EPISODE 6: Island of Angels

In this episode, the investigation swerves into South Africa’s Eastern Cape province — home of Struggle heroes like Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and the Sisulus. But here the focus is on one of the most powerful politicians of the democratic era — Gwede Mantashe, long-time ANC boss and current Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. As we delve into Mantashe’s life, we learn about his history in organised labour, and the role unions played in bringing down apartheid. But as the democratic age deepened, organised labour became embedded in the ANC, and Mantashe became the company man — a genial version of a mob boss.


Gwede Mantashe, former union boss, ANC Secretary General and current Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
Ferial Haffajee, Daily Maverick Associate Editor
Heinrich Böhmke, Director of the Specialised Skills Institute of South Africa; former trade unionist
Neil Coleman, Co-Founder and Senior Policy Specialist at Institute For Economic Justice (IEJ)
Jay Naidoo, co-founder of Cosatu
Estelle Ellis, Daily Maverick Senior Journalist
Bantu Holomisa, Parliamentarian and president of the United Democratic Movement
Dr Protas Madlala, Struggle stalwart, businessman and academic

Archive & Music Credits:

SABC News / eNCA / British Pathé

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional music by Janus van der Merwe
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)