Apartheid Didn’t Die
Posted by Dave (The Void) on July 8, 2007
Apartheid was a legal system that allowed South Africa’s white elite to take control of the country’s land, resources and wealth, while keeping the black Africans around for cheap exploitable labour. That legal system was dismantled in 1994, its role taken over by the ANC’s Thatcherite economic policies. White people still control the land, the resources and the wealth, and black Africans still provide cheap exploitable labour. In this 1998 documentary (51 mins) John Pilger asks, did apartheid really die, then, or just change its name?
The most moving thing about this story is the sense of lost opportunity, the tantalising glimpse of what 1994 could have been. Economic apartheid of this kind is stil scandalously common, but legal apartheid is now rare indeed, and the popular democratic movements of Latin America are perhaps better-targeted than their South African forebears. Meanwhile, almost a decade after the film, how have things changed for South Africa? Ask Desmond Tutu, who told the FT last month that wealth redistribution had been so slow that …
I’m really very surprised by the remarkable patience of people, [it’s hard] to explain why they don’t say to hell with Tutu, Mandela and the rest and go on the rampage.