A DRY WHITE SEASON
Revised First Draft
"IN THE WHOLE WORLD
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE
POOR DEVIL WHO IS LYNCHED,
NOT ONE MISERABLE MAN
WHO IS TORTURED IN WHOM
I TOO, I AM NOT MURDERED
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR BOYS - DAY
Dan Pienaar school is a typical Johannesburg Afrikaan
school. The students are mainly from middle-class
families. School athletics are in progress. The stu-
dents, in their smart school uniforms, are cheering
enthusiastically a relay race on the immaculately-kept
GORDON NGUBENE, a 47-years-old African laborer is work-
ing in the school garden. A few feet away is his 15-
years-old son JONATHAN leaning against a wall watching
BEN DU TOIT, a 50-year-old Afrikaaner history teacher, is
enthusiastically cheering his son JOHAN, a 15-years-old,
who is leading neck-and-neck with another boy in the last
leg of the race. The excitement increases as they
approach the tape. Ben is beside himself, egging his son
with shouts. The young teacher, VIVIERS, standing next
to Ben, is shouting "come on Johan," and slapping the
father on the back.
Johan breasts the tape just ahead of the other boy. The
ground is invaded by boys running to congratulate Johan.
Ben hurries towards his happy but exhausted son; the proud
father pushing his way through the animated boys. As he
reaches Johan he pats him on the back.
This was your best race.
I beat him, Papa.
You did son. Come on, shower.
They walk happily towards the school buildings in conver-
sation, Johan being slapped on the back by friends. Ben
stops to talk to Gordon who jumps to his feet.
I'll be expecting you. There
isn't much to do, only weeding
the marigolds and watering the
lawn and flowers.
We'll be there, Mr. Ben'sir,
Jonathan come to help me.
Ben hadn't seen Jonathan. He turns to him.
And how's the algebra? Still
giving you trouble?
Just a little, Mr. Ben'sir.
He's working hard, Mr. Ben'sir,
and your money will not be
wasted. Emily and me will always
(as he leaves)
See you both later.
Gordon returns to his work a little distance further. A
group of students are laughing and pushing each other
boisterously. As they near Jonathan, two nudge each
other and giggle. Then, one of them trips Jonathan. He
falls to the ground and jumps up aggressively, about to
attack the boy. Gordon shouts "Jonathan."
The headmaster, MRS. CLOETE, aged 65 years, has observed
the incident, but takes no action.
Jonathan stands panting with rage. He suddenly strides
away towards the gate in a rage.
U ya phi?
(Where are you going?)
Jonathan turns to look at his father and continues to
EXT. SOWETO BEER HALL - AFTERNOON
The beer hall is a large complex with a drinking area
with long rows of low benches.
Men sit drinking African beer in one-half and one gallon
plastics containers. The place buzzes with noise.
Several people are touting wares for sale.
Suddenly a group of about twenty youths walks into the
drinking area, obviously to cause trouble. The LEADER
starts to address the clients.
Your children are starving and you
are drinking. We demand freedom
and our fathers are drunk. We ask
you to boycott these beer halls.
Revolution and drink don't work
A large MAN WITH SIDEBURNS, obviously drunk, stands up, a
stick in his hand.
MAN WITH SIDEBURNS
Since when do children talk like
this to their fathers? They need
The man and several others advance on the boys. The boys
run into the serving area, close the doors and start
breaking up the place. Two police Land Rovers SCREECH to
a halt outside. The boys run out through a side en-
trance. They are chased by the police who are black.
Jonathan and his best friend Wellington, also 15 years,
are walking towards the beer hall when the boys come
running out chased by the police. It is prudent for
them to run down the street. The boys and police are
bearing down on them. Their escape is cut off by the
apperance of another police Land Rover. Two policemen,
two blacks and two whites join in the capture. Jonathan,
Wellington and about ten of the boys are arrested.
As they are hundled into the vehicle, they protest their
innocence without success and are driven away.
INT. SOWETO POLICE STATION - CHARGE OFFICE - AFTERNOON
The charge office is sparcely furnished with a long bench
along a wall. There is a reception counter with Sgt:
Van Zyl in charge. The boys are lined up against a wall.
The sergeant stands with a tall blond man with a scar on
his chin, CAPTAIN STOLZ.
The sergeant reads out a name and looks at Stolz; if he
nods the boy stands aside. After this ritual, the ones
that Stolz has chosen are marched to a waiting police van
and driven away. The others are taken to the cells at
the police station, these include Jonathan and
EXT. DUTCH REFORM CHURCH - DAY
The MUSIC STOPS. The doors open. The 40 years-old-
minister Bester comes to the door, then stands and greets
his parishioners as they file out of the church.
Amongst them, Ben Du Toit -- his wife, SUSAN, a clean-
cut, immaculate, "toe-the-line" beauty and his son, Johan
-- the blond, blue-eyed, tanned and torsoed fourteen-
year-old every father dreams of. Susan greets friends
and acquaintances, pausing to chat... mostly formalities.
Johan, his eyes on a girl his age. She is with her
father, Mr. Cloete, the headmaster -- she smiles at Johan
from a distance; he waves awkwardly as she drives off
with her parents.
SUZETTE his daughter, sophisticated -- groomed. She
takes her baby from the black nanny waiting in the car,
carries the child to the group chatting with CHRIS, her
husband. She shows it off proudly. Ben is chatting,
concerned, to a WOMAN. She looks drawn and worried.
MRS. COETZEE (WOMAN)
He won't come to church. He lies
in bed all day, listening to his
I wondered why he wasn't at
school. Would it help if I came
to see him? He's always seemed a
good kid to me.
Oh, would you?
Of course. I'll phone and we can
fix a time.
Mrs. Coetzee smiles her gratitude.
She's waving impatiently at him. He crosses back to her.
Suzette's BABY is HOWLING.
She rocks it back and forth, holding it at arm's length.
The BABY SCREAMS. The nanny comes forward -- Suzette
hands it over.
Mrs. Coetzee. She looked worried.
She's having trouble with her boy.
He won't come to school.
So you said you'd have a word with
She smiles and walks him to the car affectionately.
EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - BARBECUE - DAY
The Du Toit family.
Susan is bringing out the salads. Chris, her son-in-law,
is at the barbecue, stinging his eyes. Ben is bouncing
his grandson, little Hennie, in a small, portable pool.
The black nanny sits in attendance in the shade, a towel
at the ready. The good life...
... Suddenly disturbed by... Gordon and Jonathan standing
uncertain at the far side of the garden; Gordon's hat
pressed flat against his chest, Jonathan defiant.
Susan looks up -- as do each in turn -- curious at the
intrusion... then the black nanny -- and finally Ben.
After a moment, Ben walks up to Gordon.
Gordon! What are you doing here?
INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - DAY
Six cuts, like six knife gashes, revealed on the blood-
stained buttocks of Gordon's son, who stands in painful,
Ben is shocked by the severity of the canning.
That's not why I'm complaining,
Mister Ben, sir. If he did wrong,
I'd beat him myself. But he
He did nothing and they wouldn't
listen. They wouldn't believe
I'm sorry, Gordon. But there
must be a reason.
He says he wasn't doing anything
wrong, Mister Ben, sir. And I
believe him, I know my son! It's
What about the court? Didn't he
state his case?
What does he know about court?
Before he knew, it was all over.
I don't think there is anything we
can do about it now.
Outside, peering through the half-opened door, is Johan,
shocked at what he sees. Ben tapes Jonathan on the head,
he pulls up his shorts painfully, yet fiercely, anxious
to cover himself up again.
We can get a lawyer to appeal.
A lawyer? That won't heal
Susan appears at the door.
I'll be out in a minute.
She nods, ushering Johan away from the door back outside.
You don't understand, Mister Ben,
sir. I don't want him to have a
It will be there for the rest of
his life and make it difficult for
him to get a job in the future.
Don't worry, Gordon. I'm sure
there'll be no record, it's such
a minor case. Please don't worry.
Ben calls Johan from the outside.
Johan, get some iodine from the
Johan rushes in the house.
I'm not worried about the wounds.
They'll heal in time, Mister Ben,
sir. It's the wounds here.
(slaps his chest)
I worry about. Injustice... it
Johan comes back with a small bottle of medicine.
Rub it on the wounds and it will
EXT. BEN'S GATE - DAY
Ben watches the black man and his son trudge down the
long drive, the father's arm on the son's shouldre. At
the foot of the drive the nose of an exotic Soweto cab
can be seen waiting... a large butterfly painted on the
EXT. BEN'S GARDEN - DAY
Ben takes his place at the table. Susan brings a piece
of boerwors and a mug of beer.
Jonathan has been caned, by the
She places the boerwors and the beer before him.
He probably deserved it.
EXT. SOWETO SCHOOL - SOWETO UPRISING - MORNING
School grounds of the Orlando Secondary School. Students
are milling around in high spirits. One group is putting
finishing touches to a banner reading: "no to aparhteid
There are two other banners being carried around the
school yard, followed by the younger children. They
"No to the Oppressor's language"
"Bantu education is slave
A BOY, one of the eldest, aged about 18 years calls for
silence. The STUDENTS immediately obey.
STUDENT LEADER (BOY)
You all know why we are going to
The crowd shouts:
'No to Bantu education'
'No to apartheid'
There must be discipline. We
start marching from here and we'll
join up with the others at the
main road. Please take care of
the younger ones. Let's go.
The Students start marching led by one of the banners,
singing a freedom song.
Amongst them is Jonathan and Wellington. They are sing-
ing. The march turns round one of the streets.
Several groups of students marchers converge to join the
march that has already started, including Jonathan's
group. There are several banners condeming Bantu
education, apartheid, etc.
Examples: "EQUAL EDUCATION NOW"
"ONE MAN ONE VOTE"
"FREE OUT LEADERS"
"NO TO THE AFRIKAANS LANGUAGE"
There are chants of slogans as they march:
'If we learn Afrikaans vorster
must learn Zulu.' 'Bantu
education! Stinks! Stinks!
Stinks!' 'Equal education! Now!
They also start singing a freedom song.
FURTHER UP STREET
Three police Jeeps block the route of the march. A
little distance behind are police troops carriers
('hippos'). About six police-dog-handlers in camouflage
uniforms stand across the road waiting for the march to
As the march gets closer the students' singing increases
The Soweto police COMMANDANT steps forward with a loud-
speaker in hand. He confronts the lead of the march. He
signals for them to stop. The dogs are straining at their
leashes and their handlers taunt the leading group.
Now listen to me, this is an
illegal demonstration. I order
you to disperse immediately.
The Students start singing the African national anthem
Children of 8, 9, 10 years singing lustily with their
fists clenched as everyone else.
Jonathan and Wellington singing.
Camouflauged police scrambling out of Jeeps with guns and
tear gas grenades. They stand with the rifles pointing
at the marchers. The singing continues.
The Commandant confers with a junior officer who hurries
to the group of policemen and gives them instructions.
The ones carrying tear gas move towards front. The
police start donning gas masks.
This is the last warning.
Disperse immediately or I will
A voice in the crowd shouts "Banutu education..."
The crowd shouts back "Stinks, Stinks, Stinks."
The Commandant gives a hand signal.
Tear gas canisters are thrown into the crowd, the dog-
handlers attack. There is panic with Students running in
all directions, several choking.
Some of the students start throwing stones at the police,
hitting one in the face; he is helped away by a black
Without warning, SHOOTING STARTS.
Children drop, wounded; friends trying to help the dying
and seriously wounded, others helped away.
Some boys appear with dustbin lids as protection and they
pelt the police with stones.
The police in the 'hippos' are jumping off and pursuing
Students, some SHOOTING.
Woman grabs two of the running children age about 9/10
and hustles them into house.
Jonathan and Wellington are running with a group. In the
distance the sound of an AMBULANCE SIREN. A Jeep cuts
off their escape, they turn back running as SHOTS are
FIRED towards them, a little girl drops, shot in the
back. Jonathan shouts to Wellington who is ahead of him.
