The ANC has dismissed as a propaganda a new documentary film claiming it focused more on violently attacking rival black groups than overthrowing apartheid.
The Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum’s film, Tainted Heroes, portrays the ANC as a violent organisation that wanted to stamp out all other black groups fighting apartheid.
The film is yet to be released.
Its synopsis says the two-hour film “explains how the ANC successfully implemented a predetermined programme of violence, fear and propaganda to eliminate political rivals and establish itself as the sole representative of black aspirations in South Africa”.
“It illuminates how the ANC’s armed struggle was more a struggle against black rival organisations than against the apartheid system.”
An online trailer and clips from the film depict scenes of necklacing, a method of killing someone by placing a tyre around their necks and setting it alight. Necklacing was a popular method of getting rid of alleged apartheid collaborators in South African townships during apartheid.
Among the film’s prominent interviewees is Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the IFP which has opposed the ANC over the years.
Buthelezi’s critics have accused him of co-operating with the apartheid government.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa told Weekend Argus AfriForum was working to “discredit” the ruling party. “They have failed in the past working with other sources to delegitimise the ANC. This is nothing else but propaganda.
“They should be doing a film about how many of them in AfriForum have collaborated with apartheid. They are nothing else but hardcore racists. They are a group like the Klu Klux Klan (American white supremacist group).”
Kodwa said AfriForum’s film featured black people who worked with the apartheid government. “Many of the voices in the film, like (the) IFP, were voices that collaborated (with apartheid). The ANC remained the most prominent voice among the oppressed people. It enjoyed a lot of support.”
Ernst Roets, deputy chief executive at AfriForum and the film’s producer, said the film was based on “facts and archive footage”.
“We are not saying it’s a complete picture but it’s a piece of the puzzle that has been swept under the carpet.”
He said the ANC’s response was unsurprising. “It is exactly what we expect; that they would default to the race argument. But black people who saw the film are not sceptical (about it).
“The facts communicated by Tainted Heroes show that the history of our country is more complex.
“A central theme in the documentary is the ANC’s ‘People’s War Strategy’, which led to the execution of violent attacks on rival liberation movements with the aim to weaken rivals, such as Inkatha, the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), the PAC and Azapo in order to establish the ANC as the solitary representative of black people in the eyes of the (National Party) government and the international community.