As South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, eNCA is flighting a documentary titled ‘1994 The Bloody Miracle’, that reveals how the country triumphed against the odds to stage it’s very first democratic election. What history forgets is that in 1994 South Africa was on the brink of bloody civil war. From the killing of Chris Hani to the black on black violence, certain groups were intent on derailing the first free elections.
Now, for the first time, those responsible for countless deaths and widespread mayhem explain how they nearly brought the country to its knees. The film reveals white right wing plans for a military coup, and uncovers a plot to kidnap Mandela and the new leaders-in-waiting and imprison them in neighbouring Angola. Meanwhile the Zulu organisation, Inkatha, was locked in an ever more violent power struggle with Mandela’s ANC. In certain areas, this feud turned to full scale civil war.
“When it comes to commemorating 20 years of democracy, this enthralling documentary is a landmark in recording the tumultuous history of our country. ‘1994 The Bloody Miracle’ is the ultimate expression of how close South Africa came to the whole dream being annihilated,” Seamus Reynolds, eNCA managing editor .
The filmmakers speak with eyewitnesses; survivors of massacres and bombings, who still bare the physical and emotional scars of that time. In an exclusive interview behind bars, hit squad commander Eugene de Kock lays bare the role of the Apartheid State in undermining the transition, and the complicity of those in the highest echelons of power. In rare interviews, former President F.W. De Klerk and current President Jacob Zuma answer questions about the extent of this State complicity.
The documentary is directed by Meg Rickards and produced by Paul Egan. The film airs on Wednesday, 16 April at 7:30PM on eNCA (DStv channel 403).