Sunday, 15 July 2012

Morgan Freeman sees growing political dysfunction in South Africa

And South Africa? "First time I was terrified, in 1992, I think. Mandela was out of jail, but he wasn't president yet. The Zulus and the Nationals were combining because they knew that the ANC had the numbers behind them. So riots were sprouting up all over the place. We were there to make a movie called Bopha [Freeman's directorial debut, starring Danny Glover, 1992]. It was about a black policeman, a guy his own community basically ostracises as an agent of apartheid, when he's really just trying to keep chaos at bay. We asked permission to film in Soweto, we had two riots to shoot, and we just figured, well, we'll just start a riot today," and he bursts out laughing at the suicidal idiocy of the idea. "We did it elsewhere in the end."

Today however, he sees growing political dysfunction in South Africa. "Right now," he says in a disenchanted tone, "the politics are totally controlled by the ANC. They can pretty much buy the presidency. I was there for the Jacob Zuma election and they had guys going out in the townships, buying people's votes with food parcels. They do it here, they do it over there ..."

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