Wellington looks back, sees Jonathan trying to help the
little girl. He runs back to help. Another girl, aged
about 17 years, is also trying to help.
Two policemen suddenly appear from behind a house, they
are about 18 years old.
The girl straightens up and confronts the two policemen
Shoot me! Come on, shoot me!
She slumps to the ground crying.
Jonathan, Wellington and the Girl are hustled into a
crowded van amid punches and kicks from the police. The
van drives off leaving the injured Girl on the road,
neighbors run to assist the Girl.
As the van is passing, see a burning car, in the distance
a building on fire; another AMBULANCE SIREN.
A) EXT. AFRIKAANER SCHOOL
B) The screams, the laughter of white kids playing at
their school, massed in conviviality, Johan one.
C) Behind, aboard a mower, motors Gordon, in the blue
overall of a groundsman, intent in his task.
OVER this white pacifist content, hear...
... GUNSHOTS, SCREAMS, TERROR.
D) EXT. SOWETO - AFTERNOON
The carnage, the dead, the wounded. The stunned
bewilderment of blacks and police alike... even the
latter unnerved by their own brutality.
EXT. JOHANNESBURG SUBURB - LATE AFTERNOON
Soweto train rushing through suburb of Johannesburg.
REVERSE SHOT FROM train.
INT. SOWETO TRAIN CARRIAGE - LATE AFTERNOON
The third-class carriage is crowded with African
commuters returning to Soweto. The passengers represent
all the social and economic strata of Soweto: laborers,
factory workers, domestic servants, clerk secretaries,
the unemployed, etc. In the carriage, Gordon, returning
from work, standing.
A LARGE middle-aged WOMAN is standing in the crowded
aisle at one end of the carriage. She suddenly shouts:
(to man in front of
Careful with your bag. Can't you
see where it's touching?
Can I see where it's touching?
Men of today only like looking.
Laughter in the carriage. Gordon is also enjoying the
(standing by a door)
It's the electricity.
MAN IN KHAKI UNIFORM
What has electricity to do with
A few voices also ask same question.
Today with the electricity they
(in an affected
'Darling let's not switch off
Laughter and voice saying "that's true."
(standing very near
I hope you have electricity with
those thick glasses of yours.
With your eyes you couldn't find
Tell us, does your wife also wear
You should know, she's your
There is more laughter.
Suddenly a MAN jumps on his seat waving his arms -- he's
about 40 years old -- in BLUE OVERALLS. He cannot take
it any more.
MAN IN BLUE OVERALLS
Quiet! Thulani! Thulani!
The noise goes down.
MAN IN BLUE OVERALLS
They are killing our children
and you are making jokes...
They say hundreds of children have
died and Soweto is burning.
CLOSEUP - GORDON AND WOMAN
talking about the information.
The white people, they will pay,
'They will pay, they will pay.' Since
when have they been killing us, putting
us in jails, starving our children to
death, taking our land? Hundreds of
years. And what have you men done?
Only talk, talk, talk. You are not
men. Sis. (Shit.)
The conversations in the carriage become muted and serious.
The train enters Soweto, there is smoke hanging over sev-
eral parts of the township, and official buildings are on
Suddenly, the passengers are gripped by the seriousness of
There are snatches of conversation such as:
"That's the superintendent's office
"I hope the children are home."
"We have to dodge bullets tonight."
"Vorster must hang for this."
"I hope the world hears about this."
INT. GORDON'S HOUSE - EVENING
A small three-room Soweto brick house -- The living room
is modestly furnished.
EMILY, Gordon's 40-year-old wife, is sitting on a narrow
iron bedstead against the wall, clutching her youngest
2-year-old son -- Her mind is preoccupied. Sitting next
to her is a ten-year-old daughter.
Gordon is sitting on a chair at the table with his second
eldest son, Robert -- aged 14 years -- standing by the
side of the table -- sitting on an old easy chair is a
Soweto resident with his 15-year-old DAUGHTER standing
Are you sure it was Jonathan
they took away?
The girl glances at her father. He coaxes her to talk.
Yes, baba, with Wellington.
INT. SOWETO POLICE STATION - DAY
Black parents, waiting. At the counter with Gordon, a
large black man, STANLEY, a friend -- his big easy smile
is working hard on a white policeman, the station SERGEANT
VAN ZYL, about to run out of patience.
No, no, I understand, Baas, but is
that all the names? There's no
other list somewhere?
SERGEANT VAN ZYL
I'm telling you. He's not in
custody. Have you tried the
hospital? Have you tried the
Gordon sucks in his breath audibly.
SERGEANT VAN ZYL
I'm only suggesting the
But, what about John Voster
SERGEANT VAN ZYL
Look, I've tried to help you.
Stanley walks up to a WOMAN.
You're here too, sis Paulina, who
are you looking for?
They picked up my girl -- 13-year-
We are all searching.
The policeman calls her -- she hurries to the counter.
INT. BARAGWANATH MORTUARY - DAY
A white-uniformed assistant leads a line of African
parents, reeking of sadness, into a cool room where metal
drawers open from the walls.
Stanley and JULIUS their black lawyer -- the two men seem
to be very well-known, people shake hands with them,
salute them --
Gordon and Emily's sadness is tinged with anger -- they
have dignity, defiance, bowed with grief as they are.
Stanley's large hand is placed gently on Emily's shoulder
as they examine the dead faces before them.
They belong to children, some in torn, dirty clothes,
others naked, some mutilated, others whole and seemingly
unharmed, as if asleep, until the small, neat hole in
temple or chest and the small crust of blood is brought
to our attention.
A woman behind them starts to scream. They look around
to see her holding onto a drawer, her legs buckling.
Another woman pulls her close to grieve with her. The
assistant approaches them and after a soft exchange he
writes a name on a tag and ties it onto the body. The
woman can't, won't leave her dead child. Her friend has
to pull her away.
The crowd parts to let them through. Other women reach
out to touch her.
Gordon looks into the last drawer, Jonathan is not there.
They make their way out past the other parents and a group
of mourning women sitting.
