Capital 604

Not only do our contributors just write articles for us, but some of them also make films as well; and the latest case in point is contributor Michael Jones, who has written for us before in the past.

Jones is also a veteran cameraman and filmmakers with his own production company QStorm Media Group, based in New Jersey, and he is currently hard at work on a new documentary project he’s making about the South African pirate radio station, Capital 604.

Back during the apartheid era, in South Africa, the country’s government banned television, and censored music and news broadcasts in an effort to control the media. On top of that, it also did not allow the creation of private radio stations and only permitted its state-owned stations to broadcast. 

However, in 1979, thanks to a loophole in the Homeland system, people began to take advantage to help defeat brutal apartheid policy. In the government’s attempt to segregate its society, it actually created autonomous, yet resource-less Homeland areas, which were, in effect, individual countries separate from South Africa.

As a result, a team of progressive broadcasters got together and erected a radio transmitter, powerful enough to broadcast into South Africa, through an AM channel.

The transmitter powered a new station called Capital Radio 604, and it has been credited for changing South African radio forever.  The station’s personnel was multiracial, with blacks and whites working together, which was then literally unheard of and banned by the government. But with the freedom that they had, they played music that had been censored by the South African government, and their news broadcasts presented the real story of what was actually going in South Africa.

Not surprisingly, the government tried, on many occasions, to sabotage Capital Radio 604 by knocking them off the air, usually right before a controversial news broadcast was to occur. But the station kept broadcasting despite all attempts.

Now Jones, along with his partner Craig Johnston, are hard at work on their documentary about Capital 604, which, according to Jones has “the potential to shed light on a band of unsung heroes who aided in the dismantling of one of the most brutal regimes of the 20th century. We believe the material we possess has the makings of a compelling story and we believe it’s a story that should be told."

Below is an extended trailer for the documentary.