Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
I realised that my idea of past events was incorrect as I had always thought that the majority of the country supported the end of apartheid and that the year of 1994 was the year of the peaceful transition from an apartheid state to a democracy in which the country was provided with the freedom to vote for the ruling party. It was shocking to see people’s obsession for power and the drastic steps they would take to achieve this power. For selfish reasons people would want to disrupt the plans for an election which would provide freedom to a captive society. It was saddening to hear the relatives of those who died during the violence talk about their loved ones. I am a proud South African as it is empowering to witness how our country overcame its unjust past although we still have a lot to do to rewrite the wrongs. If the police had been successful in their plans for a civil war; it would have dismantled the plan for the elections and the beginning of a democratic South Africa. Violence, chaos and trauma would be widespread and after 25 years the country would still be dealing with the long-lasting adverse effects on the economy, infrastructure and health aid.
During apartheid, non-white South Africans were forced to live in different areas from whites and make use of different public facilities. This segregation was enforced in order to limit the interaction between whites and non-whites. The substandard public facilities and services that were provided to non-whites lead to them being disadvantaged in society as they received low-quality education, medical care and other services. Apartheid enforced and encouraged racism among South Africans; some South Africans still have a racist, narrow minded outlook on life and make generalisations according to race. Therefore, our past of discrimination is still underlyingly present. People that experienced apartheid first hand are still dealing with and processing the emotional scars formed in apartheid. Our country has to try to ‘level the playing field’ and provide all citizens with equal opportunity in an attempt to help people of colour who were disadvantaged during apartheid to enter the work force and therefore has systems in place such as the quota system and B.E.E. My ideal South Africa would be one in which there is no discrimination or stereotyping among citizens and the country unites through its diversity. Everyone is appreciative and respectful towards other cultures, religions and backgrounds without having pre-conceived ideas towards others.
Yes. The identification of the man who killed Chris Hani by an Afrikaner woman was important as the assassination of Chris Hani stirred violence and tension among South African’s in an attempt to derail the elections as this occurred during the months leading up to them. If Nelson Mandela had not forgiven his captors, he would not have been able to speed up the negotiations for an election in order to achieve a democratic state. Professor Jansen also states that many whites left / wanted to leave South Africa at the end of apartheid as they were afraid of the potential civil war and the they were uncertain of the outcome of a new party leading South Africa .
I think that this documentary should be seen by all South Africans as it reminds us of the struggle that ensued and the hardships endured in order to unite the country to have an election. It also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the growth and transformation of South Africa from an apartheid state to a rainbow nation with the hope that our country continues to prosper in a free and unprejudiced society.