The Apartheid in South Africa disappeared 18 years ago, racial segregation was banned and white supremacy over the black population ended. These days, Nelson Mandela -one of the most important figures of the movement that ended that horrible injustice- has been news due to his delicate health status. But something that I haven’t seen talked about much is an underlaying problem which I came across with yesterday: Kommandokorps. This extreme right-wing group is teaching white teenagers to reject Mandela’s vision of a multicultural world. And the worst part, to act upon it.
Ilvy Njiokiktjien is an independent photographer that has worked around the world, focusing on South Africa. She’s made several documentaries about life in that part of the world, and yesterday I got to see one that horrified me: Afrikaner Blood.
Some of you might have already seen the image above, as it won the World Press Photo Award in 2012 in the Contemporary Issues Category. It shows us a sergeant pointing a gun at a boy at the right wing Kommandokorps camp in South Africa. He is teaching the boys how to use guns. In said camp, white teenagers are taught to “defend themselves against crime” and are advised that they should not integrate in the new democratic South Africa. The documentary follows some of these boys after the camp, when they go back home and to their schools, were they continue their daily lives among black people. Something is different, though. And not right. They were born in an apartheid free country, they are sent to this camp and they have their minds changed.
When are we going to talk about these impending issues? Because this camp takes place 203km away from where the Spanish football team won their first World Cup. Back then, we all saw a very glamourous part of South Africa, but not its reality.