Death of a Whistle-Blower Premieres to a Thunderous Applause at Joburg Film Festival


“The film’s sub-themes touches on corruption and exposure of criminality and corruption in South Africa.”

The second day of Jozi Film Festival kicked off with a bang at the Sandton theatre on the square with a lavish red-carpet event. The film festival started on Tuesday and officially opened last night where the cast and industry personalities with media and stakeholders came together to watch for the first-time the political thriller movie “Death of whistle-blower” directed by the remarkable Ian Gabriel. Gabriel says, “The film’s sub-themes touches on corruption and exposure of criminality and corruption in South Africa”.

The lead role is played by Noxolo Dlamini, a journalist that experiences a friend being killed in front of her and decides to go on a chase to investigate the cause of the assassination. She then learns that the friend was chasing a story on exposing the truth.

The most shocking whistle blower killing to occur in South Africa in recent times was that of a brutal assassination of Babita Deokoran, mother, family woman and senior manager at the Gauteng Health Department. Her attempts to prevent illicit Covid-19 procurement payments running into the hundreds of millions led to her ambush and death in a hail of bullets as she arrived home after dropping her daughter at school. She was fatally shot nine times and succumbed to death.

The South African Human Rights Commission says whistleblowing is an essential weapon in the fight against corruption, perhaps the single most important obstacle to SA achieving the status it needs to achieve as a ‘moral’ Rainbow Nation.

The thriller released last night on Amazon PRIME and is inspired by several true South African whistle blower stories. Death of a Whistle Blower is directed by Ian Gabriel and stars Noxolo Dlamini (South African Film and TV awards – SAFTA – Best Actress), Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Rob Van Vuuren and Irshaad Ally (Four Corners) and produced by Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri from KAE (Known Associates Entertainment in partnership with EVOD & Amazon Studios).

Death of a Whistle Blower deliberately bridges events from the past and links to them to events in the present, drawing a line from the notorious Project Coast chemical weapons program of the eighties through to the present driven by a  powerful private security agency and a compromised Department of Defence in South Africa who have the ability and power to call the shots at high levels when they choose to do so.

The South African film shot early in 2023, deals with the increasing phenomenon of gangster style executions awaiting whistle blowers attempting to expose forms of institutional corruption. The one crime, as fresh as today’s headlines, is revealed near the closing minutes of the film. The closing images of the film highlights the true story sacrifice of the lives of five South African whistle blowers, all dedicated to sharing truth with their fellow South Africans, all killed by vengeful gangster style attacks by shadowy individuals determined to keep truth in South Africa from seeing the light of day. The film ends with a tribute that pays homage to the truths of five South African whistleblowers 2010 – 2023 who have lost their lives.

The festival continues today with a comedy film by Jonathan Parkinson ‘The Drop’ a film about two young filmmakers and their sexy volatile female flat mate who become entangled in a robbery when one of the assailants seeks refuge in their home. The film is produced by Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri, Joel Chikapa Phiri and Athos Kyriakides and is written and directed Jonathan Parkinson.

Nearly over 60 films are screening over the next three days at the Jozi Film festival which ranks as one the premier film festivals on the African continent. The festival closes with Known Associates Entertainment film’s psychological thriller “SNAKE directed by Meg Rickards.

By Sinenzolo Mondi – Nduku