1994: The Bloody Miracle

When South Africa celebrated its democracy in 1994, many believed that civil war was inevitable, and that the elections would be derailed. The averting of that war became known as the ‘Mandela miracle’. But an orgy of violence proved that some were indeed intent on obstructing the first free elections. Now those responsible explain how they nearly brought democracy down.
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Overview

When South Africa celebrated its democracy in 1994, many believed that civil war was inevitable, and that the elections would be derailed. The averting of that war became known as the ‘Mandela miracle’. But an orgy of violence proved that some were indeed intent on obstructing the first free elections. Now those responsible explain how they nearly brought democracy down.

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Part 1: April to December 1993

01: Part 1: April to December 1993

The negotiation to democracy is often hailed as a peaceful miracle. We forget that during the dying days of apartheid, South Africa was plunged into chaos by forces against change. It was a wonder that elections happened at all. Change was indeed a miracle, but it was a bloody one.

50 min
Part 2: January to April 1994

02: Part 2: January to April 1994

January 1994, with 3 months to go till the ground breaking elections, South Africa is in turmoil. Right wing Afrikaans want an independent Volkstaat. Incarta is intent on keeping the Zulu heartland intact. Both movements want to stop the progress towards democracy. What's more, it seems a secret 3rd force is fueling the conflict. At stake is the dream of a nonracial democracy.

50 min