‘Tainted Heroes’ Documentary Reveals The Dark Side Of South Africa’s African National Congress

In 2016, the civil rights group and member of the Solidarity Movement Afriforum will release their documentary, Tainted Heroes. According to the website for Tainted Heroes, the documentary tells the story of The African National Congress (ANC), a once marginal political organization in South Africa that rose to power and eliminated its enemies to become a major political force in South African politics. Their rise to power began after the Soweto uprising in 1976.

F. W. DeClerk with future President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.
F. W. DeClerk with future President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. [Photo Credit Public Domain]

The documentary also tells the story of how the ANC received military support from other African nations and includes one of the lesser-known stories about the ANC where members of its military wing, the MK, received training in Vietnam. The tactics they learned were allegedly used against rival organizations in South Africa to help the ANC rise to the top using violence, fear, and propaganda to eliminate their rivals. It led to the ANC becoming the sole organization to represent black rights in South Africa.

IOL reported that, according to filmmaker and executive deputy director Ernst Roets, Tainted Heroes focuses on the ANC’s alleged use of violence to eliminate their rivals as it rose to the top of South African politics.

“The general narrative nowadays is that everyone who was on the side of the ANC is portrayed as untainted heroes, while everyone who differed from the ANC is dubbed villains. The facts communicated by ‘Tainted Heroes’ show that the history of our country is more complex than that.”

The documentary offers interviews with the founding member of the Umkhonto we Sizwe, and former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, who led the organization more commonly called the MK, the military wing of the ANC. Other interviews include Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) and former member of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania, Strike Thokoane, and Anthea Jeffery, an author on South African politics.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Afriforum has been deeply involved in the issue of farm murders in South Africa. In September, the organization reported that there had been 44 farmers murdered and 157 farm attacks in 2015 alone. According to Afriforum, the number of farmers who have been murdered since the ANC assumed power in 1994 is 1,753. Critics of the numbers claim they are much higher, as police haven’t always reported the deaths of farmers as the result of farm attacks. Crime in South Africa has continued to rise as murder hit an all-time high in 2015.

Tainted Heroes promises to offer a historical account of the rise of the ANC in South Africa, beginning with the Soweto riots in 1976, and ending with the inauguration of MK member Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. Roet said that a central theme in the movie included the Peoples’ War Strategy.

President of South Africa and head of the ANC Jacob Zuma is criticized for his failure to save those involved in the struggle. [Photo Credit Public Domain]

“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.”

ENCA reported that the documentary was about ordinary people trying to survive another day. Tainted Heroes stems from a book written by author Anthea Jeffery of the Institute for Race Relations called People’s War.

Several high-profile figures attended the release of Tainted Heroes. It also details how 20,000 students were involved in the Soweto Uprising. Several political parties are represented in the documentary including Azapo, Inkatha, and the Black Consciousness Movement, who focused on principles of non-violence as their strategy to end apartheid. Tainted Heroes is scheduled for release to the general public in early 2016.

[Photo Credit Public Domain]