Part 7 of Have You Heard From Johannesburg? really accentuated on the longevity of apartheid. The Apartheid was lasting even longer than expected and people were getting tired of constantly fighting. Through the embargo, worldwide sporting boycott, and threat of the economic sanction, the South Africans believed that something had to cave at this point. It could not keep continuing the same way. Oliver Tambo and Barbara Masakela both expressed that it lasted longer than anyone had anticipated.
Although changes had occurred and the colored and Indians were now joined with the whites, the blacks still remained excluded. P.W. Botha who was the South African Foreign Minister received treatment that clearly demonstrated how other surrounding areas felt about this. For example, the British did not agree with the fact that someone’s rights were determined by their skin color. When Botha came to visit, despite other things, one thing that stood out to me was that no one wished to house this leader for they did not agree with his decisions. It was interesting because apartheid was not occurring in their country, however, they still expressed strong emotions towards the subject. Additionally, through the presence of the British, it was clear that people were well aware of the situation in South Africa and this meant their story was spreading around the world–informing everyone of their struggles.
The people took as much as they could and then they needed to take action. It now was time for the people to fight back. The Politics of Refusal, or refusal to be manipulated dealt with the colored and Indians boycotting votes. Groups of people and communities that started coming together all over the world. There were signs that said “Live long, ban apartheid”, as well as churches struggling together to fight back. This also incorporated organizations to buy from only blacks. This displayed a strong democratic movement demonstrated by ordinary men and women–no one who upheld any powerful status. Although it was for a serious cause, I still think it was amazing how many people they got to join forces and continue on fighting this battle with them. These blacks had probably been extremely frustrated with their situation, especially since something they thought would last five years, has now turned into 20. One individual stated that if things continued the way they were going, he believed they would experience something similar to a bloody French Revolution in South Africa–and I am sure neither whites nor blacks wanted that. Through the blacks fighting back with many riots and outbursts, South Africa declared themselves in a State of Emergency in July of 1985.
Troops from the army started to move in and occupy townships in attempts to establish and restore order. It was alarming to know the abundant amount of soldiers–some even overpopulating townships with more soldiers than residents. The troops created roadblocks and would stop buses and search.
The film depicted scarring images of troops harming and injuring residents by chasing them and beating them. As belittling as this may seem, in my mind I related it to a bully at school picking on their victim–the troops acting as the bully. They exhibited all the power and control and could do as they pleased. Harmful things were happening to people such as being poisoned, being dumped into acid, forced into rivers with crocodiles. People were disappearing and townships were becoming outrageously dangerous. People were scared that anything could happen at any moment. Despite the fact that they were struggle with discrimination issues, they were now struggling to stay safe.
People were dying constantly, leaving numeral amounts of funerals each day. This could no longer go on, so the ANC devised a plan. They needed their leaders back, especially Nelson Mandela. Due to the new technology that had been circulating in this era–they had a clever idea. With the help of Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela’s lawyer, the two were able to communicate using a simple floppy disc. They hired flight attendants to transport this as they thought it was would be least detected of all. The ANC needed the minds of these two leaders and their correspondence helped to create future steps to take. The government of South Africa was beginning to go bankrupt due to everything that had been going on. Additionally, there was great pressure from surrounding areas that were fighting for the end of the apartheid. Mandela had grown to be very influential and their main goal of the people was to have him released from prison. All over the world, he was being represented. Through science, concerts, and radio Mandela was being supported. On Mandela’s 70th birthday, a concert was held in his honor. It was a symbol of their struggle and fight during the apartheid struggle.
Through years of constant battle and struggle, apartheid finally came to an end. ANC leaders were beginning to be released from prison and people started to gain back hope. I personally cannot believe how people endured this ongoing battle. It was interesting when the film stated that people who were not even born when Mandela was around were now defending him and supporting him. Although this is what the people wanted, I feel as though children are born with certain values and ideals already decided for them. Although this seems somewhat absurd, these children did not even know who Nelson Mandela was yet they were supporting him. I know sometimes, especially with my religion, I sort of just follow along and am not necessarily as educated as I should be. I hope that the children of that time were shown how important Mandela was to their country and actually understood all that he did.