Kebble murder on the big screen
Johannesburg - It’s one thing to read and hear about a murder - no matter how gory. It’s quite another actually watching its execution.
Viewers got to experience the close-up reality of the murder of billionaire businessman Brett Kebble on Tuesday night at the premiere of 204: Getting Away With Murder at The Zone in Rosebank.
The 1 hour and 45 minute docu-drama sees Kebble’s actual killers - Mikey Schultz, Nigel McGurk and Faizel “Kappie” Smith - re-enacting the murder.
Schultz, who was in the news last week for allegedly intimidating Aimee Pistorius during her brother Oscar’s trial, admits that he “won the lottery” by escaping punishment for murdering the mining magnate.
Director Warren Batchelor said it was the first time a re-enactment like this had been done on film.
Audience members had hoped the gunmen would be at the movie premiere, but it was not to be.
Despite much speculation that the story would portray the killers’ perspectives - possibly depicting them as heroes - the documentary avoided that trap, giving an honest, objective view of what happened on the night Kebble was killed.
The docu-drama starts with a view of the gun, just enough to tantalise you into watching further.
Then it goes back in time, explaining how Kebble had made his billions, and how he quickly fell into the trap of committing what is possibly the biggest white-collar fraud in South Africa’s history.
So big, in fact, observed independent journalist and author Barry Sergeant, that it could be as high as R30 billion.
The movie explores Schultz’s rise to power in the criminal underworld through Elite Bouncers.
Slowly the story unfolds into the actual murder scene which left viewers laughing at the ineptitude of Schultz and his co-killers who tried three times to commit the murder - and Kebble kept coming back to ensure their success. After the deed was done, the killers were left in shock.
But the story doesn’t end there as it delves into the political intrigue surrounding the Kebble murder and shows just how grossly unjust the criminal justice system can be.
Even Schultz admits in the end that no justice had been served and they describe their 204 indemnities from prosecution as winning the lottery.
The movie makers interviewed key players such as Glenn Agliotti, Jackie Selebi, Kebble’s father Roger and brother Guy, as well as the killers.
In the end only one man was brought to book for the numerous crimes surrounding the murder: then national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, who only spent a few months in jail before being given medical parole.
Was it worth it? The answer is clearly no.
So, why would the killers take part in reliving their involvement in the murder on film?
Producer Tony Miguel said he believed the killers wanted to give their side of the story.
Batchelor added that they wanted to show that they did not solicit the 204 indemnities - that they never woke up one day and said “let’s kill this man” - that there was a bigger picture and they acted under instruction.
“I hope this movie sparks debate and gets people to question authority and to question corruption in the country,” said the director.
Viewers left the cinema clearly impressed with what they had seen and debated the story that had been widely publicised.
But both private investigators Chad Thomas and Mike Bolhuis were unconvinced, saying they didn’t believe the killers’ version.