Land or Death: Apartheid's Final Reckoning

So we’re on the way to north Johannesburg for a training given by a former Israeli soldier to white farmers The farmers feel that they’re under attack and they need the right tools to protect themselves We know Israel had close ties to the apartheid government of South Africa and it seems that those traditions remain alive today GET UP! GET UP! GET UP! Give him a punch and I shift to the other side to basically to take my gun To basically to be able How far does their training take them? Would they shoot an intruder or would they kill an intruder? I’m not saying to people, shoot – kill, kill, kill We say survive Survive, whatever is necessary for you to do to survive Why you don’t shoot him first? It makes sense for him to shoot first or not? I’ll shoot him first, sir Make sense or not? Yes, sir So why you don’t do it? Do you feel you’re more attacked because of your skin colour? Well, in South Africa it’s a skin colour thing So you feel like you’re more in danger because you’re white? Yes Do you think you’re the most in danger? Do you feel that… within communities in South Africa? Yes… yes… yes – definitely Do you feel there’s a white genocide taking place? For sure, for sure It’s going to cause a big, big, big war in this country Many people think in the outside, it’s a crime thing The South African people, the farms, are not suffering from crime It’s not the crime The guys are not coming here – give me your cellphone, give me your wallet and he take the cell phone and take the wallet… and Okay? No, it’s not that But wait, in the training that’s what you guys say WHERE’S THE MONEY? WHERE’S THE SAFE? It’s not what they meant They’re talking about ‘give me the money’ but it’s not about that You know, it’s about revenge It’s about the land and it’s about race unfortunately The training was quite intense and seemed to focus as much on attack as defence But the claims of these people were given a boost by a tweet in August by the President of the United States Donald Trump, which led to international headlines on the issue I wanted to find out who was behind the attempts to push this narrative and why Talk about white genocide used to be dismissed as the crazy idea of a small fringe group of fanatics in South Africa, but it’s started to gain traction with the rise of the far-right internationally And that’s partly thanks to the group that I’m now off to meet – the Suidlanders They’ve spent months of the past year in the U.S building far-right support for their cause and recently even hosted the racist Alternative for Deutschland The Suidlanders think that a race war is imminent and they are involved in training for an emergency action plan for the Christian white minority once that happens Hello Hello Yasmin, how are you? So we’ve just arrived here and there’s loads of people It’s looking pretty serious They do really bite, he’s bitten over two hundred people Oh, bark? Bite? He’s bitten over two hundred people? Yeah, yeah, yeah He’s a good boy Very, very good natured dog I’m confused if he’s good natured or if he bit 200 people Are good natured dogs ones… no, but seriously, that bite 200 people? I’m scared I’m going to get bit, man You know Trump tweeted about the farmer situation Yes, thank god It was after your trip, I believe? What’s happening in South Africa is barely being reported So for us it was a moment of euphoria when Donald Trump had the strength of character to say, effectively, implicitly, this is not politically correct but I’m going to talk about it anyway We see a big crisis as long as things carry on like this It doesn’t mean that I privately wish that all black people would die or something It just doesn’t mean it As I explained to BBC, my first child is mixed race

I don’t regret that for one minute of one day Are you still in touch? Yeah Do you have a good relationship? Our raison d’etre, our express purpose is to function as a civil defence organisation under international law to prepare to safeguard the welfare of our people in the event of a civil war or similar And what if black people wanted to come with you to the safe place? Is that allowed? No, it’s out of the question At this point, we set off on the so-called emergency training exercise with the Suidlanders – basically a drive around the area in convoy We had tried to speak to other members of the group But the spokesperson, Simon Roche, wouldn’t let us Something our producer witnessed would make it clear why Earlier you had said you didn’t want us to speak to anyone else because you were worried No, it’s not that I’m worried particularly What I said was we had a strict policy regarding that If one of our members said something slightly politically incorrect it would be exploited One of your members, as in one of the people here? Yeah, one of the people whose forte is not to represent us in an honest way That’s not their strength – some plumber, you know [Producer] I saw something that maybe wasn’t completely in tune with that What? A guy – I wasn’t even speaking to him – but there was a guy there who I think there was a black man just walking past and he simulated shooting him Oh really? That’s not a nice thing That is Just not a nice thing? Well, no, you know… So much of this You may or may not like what I’m going to say to you now And it doesn’t matter It’s fine, we don’t have to agree on everything I’m going to tell you what our experience is The people who do that are employed by the state So this guy is employed by the state? The people who cause trouble in our organisation are agents provocateur Do you not want to find him then? No, I didn’t see the incident I don’t know who he’s talking about Maybe Liam can point him out to you Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, I wouldn’t know I mean, I wouldn’t know if he is secretly being employed by the National Intelligence Service What I’m saying is over long periods of time this is not the first, the second, the third, or even the 50th such incident Why do you think they do that? To malign us. To make us look bad To make us look worse than we really are That’s why they would like nothing more than to discover that one of us has an illegal weapon or a stash of ammunition Or Are you armed? No, no Not at all? No, not at all You’re preparing for a civil war without being armed? That could be risky There’s a big difference between an illegal weapon and a legal weapon So armed but legally armed? Yeah, I’m not armed now Not right at this moment But do I have legal weapons licensed by the government, not by me, by the government? Yes Okay We’ve heard a lot of talk about this so-called epidemic of white farm murders and even white genocide But in this area here behind me of Ivory Park, there was 108 people killed in the past year That compares with 62 farm murders Kind of puts things into perspective Yes, that’s right – 108 people were killed in just one black township in Johannesburg compared to 62 farm murders across the whole of South Africa Indeed according to figures by the South African police re-published by the respected fact-checkers Africa Check, there has been a steady decline in farm murders in South Africa over the past 15 years From a peak of 140 in 2002 to less than half that in the past year Hysteria around farm attacks has been ramped up at the same time as a real risk to the interests of white farmers has emerged – that of widespread land reform The 1913 Native Land act forcibly stripped land from black people, a policy which was later reinforced by apartheid But now the ruling ANC are considering amending the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land from white landowners

