The SABC was a central component of the apartheid government’s propaganda machine, bombarding South African citizens with entertainment and information which either promoted the government’s ideology or at the very least did not overtly oppose it. The SABC censorship committee was therefore following a very clear mandate when it prohibited any music which in some way or another opposed the government’s apartheid system.
This mixtape documents songs which tackled a variety of issues dealing with the injustices of apartheid. Most of the songs featured are by South African musicians: The Cherry Faced Lurchers, Brenda Fassie, Jennifer Ferguson, The Genuines, the Gereformeerde Blues Band, Koos Kombuis, Louis & The Jive, Sipho Mabuse, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Edi Niederlander, Savuka, Stimela and Condry Ziqubu. There are also a few international artists: Aswad, Harry Belafonte, Nona Hendryx, Latin Quarter, The Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly) and Joe Smooth.
These are just a few of the thousands of songs which fell foul of the SABC’s political censorship but nevertheless capture a cross section of the issues political songs dealt with: calling for political freedom in South Africa generally as well as the freedom of political prisoners in particular (for example Nelson Mandela), calling for justice, drawing attention to atrocities such as political detention and apartheid policing in support of unjust laws, and protesting against politicians (such as PW Botha).
A previous mixtape focused on political songs banned outright (for retail and import) by the Directorate of Publications and all songs featured on that mixtape were also necessarily banned from airplay on the SABC. They have been left out here to avoid repetition but that mixtape is recommended as an essential companion to this one.
- Jail To Jail – Brenda Fassie
- They Want To Be Free – Joe Smooth
- Confusion (Ma Afrika) – Condry Ziqubu
- Bring Him Back Home – Hugh Masekela
- Chant Of The Marching – Sipho Mabuse
- Where’s The Justice – Louis & The Jive
- Do It Right – The Genuines
- Sit Dit Af – Gereformeerde Blues Band
- Shot Down In The Streets – The Cherry Faced Lurchers
- No Rope As Long As Time – Latin Quarter
- Asimbonanga – Savuka
- Swart September – Koos Kombuis
- Suburban Hum – Jennifer Ferguson
- A New Day – Edi Niederlander
- Set Them Free – Aswad
- Move It – Harry Belafonte
- Freedom (South Africa) – The Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly
- Winds Of Change (Mandela To Mandela) – Nona Hendryx
- Soweto Save My Children – Stimela
- Soweto Blues – Miriam Makeba