In South Africa, the Autumn of 1994, the African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela came to power. This, we believed, would signify an end to racism and oppression, and our people would prosper. But today inequality and economic disempowerment are still rife. The corruption and power grabbing at all levels of society impacts not only on the moral fabric of our society but, more importantly, on the working class poor.
The massacre of 34 striking mineworkers at a mine called Marikana brought these issues into sharp focus. Now, in an area called Mokopane in South Africa’s Limpopo province, tensions between the community and the mining companies, and communities and their traditional leaders, seem set to explode, with equally dire consequences. Black Lives Matter explores how the mineral wealth, rightfully belonging to the people of South Africa, has been sold to capitalist interests for the enrichment of a few elite and at the expense of the country – and how traditional communities have been divided in this process.
This film takes us on a journey through three rural communities – the Mogales, the Kekanas, and the Mapelas. What they have in common is that the richest platinum bearing reef in the world runs underneath their land – and that international mining companies have made dubious deals with traditional leaders whose very legitimacy is questioned by the communities they supposedly serve.