EXT. MORTUARY - DAY
Gordon, Emily and their friends cross to Stanley's great
white elderly Dodge, this "etembalami" with the big butter-
fly. For, amongst other things, he is the owner and
driver of a pirate taxi.
They get in. Stanley pauses -- looks across at a small
red VW Beetle parked nearby, waiting. He shakes his
head -- the VW flashes its lights and drives off.
INT. STANLEY'S TAXI - DAY
Inside they sit in silence... recovering from the ordeal.
Only Emily silently whispers "Thank God, thank God."
After a while...
He is our son... we must find him.
I'll make more inquiries -- John
Vorster Square -- the special
branch -- but I don't hold out
You're a lawyer, Julius!
A black lawyer! Those Boers...
the bastards'll kick him around
till they lose him.
What about the Baas? If he asks,
they will give him an answer.
When the boy was flogged he didn't
help. Why should he help him now?
EXT. BEN'S GARDEN - MORNING
Gordon is at work already -- 8 AM -- mowing the lawn.
He's intense, unsmiling, burdened as he goes about his
Sounds of BEN and JOHAN LAUGHING coming from inside.
INT. BEN'S DEN - MORNING
Ben and Johan, in robes, their hair still wet from their
showers, having an imaginary boxing match. Johan has
Ben on the ropes, backs him out of the house.
EXT. BEN'S GARDEN
Ben adjusts the sash of his robe and takes the offensive
towards Johan, as he sees Gordon.
No response. Ben does a double-take and stops playing.
Hold it, champ.
He crosses the yard to Gordon, fluffing his hair dry,
Johan follows behind.
Gordon, you okay?
No response again. Gordon continues to work. Ben and
Johan exchange puzzled looks.
Isn't this Jonathan's day to help
How is he, recovering?
Gordon stops, switches OFF the MACHINE, stands not looking
I don't know, Mister Ben, sir --
the police took him.
They arrested many. They even
deny they've got him. He's
Disappeared? He's a child -- why
didn't you tell me?
Gordon just looks at him, sadly, patiently.
Okay! I'll see what I can find
Ben walks off with Johan as Gordon STARTS the MOWER.
INT. BEN'S STUDY - MORNING
Ben is talking on the phone.
Our gardener, yes. Probably
nothing, but he's worried.
INT. LAWYER'S OFFICE - DAY
Sumptuous lawyer's offices, Johannesburg. They're lush-
carpeted. A black woman cleaner is finishing off her
early-morning chores, packing up as white staff are be-
ginning to arrive. They're fresh, shining, attractive
-- whipping the covers off typewriters.
A young black girl, smart, well-groomed, is carrying a
tray of coffee, desk to desk. FOLLOW her as she
approaches her employer's open office door.
We hear his voice -- see him on the phone in the b.g.
... And when was this?
He nods, makes notes. He's in shirtsleeves. At his post
early, ready for action.
Ngubene -- Jonathan Ngubene.
INT. LEWINSON'S OFFICE - DAY
The coffee girl enters, places a cup on Lewinson's desk,
I'll get on to them straight away...
Not at all -- I think better this
time of morning -- after lunch,
man, I'm a zombie.
Sure -- let you know straight away
-- love to, Susan... Cheers!
(puts down phone;
presses his intercom)
Freda! Open an account... Du Toit.
Benjamin Du Toit... Subject...
MONTAGE - SEARCH FOR JONATHAN
-- CHATTERING out -- on Lewinson's headed note paper:
To the Commissioner of Police
John Vorster Square
On behalf of our client, Gordon Ngubene,
we are anxious to discover the whereabouts
of his son...
B) INT. POLICE HQ. (JOHN VORSTER SQUARE) - INTERROGATION
Wellington, Jonathan's friend, is sitting alone in
fear. Through the wall he can hear MOANING -- SCREAMS.
He closes his eyes tight as if to shut out what he
C) POLICE TYPEWRITER
-- CHATTERING out -- on police headquarters note paper:
To Lewinson & Partners Solicitors
With reference to your enquiry concerning
Jonathan Ngubene, we suggest you take the matter
up directly with the particular officer in
D) HOSPITAL (JOHANNESBURG)
Young black nurse carrying bedding -- corridor --
startled by moaning, screaming figure of black boy,
being hustled on trolley into private ward. Boy is
deposited on bed as policeman is posted outside.
-- Lewinson's headed paper:
... the whereabouts of Jonathan Ngubene, aged
15, who was apparently detained by you...
F) 2ND POLICE TYPEWRITER
-- Second heading:
The type keys hesitate, tremble, for a considerable
number of seconds, on and on, as if deliberately de-
laying or uncertain how to answer.
confronted by Gordon and Emily. She shakes her
head vigorously, denying all knowledge, shows them the
With reference to your enquiry seeking the
whereabouts of Jonathan Ngubene, we are sorry
to inform you we have no record of anyone of
I) HOSPITAL - WHITE SUPERINTENDENT FACING JULIUS
It's preposterous. I would have
known -- of such a case... I
mean... in my hospital. You
people! You're always raking
At the back of police headquarters, John Vorster Square.
An elderly black cleaner, emptying garbage, is being
shown Jonathan's photograph. He looks -- and nods --
pointing down as meaning the basement.
K) CLOSE ON STANLEY'S FACE
INT. LEWINSON'S OFFICE - DAY
He is with a client. He pushes a button on the intercom.
... Freda -- I said no calls...
Oh... Right... put them through.
Hallo! Yes! How are you?...
that is correct.
He listens -- his face slowly becoming solemn --
Very well. Thank you for finally
letting us know.
He replaces the receiver... looks at it for a long second
... before lifting his eyes to the client.
He dials a number.
INT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - STAFF ROOM - DAY
Tea break for the teachers, Ben among them. He is enjoy-
ing a laugh with his colleagues -- maybe in Afrikaans --
we should hear the language here where we need not com-
prehend. An African serves the tea.
There's a KNOCK -- a monitor comes in and talks to Ben
who follows him outside.
INT. SCHOOL - DAY
Ben at the phone.
Hello, Dan... No... it's all
INT. LEWINSON'S OFFICE - DAY
I'm sorry. They have just
officially informed me. The boy
was never in detention. He died
... the day of the riots and
as nobody came to claim the corpse
he was buried a month ago.
