Have You Heard From Johannesburg? part four was interesting because it portrayed a part of the protest that involved sport, and how the world reacted to South Africa’s struggles through these sports.
When South Africa tried to go to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, there were many boycotts and protesters from around the world expressing their concern and non-support of South Africa being allowed to participate in the games. In South Africa at the time, only whites were permitted to be on the Olympic team. It is so awful that even then, when most of the world was past segregation, South Africa would not let different races even play together.
The Prime Minister at the time, John Vorster, mentioned
“the Whites have always played with the Whites, the Indians with the Indians, the Coloured with the Coloured, and the Blacks with the Blacks. That’s our way of life.”
This does not make sense in the modern world. Even if these racial groups were separated and played with people in their communities with the same race as them while growing up, that does not mean that times haven’t changed, and that they shouldn’t be allowed to compete against each other. It was reassuring when the other African nations decided to boycott the games in order to make a point to the IOC that South Africa should be banned. Although they were not completely banned at that point, South Africa still could not compete in the Tokyo games. The next Olympic games, in Mexico City, it was decided that South Africa was banned from the games.
After these disputes with the Olympics, there was a lot of talk about other sports in South Africa. All sports were banned from traveling and competing except for Rugby. South Africa had one of the world’s best Rugby teams, but they were not supported internationally because they were an all white team, who would not let any other race on the team. When they toured in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, there were many controversies and protests. The people of Australia could relate to the segregation problems, because they had issues of their own with the Aboriginals. It took a long time in order for the Aboriginals to become equal to white Australians. However, they worked past it and were all considered equal at that point. It was interesting that the Australian and New Zealand ani-Apartheid activists were so passionate about this, because they knew how it had been in their own countries.
The end of this documentary was uplifting because Nelson Mandela helped the South African team become integrated, and they defeated New Zealand as a combined country.