After watching Have You Heard From Johannesburg? part 7 I think I got a clearer understanding about the role certain organizations had on South Africa during apartheid. I also learned how the leaders were not able to communicate with each other, and how media played an important role to put an end to apartheid.
The United Democratic Front was a group of ordinary people that had a huge impact on the people around. The organization convinced most colored and Indian people to boycott the presidential election in South Africa. The refusal to vote was called the politics of refusal. They made people understand that they could be in charge of their own lives and how they can refuse to be manipulated by the government.
I think the most interesting point this movie made was how the leaders communicated with each other and with the people. The South African government had banned news pictures of riots and other gatherings; but also so no one would be able to see what they government and the police did to the citizens. Basically the government did not want anyone to get hold of proof of what was going on in the country. But the South Africans, due to the very innovative ways of communication, were able to get news and messages from the ANC leaders. The ANC was broadcasting from other African countries and Oliver Tambo was able to talk to the people.
I think other countries around the world played a huge role in ending the apartheid, but I also think that they could have done more. Countries did refuse to buy goods and services from South Africa causing trouble in their economy, and they never supported the South African government, but neither did they support the oppressed people from an early stage. The UK did not support apartheid, but they did not support the anti-apartheid organizations either, because they thought they were violent. What I am mostly impressed about is how colleges in the U.S. were able to change the governments mind by protesting.
Protesters in countries really did change a lot, both in the European countries and in the US. Therefore I think civil people in other countries made the biggest impact- without them the countries’ governments would not have supported the oppressed South Africans to that extent.
In Have You Heard From Johannesburg? it was said that the South African government was “tied into a corner”. But with pressure from their own citizens, from people and governments from all around the globe; they were tied in a corner and was not able to continue with apartheid. They had to let the leaders that were in prison free, even Nelson Mandela in 1990. In 1994 South Africa had their first free election when everyone was allowed to vote and Nelson Mandela was elected president.