without compensation and to redress one of the historic injustices of apartheid and colonisation It’s not the ANC, though, but these guys, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters, who have pushed the issue onto the agenda The reclaiming of land is one of their cardinal pillars as MP Tebogo Mokweli made clear when addressing white farm owners in a recent debate in the South African parliament Let me tell you my brother, from another mother We are going to take our land whether you like it or not I went to the EFF headquarters in central Johannesburg to talk to Mokweli about land, white genocide claims and Donald Trump Donald Trump is a racist and he’s mad We are not going to entertain Donald Trump We are not accountable to Donald Trump He’s not our master Well, we visited also an ex-Israeli soldier, an ex-IDF soldier training and they train white farmers to defend themselves against attacks How real would you say this threat is that they’re whipping up of fear of a possibility of a race war? There is no war in South Africa We are not going to fight them They can train and do whatever They are not… it’s for them… they are alarmist So they think that taking land will result in war We are going to sit down with them, we are going to give them our terms White South Africans have been raised in such a way that they are militant in nature and they were taught racism from the word go So how can they turn around and say they are persecuted No white person is persecuted because this country’s racist Racist as being anti-black We are speaking English. The court speaks in English Everything here is white Andile Mnxgitama is the leader of an even more radical group pushing for land reform – Black First Land First They’re taking matters into their own hands by occupying vacant land But they’re seen as controversial by some… Bullet bullet, settler settler Settler settler, bullet bullet The complaint is only because there’s a new black person emerging And that black person hears what we say as Black First Land First Black First. Land First There’s no argument amongst black people We must resolve these things first before we can talk about common humanity There are people who claim that actually the land wasn’t stolen That they bought it legitimately What do you say to them? They will say that Remember in the history, they used their… white people used their apartheid system and they were calling us subhuman When they get into the land and they find you, you are their property That’s how brutal they were That’s how insane they were towards us And it’s not true that they bought land but anyway we are not saying as the EFF that we’re going to chase them away We are saying let the land that was stolen from us be returned to us Apartheid – an Afrikaans word meaning separation – was a system of racial segregation that governed South Africa from 1948 to 1994 It was officially made law by the Afrikaner-led National Party who believed in the superiority of the white race and the Afrikaners God-given right to the land People were separated into four different racial categories – White, Black, Indian, and Coloured and laws were put into place to ensure the dominance of the white race over all others These included black South Africans being physically forced into Bantustans or “homelands” Their only interaction with the white minority was when they were being exploited for cheap labour or being repressed by the authorities And of course, non-whites had no political rights But with repression came resistance, and the African National Congress – including Nelson Mandela – led the fight against the horrific system which was eventually dismantled in 1994

