The Gupta Family’s dealings with the local government (or lack thereof as it was originally claimed) was probably the worst kept secret. Luckily most of us are not gullible and even though it took a while to be fully exposed, the truth eventually came out and when it did, what a horrid and mess of a story it turned out to be.
The whole saga has been documented in How To Steal A Country, and is coming to all our screens thanks to Showmax and the brilliant minds behind it that include Rehad Desai (responsible for definitive documentaries on Marikana and #feesmustfall) and the multi-award-winning co-directer Mark J Kaplan (The Village Under The Forest) both of whom we’ve managed to secure a fantastic interview with, be sure to lookout for that real soon! The minute Showmax sent us word on this one we immediately pounced, after all that’s what really good reality TV is all about right?
The documentary plainly offers us an unflinching gaze to another defining moment in our country’s recent history: the rise and fall of the Gupta family. Before we go into our thoughts, a quick word is deserved on how brilliantly shot the entire documentary is, everything from the footage captured and included, to the various interviews (which include some political big hitters) conducted, to the different locations. It’s easy to tell that the production was carried out by experts and testament to the expertise involved.
Now onto our thoughts. What you will experience while watching this one is pure frustration, anger, disbelief and many other feelings we can’t even begin to describe…at least that’s how we felt. It’s also an excellent advert for great investigative journalism which is consequently one of the biggest things that enabled the entire corruption to come crashing down and crumble. A special mention is afforded to the numerous journalists who all played a pivotal role in bringing this story to bare with one of them firmly being investigative journalist Thanduxolo Jika who features heavily in the documentary and had the below to say:
“It’s been almost ten years of unabated looting. They estimate that it’s close to a trillion that the whole state capture debacle cost the country. A country that has got the highest unemployment rate, the highest rate of people who live in poverty. A trillion could have changed their lives.”
The above is just one of the many mind boggling revelations one comes across whilst watching. If anything, this perfectly illustrates how the pursuit of money and power can lead some to abandon their basic decency and values. Not to get political or anything (which we steer away from here as much as we can) but if you are still convinced that Jacob Zuma was removed prematurely and should still be Commander and Chief of the country, especially after watching this then, honestly, you need to get your head examined and reexamined numerously afterwards.
The documentary is hard to watch but one that every citizen of the country needs to see. The amount of money that has been looted, the major individuals/companies (Eskom, KPMG, McKinsey etc.) involved, the destruction it has left our country (loadshedding and massive debts being a few) and more sadly, how the individuals involved are still not held accountable is beyond any logic.
Spanning exactly 93 minutes, How To Steal A Country is, as we mentioned prior, essential viewing for all South Africans who want to understand their country. It is officially screening first on Showmax from tomorrow, 23 April 2020, just in time for the Freedom Day long weekend. Highly recommended, PLEASE WATCH!
An enormous thank you to the Showmax team for allowing us to be one of the few to see this one first and give our thoughts.