INT. SCHOOL - DAY
Ben at the phone.
Thanks a lot, Dan... I'll tell
Ben hangs up and stays there... thinking... until the
BELL snaps him out of his thoughts.
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - PLAYING FIELDS - DAY
The playing fields, not of Eton but as good as...
... Cries and whistles rise through the still, warm air
from a game of schoolboy rugby being played below us by
On another part of the field Gordon's lawnmower off to
the side -- two figures pace -- slowly -- one white, one
A VOICE overlays all this... strange... ironically
Mister Ben, sir. If it was me,
all right. And if it was Emily,
all right. We are not young. But
he's out child. My time and your
time, it's passing. But the time
of our children is coming. And
now if they kill our children --
if we let them -- what is it that
we lived for?
(places a hand on
Gordon's shoulder --
What can we do, Gordon? You or
I... We can't change it.
That day, Mr. Ben, sir, when they
whipped Jonathan, you also said we
can do nothing. But if we had...
if someone heard what we had to say
this would not have happened.
It's a terrible thing, Gordon --
God knows I'm sorry. But you have
other children to live for... I'll
help them too with their schooling.
How did he die, Mister Ben, sir?
I told you, Gordon... He died on
the day of the riots.
That's what they say. But I got
to know for certain. How can I
have peace? I must know how my
son died and where they buried
The game on the next pitch finishes with a pierce of the
whistle. The kids run off past Ben and Gordon. Gordon
climbs onto the small lawn mower and STARTS the ENGINE.
Gordon. The police -- if they've
I don't care what they say. He is
my child. God is my witness today:
I cannot stop before I know what
happened and where he lies. His
body belongs to Emily and me.
And drives away -- chugging across the field... leaving
Ben -- helpless -- behind him -- watching.
in the school behind -- a worried headmaster watches.
We hear his voice over.
... This business of Gordon's son.
Be careful, Ben. These are not
normal times -- one has to make
EXT. CAR PARK
The car park. He and Ben are getting into their cars at
the end of the day.
Don't worry! I'm no crusader.
I've known Gordon a long time,
I understand -- it's your
Christian duty to your neighbor.
Something like that -- yes.
Just don't get too close.
Teachers must stay out of
politics. Love to Susan!
And drives off, leaving Ben watching him, shaking his
head at the man's obtuseness.
EXT. NGUBENE HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON
Emily is watering a tiny vegetable plot in the yard, with
a bucket and a pierced tin.
Robert is playing nearby with the youngest child.
Robert sees Gordon walking slowly to their house and says
playfully to the baby:
Look who's coming? It's baba!
Emily turns to look. She immediately realizes that some-
thing is wrong. She drops the tin and walks a few steps
toward the gate.
Gordon sees her and stops.
Emily starts to break down.
Oh, no... oh no, Lord.
Gordon hurries to embrace her.
(sobbing and repeating)
Please don't tell me...
Gordon starts to lead her to the house.
Margaret, Emily's neighbor, comes, hurries, helps her,
comforts her, escorting them to the house.
EXT. SOWETO MAIN ROAD - DAY
Stanley and Gordon are driving along Soweto main road.
A 10-years-old BOY stops the car.
INT. STANLEY'S CAR - DAY
Baba, I heard you're looking for
Wellington. He's out, Baba.
Where is he? Where is he?
He's with some boys at Dube's
Thank you very much. You've
worked like a man.
(turning to Gordon)
Stanley turns the car round and drives off at speed.
EXT. DUBE'S SHOP - DAY
Wellington and a few pals are standing outside the shop
-- they greet Stanley as they see the car -- Stanley
shouts back greeting.
Take it easy, boys. Hey
Wellington comes to the car. He's limping, wearing
As he's approaching the car, Stanley opens the back door
He enters and removes the glasses.
Stanley notices a deep scar from the forehead to the
What happened... Don't tell me...
Did they do that to you?
Wellington has a nervous arm-twitch... and nods to the
I want to know what happened to
Isn't he out yet?
I last saw him weeks ago.
Jonathan is dead.
I have to know how he died.
INT. BEN'S DINING ROOM
Sizette and Chris with the family at dinner. Suzette is
passed the Rand Daily Mail newspaper by Chris, folded at
an article headlined: "WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JONATHAN
NGUBENE?" by Melanie Bruwer.
Isn't that tragic? Jonathan was
such a nice boy. Even played with
my Johan when they were small,
And he was such a nice boy, well-
You said he was very bright at
Chris helps himself to more. Suzette looks at the paper.
Well, this kind of journalism
doesn't help the situation. Look
at her face? What does she look
The Rand Daily Mail always
She passes the paper to Ben. He looks at Melanie's pic-
ture: she looks 30 years old, long black hair, large
dark eyes with a fierce, unsettling, uncompromising stare,
a small nose and a generous and sensual mouth.
Looks quite attractive to me.
Chris and Johan laugh.
(he surveys the
article; then with
a serious tone)
'... Is only the latest in scores
of black youths who have
disappeared whilst in police
What does she expect? They're out
of control. Give then an inch and
they take a hundred miles. It's
in their nature. The only
language they understand is force.
Chris, Jonathan was fifteen, like
me. Would you use force on me?
You're not a terrorist. If you
were -- like an increasing number
of them, you'd deserve it. Look,
every time you pick up the
on the paper)
My God, one hundred shot! They
didn't have to kill them.
This bloody Bruwer woman reports
one hundred shot, but the radio
said only twenty and the police
were attacked first.
I thought the idea was to give
them their own areas, banstustans.
Let them live with their own kind.
No chance of conflict then.
And who would do the work?
The work, who'd do it?
You for a start. Come on! Help
me clear these dishes.
As Johan stands, to clear the table. He turns to his
father with a smile, and shrugs -- an irritated Suzette
INT. GORDON'S HOUSE (SOWETO) - NIGHT
The small dark room is crowded. The one oil lamp -- on
the table -- At the table sits Gordon... his glasses on
the end of his nose.
