Actor Mduduzi Mabaso. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
The life of South Africa’s heist kingpin Collen Chauke is set to be relived through film, and locals will be given an opportunity to own part of the movie.

Chauke, a former ANC uMkhonto we Sizwe armed wing member, was arrested during the R12.6million robbery of the SBV security company depot in 1997. He was also implicated in 17 murders and 30 robberies in which R82m was stolen.

A local movie titled State Enemy No 1, based on Chauke’s life, and produced by Elvis Nkosi, has been in the works since 2016 and paints a picture of how the military training of the MK veteran made it easy to outmuscle security companies and police.

Nkosi told Weekend Argus he has started working on the movie because of his obsession with Chauke since he was a young boy.

“It really was my personal fascination. I have always had a great appreciation for Collen Chauke. I’ve had an interest in making a film about him for as long as I can remember.”

Nkosi then began his research on Chauke in 2008.

“But my love for the film and the idea of sharing it with a larger audience kept me going. I wrote the script and sat on it for a while, waiting for a chance to take it to the big screen. It took me and Shane (co-writer) a long time to get it right. It was a writing issue more than anything else. But the wait was worth it,” added Nkosi.

But, they have run out of money and have turned to The People’s Fund to raise R2.5m to complete the film.

Luyanda Jafta from the People’s Fund said contributions made would mean a stake in 20% of the movie’s takings for life.

“Each member of the public contributes from as little as R100 to have the movie completed. Once the movie is completed, each person will have 80% of their money contributed paid back by the DTi rebate as part of the South African Film Incentive scheme.

“Then each person will share in 20% of the movie’s future takings for life. The beauty is that it is owned by the people and hence the people will drive its consumption. It is also a great incentive for those looking to make the bigger investment of R100k or more, and we will put their names on the end credits as executive producers,” he added.

Jafta also told Weekend Argus Chauke will be played by Rhythm City’s Mduduzi Mabaso, while Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa will portray Chauke’s girlfriend Charlene Thabane. Other stars include Zenzo Ngqobe, Thami Mngqolo and Pearl Modiadie.

Chauke died of natural causes in prison while serving 20 years.