In the countryside of South Africa, the white farmer is still at the helm, as if nothing had changed after the abolition of Apartheid. But there is unrest in the townships. How long can the farmers imagine themselves to be a chosen people?
When Bram interviews him, Julius Malema sounds pretty reasonable. White farmers do not have to be afraid, says the politician who started ANC for himself after a career in governing party ANC. Their knowledge is very valuable. He only wants to ensure through sales that much more land comes into the hands of black farmers.
Malema sounds slightly different on stage. He calls for example: If we have to die to claim our country, then that is only true. Or even: Shoot to kill! Kill the farmer! He gives a voice to the frustration that many blacks have. Twenty years after the abolition of Apartheid, little has changed in rural areas. Almost all the land is in the hands of whites. How do they themselves think about it?
In a village where Bram has been more often, the atmosphere is bitter. There has just been a robbery, the umpteenth. Every farmer has firearms, high fences and steel doors here. And there is patrolled at night. Are farmers the victims of ordinary crime, or are they conscious attempts to drive them from the land they have been living on for generations?
They are convinced of the latter themselves. A farmer’s wife: “They want to frighten us. They break in and wait until you come home. Then they shoot the man and rape the woman. “But these emigrants do not think of emigration. Not even after a violent robbery: “I was born here and I will be buried here.”
The black residents of the area are also embittered. Life is bad here, says a man. He has no job – the farmers prefer to hire servants from other countries in Africa, because according to them they work harder and do not drink. In the stone house that he received as compensation for a shooting, he can not flush the toilet due to lack of water. And through the fences that are everywhere in the surrounding country, he feels as if he is locked up. He also thinks he can not live anywhere else than here.
Does Julius Malema get his way and the white domination of the South African countryside becomes something of the past? For the time being, he certainly does not have the say, because at the elections in May this year his party won 6.35 percent of the votes. The ANC almost ten times as much, so that party is still supreme.
Straight Through Africa
Episode 2 – The promised land
In the South African countryside white farmers are still in charge, as if nothing has changed since Apartheid was abolished. But there’s unrest in the townships. How long can the farmers continue to consider themselves a chosen people?
Director: Doke Romeijn and Stefanie de Brouwer
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