Emily is sitting by the stove. Robert stands beside her
chair, watching, listening.
The youngsters are sleeping in opposite directions on the
Wellington is sitting beside Gordon at the table. There
is something wild in his manner. He looks everywhere as
if he is scared of being attacked unawares.
The black cleaner from John Vorster Sq. stands near the
table. Gordon is reading aloud from a handwritten
'On the second day of our detention
at John Vorster Square we were
taken to one of the top floors.
We were ordered to undress and
they started to beat us with fists
and sjamboks. This for a long
Wellington nods and gets more paranoid. The black cleaner
puts an understanding hand on his shoulder.
'On one day me and Jonathan...'
Gordon pauses... steadies himself... pushes his glasses
up his nose... clears his throat...
'... We were asked questions for
the whole day and night by Capt.
Stolz and different policemen --
they never stopped. They tried to
force us to say we were the
leaders at our school, that we
were working for the A.N.C. and
got money from overseas. Capt.
Stolz wanted to know the names of
the students committee and where
he can find Toni Mtimkulu --
Everytime they asked question,
they beat us. It was bad beating.'
Wellington nods again. Emily closes her eyes to shut out
'We told them we had done nothing
and didn't know about all the
things they are asking us; on two
occasion they put a wet bag over
my head and I -- couldn't breathe
-- I thought I was going to die.
One day I heard Jonathan being
beaten. He was screaming and
crying, and then a noise like
tables and chairs being knocked
down, and Capt. Stolz shouting
"you bastard, get up, do you hear
me?" Ngubene, don't pretend here,
get up." Then the next day I
heard he had gone to hospital and
I never saw him again.'
There's a long silence. Gordon closes his eyes and
struggles with his grief. Emily sobs, Robert looks on
in anger. Then, finally, Gordon offers a pen to
Wellington, who is about to sign the foot of the state-
... Suddenly there is the sound of a TRUCK APPROACHING.
Wellington rushes to the front window and peers outside;
then panics, fear in his eyes, he runs into a bedroom and
jumps through the window.
Everyone in the room is bewildered.
The front door bursts open. Emily sits impassively look-
ing at the five policemen (two whites and three Africans).
The youngest child startled from his sleep starts to cry.
Emily goes to the bed and picks the child up and returns
to her chair.
Stay right where you are.
He notices the papers on the table and picks them up. He
looks at them and realizes their importance.
Capt. Stolz walks into the room and surveys the room and
its occupants. Lieutenant Venter hands him the papers.
He goes through them, nodding to himself as he reads
silently. He folds them neatly and puts them into his
inside jacket pocket. He walks up to Gordon.
On your feet! So, you must be
Gordon doesn't answer.
He turns to the cleaner who automatically stands.
We know each other, don't we?
Calmly, he paces round the room looking around, then when
he reaches the bed where the 10-years-old girl is watch-
ing terrified, he pulls off the blankets, yanks the girl
off the bed by her arm and frantically searches the bed.
The child cries. Robert the brother goes to his sister
and hugs her as he glares at Stolz with anger and hatred.
(turning to Venter)
Gert, in daardie kammer.
(Gert, that room)
(turning to the other
Jaimie, in die ander.
(Jamie, the other room)
Take the bastards away.
The other policeman appears from the other bedrooms empty-
handed. Gordon and the cleaner are roughly handled as
they are handcuffed by the African Security Police.
Over his shoulder Gordon manages to give Emily one last
look, as he's hustled out of the house.
Emily sits motionless, anger in her face. She can hear
the sound of the CARS DRIVING AWAY.
Margaret (her neighbor) appears at the door.
INT. BEN'S STUDY - NIGHT
Behind Ben's house, are the servants' quarters attached
to the garage.
Ben has adapted what would have been a maid's room into
his study and the adjoining room into a do-it-yourself
The study has photographs of Ben's past as a provincial
rugby player, of his family, school staff and TRECHIKOFF
On a cupboard are trophies of individual sports at
He works off a plain desk on which is a handsome pipe-
rack with several pipes. His indulgence is a comfortable
Ben's study, containing only the figure of Ben. He's
hunched over his desk, looking blankly at the newspaper.
His shirt is unbuttoned, his jacket slung across his
chair. He draws heavily on his pipe, wreathing his
head with smoke in the beam of the single desk light.
He sits in his chair:
Gordon's voice rises in his thoughts.
That day, Mister Ben, sir, when
they whipped Jonathan, you also
said we can do nothing. God as my
witness today: I must know what
happened and where he lies. His
body belongs to Emily and me.
He mutters -- more a prayer than a curse.
Jeezus -- Jeezus -- Jeezus Christ.
Good night, Papa!
Johan is entering, knocking on the half-open door. He's
in his pajamas and dressing gown, ready for bed. Ben
looks up at him. Johan kisses his father who suddenly
clasp his son hard, clinging to him for dear life.
The boy throws his arms around his dad's neck.
Susan appears at the door with a cup of coffee. She's
had a bath -- her hair is wet -- and she's in her
Ben and Johan don't notice her approach.
She watches sympathetically for a moment, then...
Coffee! Come on, Johan. Time for
Johan pulls back from his father's arms.
Yes, son. Go and get some sleep.
The boy nods and leaves.
As Susan rests the cup of coffee on the desk before Ben.
She notices the Rand Daily Mail.
I'm proud of you, Ben... what
you've done for that family. But
darling, you shouldn't take these
things to heart so much. What
more can you do about it?
I don't know. I'm just tired, I
(stroking his hair
Come, come to bed.
Her housecoat has fallen open. He lifts his face to hers
and kisses her.
I will, in a minute. I'll just put
the thoughts of Standar Six away.
They mustn't be lost to posterity.
She chuckles, satisfied, leaving him.
He picks up his cup and drinks. He thinks again for a
moment. Then he removes a photocopied letter from an
envelope and reads:
OFFICE VOICE (V.O.)
'... Seeking the whereabouts of a
certain Jonathan Ngubene, regret to
inform you we have no record of
anyone of that name...'
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
Afrikaan boys in uniform hunching over their desks
writing... On the blackboard: the date and history test:
What year did the first white man arrive in South
When was the Battle of Blood River?
