…..sp?id=1057

        Specifically, the issue back then (as reported by my buddy) was that targeted crimes against white South Africans had been rising sharply, news of which was frequently downplayed. Crimes against farmers are more often highlighted. I wouldn’t be surprised if the official statistics still gloss over the issue – but the relative crime rate of SA to the rest of the world was still magnitudes of difference, regardless…

        1. I spotted this blog who mentionned some crime related news of South Africa.

          On a off-topic sidenote I saw this video made in 2009 http://vimeo.com/23617382
          Here a quote of the summairy of the movie:“In the wake of one of the greatest failed social experiments in the history of mankind, ‘I’m not Black, I’m Coloured’ is one of the first documentary films to look at the legacy of Apartheid from the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured. A people who in 1994, embraced the concept of Desmond Tutu’s all encompassing ‘rainbow nation’, but soon thereafter realized that freedom, privilege, economic growth and equal representation would not include them. A people who for more than 350 years has been disregarded, ignored, belittled, and stripped of anything they can call their own enduring a complex psychological oppression and identity crisis unparalleled in South African history.

          ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured’ explores the rich history of the majority population of Cape Town, the Cape Coloured, and their complex existence in a country still struggling with racial identity. Local elders, community leaders, members of Parliament, pastors, educators, and college students give first hand accounts of their past experiences under Apartheid and discuss their concerns for the future as tensions continue to build. Witness the discovery of their ancestral roots through a ground breaking genetic DNA project in South Africa.”

        2. “yep, that piece isn’t exactly what i was talking about…”

          Wow.

  11. I have a hindu friend whose family had a grocery store in Johannesburg. He was the third generation to run the store. About ten years ago they came here and bought a hotel. They gave up the store because they could not make money for the theft and they figured it was just a matter of time before they were killed in a robbery. He said it was not uncommon for guys to walk in during business hours with AK’s and casually take whatever they wanted. At night they would loot the store and shit on the floor before they left.

    South Africa will soon be just another African shithole of poverty and death.

    1. “South Africa will soon be just another African shithole of poverty and death.”

      Wow, and this guy was playing the race card recently?

      Chutzpah.

      1. Are you just so concerned Bo-Bo??

        1. More like appalled.

          1. What does the race card have to do with the fact that Africa is for the most part a destitute shithole?

            Bad governance is hardly unique to Africa, and criticizing bad government isn’t magically racist just because that government is predominantly black.

            So, are you peddling soft paternalist racism or are you just concern trolling for some tulpafication?

            1. So, are you peddling soft paternalist racism or are you just concern trolling for some tulpafication?

              This being Bo, the answer is “yes”.

      2. I don’t see how it’s radical to make the claim that sub-Saharan African societies with their cultural beliefs are incapable of the logically consistent morals necessary to propagate voluntary exchange and respect for property rights. i.e. the culture is incompatible with all that makes a society free and prosperous. For the most part they’re unfit to govern themselves.

        Mix the post-Westphalian state system with generation-upon-generation of morally deficient culture and you get most of Africa. And relative to the rest of the continent, South Africa is comparatively better than most, owing to certain values imported from European colonialists. But that even that is relative, considering that South Africa leads the world in baby rape among other heinous crimes.

  12. …and many more!…oh wait isn’t he dead?

    1. He 1 yr more dead than he was before.

  13. When’s Lou Reed’s birthday?

  14. What are the odds that this was posted because that fucknut weirdo Ames posted some horseshit on Alternet about Reason being apologists for apartheid in the ’70s and ’80s?

  15. A friend-of-a-friend is a white African woman who currently lives in SA. Luckily she survived a home invasion/burglary last year in which she was tied up for hours while her home was ransacked, and wasn’t raped and/or murdered. Ironically she employs black women (and some black men) to make the parts for the jewelry she designs and sells.

    It was fun to hear her tell her stories. She was appalled at Obama’s recent visit there, because he came in a gigantic entourage of black limos and SUVs, and the Secret Service did not endear itself to the locals, by making demands like “Cut down this historic tree, because it interferes with our lines of sight from the hotel we are taking over.” (Request denied.) She thought the security was absurd. “The first time I ran into Nelson Mandela, it was at a shopping mall. He urged me to join the ANC.” He had one bodyguard.

  16. Great article! Thanks for sharing this. Indeed South Africa is facing a lot of corruption. Nelson Mandela was a brilliant man and he has put up a lot of efforts though. This is a brief article about him : http://iblog.com/remembering-t…..n-mandela/

    1. Nelson Mandela was a genocidal murderer and did much to legitimize the crimes of rape and murder against people of European descent, including his own participation in some himself.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7HyuLPWF9I

  17. Nelson Mandela was a great man and a positive symbol for the entire world (in my opinion), and personally I am proud to help spread his legacy…particularly on his birthday last month. I urge people to remember his vision of unity and hope for future generations and try to live up to it!

  18. We are honored to be a part of spreading Nelson Mandela’s legacy and his vision of unity and hope for future generations.

    It is a very important message particularly in the world today and on a personal level I try my best to teach my children the positive messaging Mr. Mandela exemplified. We need to get back to that as a society. #lohbracelet

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.