Monday, 17 September 2007

Documentary pulls no punches on SA crime wave

Charles Molele Published:Sep 15, 2007

A controversial documentary about the high levels of crime in South Africa is scheduled to be screened on British television later this month.

The programme, directed by South African-born Jon Blair, will also be screened on a special mid-week episode of M-Net’s Carte Blanche.

Presented by another South African-born actor, Sir Anthony Sher, Murder Most Foul contains disturbing images portraying the crime wave in South Africa. The documentary was inspired by the murder last year of actor Brett Goldin and fashion designer Richard Bloom. The men were hijacked, assaulted and shot execution-style. They were found naked, except for their socks.

In the documentary, Sher conducts interviews with family members to retrace the steps that led to the Easter Sunday murders of Goldin and Bloom last year.

The film also contains interviews Sher conducted with members of the Americans, Fancy Boys, and Hard Livings gangs on the Tik-riddled Cape Flats.

In one of the interviews, Sher asks a gang member how many people he has killed in his life: “I really don’t know. There are many people I’ve shot and stabbed.”

The film also features interviews with, among others, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs, author André Brink and broadcaster Hazel Makuzeni, who all share their views about the country’s crime rate.

Blair, who was in the country for a private screening of the film this week, said that he did not see his film as a betrayal of the South African image abroad.

He commented: “Martin Luther King said: ‘In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’

“My film calls for action and discussion of the crime situation, which has reached unacceptable levels. It says to our leaders, ‘Wake up. Stop the denial.’”

Blair denied his film exaggerated SA’s murder rate when it states that “murder in South Africa was on an industrial scale”.

Close to the end of the film, Blair’s camera zooms in on the face of Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula in Parliament telling government critics on crime: “They can continue to whinge until they’re blue in the face, they can continue to be as negative as they want to or they can simply leave this country so that all of the peace- loving South Africans, good South African people who want to make this a successful country, can continue with their work.”

Murder Most Foul screens on M-Net’s Carte Blanche on Tuesday, September 26 at 9pm.

Source:Sunday Times

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