Trevor McDonald: Return to South Africa
Tuesday 9pm – 10pm, ITV
On 27 April 1994 the first multi-racial elections were granted to be held in South Africa. With 62% of the votes in the election the African National Congress won the election and with that result, as leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
Mandela had been a member of the ANC since his early 20’s when he joined them as an anti-apartheid campaigner. For over 20 years he directed peaceful, non-violent and targeted defiance against the South African governments racist and discriminatory policies. For his defiance and leadership against this apartheid he was sentenced to 20 years in the infamous Robben Island.
Upon his release he gave his first interview to the venerable newsreader and journalist, Sir Trevor McDonald. Meeting in the garden of a small house in the black township of Soweto, McDonald recalled that Mandela only ever spoke of reconcilliation, not resentment. True to his work, Mandela spent the following years rebuilding relations between the different races in South Africa. Perhaps one the most famous moments being him handing over the Rugby World Cup Trophy to the South Africa teams white captain Francois Piennar.
To mark what would have been Mandela’s 100 birthday, McDonald revisits South Africa. From his first visits during Apartheid to now he has witnessed the country changing. In this visit he explores whether the county has actually embraced Mandea’s vision of beoming the ‘rainbow nation’ or has it remained in the past, with division, violent crime, and division.
McDonald witnesses what could be described as the world’s biggest inequality gaps, the chasm betwwen the rich and the poor in the country is quite simply staggering. In fact, one poor black person he interviews in a shanty area states that life under apartheid was better, claiming that “democracy is for people”. Visiting an opulent area nearby with an estate agent he witnesses some lovely houses.
McDonald is perfectly placed to present the insight into the modern South Africa, an interesting insight into a beautiful, but very troubled country.
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