Who was the Zulu chief who was defeated at the battle
Who was the president of the first Afrikander
Give the route of the Voortrekkers from the cape?
Ben walks through the aisles and from time to time oppor-
tunities to glance at the window at Gordon's motionless
tractor sitting in the field.
He turns back and notices a boy focusing on the ceiling.
His pen in his mouth, trying desperately to find the
answers. Ben has a smile, then crosses to him, bends down
and strikes a similar pose.
The class breaks up into laughter.
(slapping the student's
All right, time up! Hand in your
Moans from the students.
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - VERANDA - DAY
Ben appears on the other side of the veranda. He is in
Cloete's company -- the little big man... grey hair...
65 years old. The headmaster.
They stop in before Ben's colleague, Vivier, passing,
shakes hands with him. A woman arrives and waits. Cloete
says something to Ben, then laughs.
Ben smiles and Cloete goes into the office.
The woman approaches Ben... talks to him... they both turn
back to see...
... Emily standing there, a soaking headscarf tied native-
style around her head.
Ben thanks the woman and crosses the yard.
What's happened, Emily?
I'm sorry, Baas... but it's
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - DAY
... Stanley is waiting in his car. His sunglasses on his
... The SCHOOL BELL RINGS to give the end of the tea inter-
val. Ben walks out with Emily to Stanley's car. Stanley
gets out, they stare at each other. Finally Stanley
breaks the silence.
(putting out his hand)
How's it? I'm Stanley! I heard
Ben feels a little uncomfortable.
This is Stanley Makhaya... He
helps us all the time.
Stanley opens the door to Emily.
Don't worry too much, Emily, I'm
sure Gordon will be home in a few
Stanley slaps the door with a big laugh. He gets into the
car and drives away.
CLOSE ON BEN
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - JOHN VORSTER SQUARE - DAY
Gordon stands facing the wall, his arm raised. He has
wetted his trousers.
Captain Stolz is pacing behind him. Lieutenant Venter,
sitting on the edge of the desk, is smoking.
Come on, Kaffir, talk!
Please, I've done nothing. All I
tried to do was to find...
Stolz interrupts him with a blow to his face. As Gordon
drops his hands, the officer shouts to him.
Up with those bloody arms!
We don't like gramophone records
here! Now who has been giving
Gordon doesn't answer.
The Lieutenant walks slowly to him, calmly removes his
fag-end of cigarette from his lips and stubs it on
Why don't you answer the Captain,
He walks back to his place.
Captain Stolz opens the door and shouts:
Johannes! The bag!
Gordon has a look of terror.
Immediately a black security policeman walks in with a
Johannes goes to wet the bag in a bucket in a corner.
Lieutenant Venter grabs Gordon, throws him onto a chair
and handcuffs his hands behind the chair.
Stolz is supervising.
The Lieutenant places the wet bag over Gordon's head and
Gordon starts groaning and wriggling.
INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS (JOHN VORSTER SQUARE) - DAY
Under the gaze of a uniformed POLICEMAN in a bulletproof
glass cage, Ben fills in a slip, then hands it to the
Policeman, who then makes a phone call.
Whilst waiting, Ben notices a video surveillance camera.
Just then, a 20-year-old African girl, Afro-style hair,
is brought in held on both sides by two white policemen.
She is taken into a lift.
Ben watches them enter the lift and follows the progress
of lift to the 10th floor.
The Policeman stamps the slip and gives it to Ben.
Somebody will meet you on second
Ben enters a lift.
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM (JOHN VORSTER SQUARE) - DAY
Gordon's still sitting on the chair, slumped -- Johannes
removes the handcuffs as the Lieutenant removes the wet
Gordon is breathing heavily and semi-conscious.
Suddenly Captain Stolz punches him heavily on the face.
Gordon drops on the floor with blood gushing from his nose
and mouth. Captain Stolz grabs him by his collar.
Come on you bloody black bastard.
Who has been telling you lies?
The PHONE RINGS. Stolz drops Gordon and walks to answer.
I'll be down immediately, Colonel.
INT. VILJOEN'S OFFICE - DAY
Behind the large desk, Colonel VILJEON replaces the tele-
phone receiver; there is a KNOCK on the door -- and a young
policeman ushers in Ben. Colonel Viljoen stands and ex-
tends a hand.
Come in, Mr. Du Toit, come in.
How do you do?
They shake. He's a large, friendly man, ruddy face, gray
Nice to meet you, Colonel Viljoen.
I used to watch you play for the
Transvaal. You were one of the
great wing forwards.
Long time ago.
There's a KNOCK on the door.
The door opens revealing Captain Stolz.
Captain Stolz, Mr. Du Toit.
Captain Stolz nods correctly, unsmiling, comfortably
dressed, English-style. He shakes hands with Ben. Then
walks toward the window and stands there.
As he's watching Ben, he begins to clean out his pipe with
a silver penknife;
Do sit down.
Ben sinks into a low leather chair before the desk. Be-
hind him he can feel Stolz's eyes.
Viljoen peers through his half-moons at the letter in
front of him. The pipe scraping continues behind Ben's
All right now, Gordon Ngubene.
Well... to put it simply, Colonel...
I'm always grateful for that.
I thought there might have been
some kind of misunderstanding I
could help straighten out.
I know him, Colonel. He works
at my school. He's done work for
And you feel you know him enough
to vouch for him.
Yes, after so many years... 10
years. Gordon's not the type to
get himself in trouble. He's an
honest, hard-working, church-
Ha! You'd be surprised how many
honest, decent, church-going men
we come across during a working
He leans back comfortably in his chair.
It's routine, Mr. Du Toit -- a
routine enquiry. Cleaning up
these townships we must leave no
I appreciate that -- but Gordon
Not an easy task either -- the
press screaming blue murder --
especially the English.
And they'll be the first to squeal
if the Reds took over, make no
mistake. Rushing back overseas
clutching their bloody British
passports. Have you any idea what
will happen here if we don't
follow every lead? We have a
duty -- obligation. You have your
job -- we have ours.
Ben hastens to reassure him.