We’re back on the road, heading even further up north into the Limpopo province This whole thing’s about land and farm land in particular so we’re going to go check one out for ourselves Let us keep safe on the farms Amen We’d visited Jaco and Elizabeth’s farm expecting to see the land and hear from the family But soon we were being shown around a museum in his backyard which paid tribute to the apartheid-era South Africa We are quite really proud of it, I think, especially the whites It was the time before the new days here, the Mandela time So I think any person is still quite proud of that You know, those days, as you can see on the pictures, they didn’t wear clothes They were still using hides to protect and to clothe themselves So new European ways of living started getting to them Do you feel it was safer under apartheid or better in that time, before ’94? Yes, I think a little bit We were in charge of many things and it’s better to be in charge than to be on the defensive sort of The visit got more disconcerting when they began defending Vicki Momberg – a white South African woman prosecuted for using a highly offensive word for a black person Not once, not twice, but 48 times Yeah the woman… she used a word that we’re not supposed to say for a black man It’s a k-word Okay I can say it because it’s on television They call it k*****. It’s a word like in America – the n***** They don’t like to call you a n***** Before we left, another story We heard that Jaco had spent three years in jail for sheltering two white terrorists from the Boeremag, a group who launched an armed campaign to overthrow Nelson Mandela’s government and return the country to white rule Their actions included bombing a number of cities and even a plot to kill Mandela himself I feel it’s part of the struggle that I’ve been in and that’s why I don’t want to leave I think it was worth it Do you also feel like it was worth it? We didn’t do anything wrong Is it something you’re proud of him? Yeah, I’m very proud of him. Very, very, very So who owns South Africa? At end of the apartheid in 1994 – 85 per cent of all agricultural farmland was owned by white farmers That has decreased slightly today but the picture’s still one of stark inequality White people make up less than 10 per cent of the population and own three quarters of all farmland or 73 per cent to be exact Black people constitute 76 per cent of the population and own just 4 per cent of farm land Who owns South Africa? The answer’s unambiguous It’s still white people Not only do black people in South Africa have little access to land But many are forced to live in poverty stricken informal settlements, basically slums, like this one Thembelihle, just south of Johannesburg They live in the shadows of society and have little access to basic services But people I spoke to here – like Simpwiwe – don’t just blame the white man for that They also blame the ruling ANC government We call it our house but you can see, guys, this is not a normal place for human beings to stay in We don’t have taps inside – I’m using buckets to fetch water from outside to bring it inside When I want to cook or want to bath, I don’t go outside I just use these buckets here Sometimes we’ll use this bed, three of us because I’ve got two girls and one boy Two girls will sleep here, the boy will sleep that side alone We are not free Because you think of the zinc [roof] can fly because there is a lot of wind outside

When it rains you want a corner where you can stand because the water is coming inside the house but we’ve got government so I just blame our government for this kind of life that we’re living We’ve seen some pretty incredible and luxurious houses that white people are living in Farmers and in the city How does that make you feel as you’ve been living in an informal settlement for 27 years or so? Our government brings services here while we have these dusty streets We’re living in informal settlements like this So that is only my concern When are they coming to fix roads and stuff? My concern is they don’t see this place that needs services Why can’t they take that money and put it into an informal settlement so we can get services? We want to enjoy the privilege of good services ourselves as the community of Thembelihle We want to feel human Walking around the settlement it was clear people wanted to speak to us and articulate their frustration at seeing so little change in their living situation Who’s going to help us if it’s not the government? I want to know Who’s going to help us if it’s not the government? Just because there’s a long time Just because I know it’s not even the ANC All the time we vote for ANC But it’s not the ANC ANC promise us, we’ll build the house, we’ll put the water, we’ll put the sewage But they never do that things, from long time we’re staying here So the end of apartheid was meant to herald in a new era of economic and political justice But here in settlements like Thembelihle what has actually changed? South Africa remains to be the most unequal society in the world where half of the population live under poverty Over 14 million black South Africans live in settlements like this one with little access to water, sanitation and other essential services Meanwhile ten per cent of the population, the majority of whom are white, own 90 per cent of the nation’s wealth Apartheid’s not over. Apartheid is alive The sad thing I think with democracy is simply that apartheid is now managed by black people in the interests of white people They don’t have to go to the townships to shoot us They don’t have to torture us You know, all that There is a state that makes sure that white people live their life in peace and black people remain excluded This is a revolutionary war coming I’m a revolutionary No one can stop this war I believe except if there’s justice No justice, no peace? No justice, no peace I’m not about to start doing a Theresa May Maybe just the clapping Black First Land First don’t believe the ANC’s land reform plans will achieve meaningful equality so in places like this they’re mobilising people to take land without permission and then building on it Here is a good example of what we will do with the land Our people are building here They’re not waiting for government They’re not asking for handouts These are poor, poor people But they are building a community This space was not claimed without suffering Just this thing So white farmers that own farms, when we come they must not think we are not ready to die We are dead already anyway If you have no land, what are you? You are a dead person So it’s better to die for land so that our children can live That’s why we’re prepared… land or death we mean it Over two decades on from the end of apartheid, South Africa’s economy and land remains largely in the hands of the white minority It’s clear there is no white genocide in South Africa But there is a very real anger at the searing inequality, the ongoing apartheid which still exists I couldn’t help but feel that change is coming in this country Not led by the ANC, but by the people In that sense, those among the privileged white community are right to be worried There is a threat to their interests The threat of equality We eat heads of chicken and feet of chicken Who eats the drumstick? White people

No, we want the drumstick We want the nice part of the chicken as well