Reporting History: Mandela and a New South Africa

Reporting History: Mandela and a New South Africa


In April 1994, more than 19 million South Africans voted in the country’s first multiracial parliamentary elections. Nelson Mandela’s ANC party won by a landslide and on 10 May he was sworn in as the first black president of South Africa. “The whole place was convulsed with hope,” recalls Fergal Keane, the BBC’s foreign correspondent. “It was beautiful!”

In this absorbing, thoughtful film, Keane compares his news reports at the time with how history actually turned out. Like many, Keane was optimistic for South Africa’s future, but depressingly finds corruption, poverty and struggle are still widespread.


On the 25th anniversary of Mandela's election as South African president, Fergal Keane goes back to examine his reports and considers why history did not turn out how he expected.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Fergal Keane
Executive Producer Ed Stobart
Executive Producer Emma Parkins