The upcoming arrival of the critically praised Clint Eastwood movie Invictus , starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, has touched off a national debate in South Africa over the consequences of racial reconciliation, the London Independent reported today (Wednesday). Sowetan columnist Andile Mngxitama told the newspaper that the movie is likely to please only whites. "The rebellion against apartheid should not have been about rainbows - accommodating the 10 per cent of the population who were white - but about freedom for the majority of South Africans. They live in abject poverty today." The Independent observed that since South African independence, the lot of the black population in the country has not improved significantly. More than half the population still earns less than $2,500 per year. Even in sports (the film takes place in 1995 during the South African-hosted rugby union World Cup), little progress has been made, the Independent noted. In 1995 the South African team included one black player. "By the 2007 final, the number had risen to two," the newspaper observed.

09/12/2009