7:00 PM - Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
Series: Independent Lens
Episode: Have You Heard from Johannesburg? - Free at Last
This mini-series chronicles the unprecedented international movement of citizen activists who fought for three decades to bring down the brutal, racist system of apartheid in South Africa when their governments would not. Diving into the heart of the conflict, South Africans tell the story of the most important effort in the anti- apartheid campaign of the 80's: the alliance that brought together freedom fighters in South Africa as never before. A mass movement gains unprecedented momentum when three generations of resistance fighters band together as The United Democratic Front (UDF). Faced with growing international isolation, the apartheid government tries to win allies and convince the world of the merit of its piecemeal reforms even as it struggles to suppress open revolt, at times using savage secret tactics. The UDF protests climax in a fierce campaign of defiance, and internationally, Nelson Mandela becomes a household name as the campaign to free him ignites a worldwide crusade. Caught between an unstoppable internal mass movement and ongoing international pressure, the apartheid regime is finally forced to the negotiating table and at last lifts the decades-long bans on the ANC. After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is released, sparking a global celebration as he tours the world to thank all. After 30 years in exile, Oliver Tambo is finally able to return to South Africa. But the struggle has taken a heavy toll on him, and he will die one year before his comrade, Nelson Mandela, is elected the first black president of a democratic South Africa.
Length:56 minutes 46 seconds