He looks directly at Ben, frank, open, trustworthy.
Colonel -- believe me, I'm with
you all the way. But in this
case -- I'm sure that in your
worthy pursuit of the guilty you
have, unwittingly, involved the
innocent. After all, we're all
human. We all make mistakes
Viljoen laughs again.
We are indeed, Mr. Du Toit -- we
are indeed. Though there's many
who might need persuading as to
Mr. Du Toit. While you're here,
would you mind if I asked you a
few questions about Ngubene?
Colonel, I'd welcome it.
There's another pause. The Colonel takes out a fountain
pen -- unscrews it -- and arranges a sheet before him
Shall we start with his son?
Yes. He died some time ago.
Viljoen doesn't react.
What do you know about Gordon's
activities since Jonathan's death?
The noise stops behind.
Did Gordon ever discuss the death
Of course he did -- he was upset.
The Colonel pauses.
But he accepted the truth?
He is a religious man... in the
end he would have resigned himself
Would have? You mean he didn't?
Was he angry? Rebellious?
Come on, Colonel! If one of your
(nods to family picture
... and nobody would tell you how
it happened or where his body is
buried, wouldn't you be upset?
We told him how his son died, Mr.
Ben turns back, surprised.
You have a son, Mr. Du Toit?
The Colonel looks up at him... the first sign of steel in
his eyes... then back to the papers.
The noise starts again behind Ben.
Does he burn and destroy --
everything he can lay his hands
on?... No -- and neither does
mine. That's what I can't
understand... after everything
the government does for them.
(looks straight at Ben)
Think about it, Mr. Du Toit.
We're for you, not against you.
I've never doubted it, Colonel.
It's you who appear to be doubting
me. These questions. You're
making me feel like a criminal.
There's a moment's pause -- then a burst of laughter.
I'm sorry, Mr. Du Toit... I'm
sorry. It's force of habit. Once
a policeman, always a policeman,
More laughter -- Ben joins in. Viljoen stands, signalling
an end to the meeting.
EXT. BEN'S CAR - DAY
Johan is sitting, waiting, in the parked car... the RADIO
ON. He's bored.
INT. COLONEL'S OFFICE
... As soon as we're satisfied
he's innocent, he will be released.
We know what we're doing, Mr. Du
Toit. You want your wife and that
boy of yours to sleep safe tonight,
Ben nods, smiles, makes for the door, turns.
One last favor, Colonel?
Gordon's wife -- she's very
worried. May she bring him some
food and a change of clothes while
he's still here?
No problem! Thank you for your
Thank you. I'll rely on you, then.
Will you find your way out?
I think so. And thanks. I feel
much happier now.
Good! And give my regards to
your father-in-law -- tell him
we'll have a drink sometime --
maybe go to a game.
I will. Goodbye.
And the door shuts behind him.
There's silence for a moment... Viljoen staring at the
closed door -- Stolz looks expectantly at him.
Is the little bird singing yet?
I'm working on it.
Stolz leaves, shutting the door behind him.
EXT. JON VORSTER SQUARE
Ben opening his car. Johan is sitting in the front seat.
As Ben gets into the car, he glances at the John Vorster
INT. BEN'S CAR - DAY
Ben is motoring through and out of Johannesburg. Johan
is silent beside him, impatient.
I talked to them. Gordon will be
released soon. The colonel was
Did you see Gordon?
Ben suddenly realizes that he didn't ask to see Gordon.
Did they say anything about
No, but... Johan, he is dead. We
can't do anything for him. Don't
mention this visit to your mother.
INT. DU TOIT KITCHEN - NIGHT
Suzette and Susan in the kitchen arranging the dessert
tray. The kitchen is surprisingly neat. LAUGHTER is
coming from the dining room.
What extra-mural interest?
Champion of political detainees!
Ben comes in to open extra bottles of wine, hears Susan's
(laughing, turns to
Is that right, Papa?
That's right, Suzette. But, only
one detainee: 'Gordon!'
My God. What on earth for?
Susan leaves the kitchen without a word, with the dessert
plates on the tray to the dining room.
INT. DU TOIT HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Susan reaches VIVIERS and the minister DOMINEE BESTER,
with their dessert plates. The candles have burned down
amid the detritus of dinner: glasses disarranged and
dirty, the cloth spotted with food and wine and ashes.
In addition to Viviers, dateless, and Bester and his
wife, the school's headmaster, Cloete and his wife.
INT. DU TOIT HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Ben hastily uncorking a bottle of wine while talking to
It must be a mistake, Papa.
Of course it is. I went down
there, told them. They're looking
Went down where?
John Vorster Square.
Suzette giggles, amazed.
You old devil you. Does Ma know?
No. And you're not going to tell
A pause. She looks at him.
Be careful. I don't want my
favorite Papa in trouble, Gordon
or no Gordon.
She ruffles his hair, smiles, kisses him. They go back
into the dining room.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
More wine? Viviers?
Not for me, Oom Ben. I'm drunk
Ben serves her.
Susan passes to fetch milk jug and sugar basin from the
(to Mrs. Bester)
Oh, I saw those sheets you liked,
Sally, on sale at Bloom's.
Will you be free on Wednesday
afternoon? I have one or two
other things to buy.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Susan enters the kitchen. As she is about to place the
jug and basin on the table next to the tray with cups of
the same set, there is a knock at the door.
(turning to the door)
The door opens and Stanley steps in.
Who are you? What do you want?
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Ben and guests hear Susan.
Ben jumps up, hurries to the door. Viviers starts to
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Ben stops at the door, sees Stanley, turns to Viviers.
It's all right.
Viviers returns to his seat as Ben shuts the door behind
Oh, it's you... hum... Stanley,
That's all right, darling.
Ben leads Stanley out of the kitchen, closing the door
CLOSE ON SUSAN
INT. LEWINSON'S HOME - NIGHT
Lewinson is at the phone, behind him his wife, too, is
entertaining guests for dinner.
A Friday night, man! I'm no
doctor, I'm not on standby all the
bloody time. Can't they wait 'til
INT. BEN'S STUDY - NIGHT
Dan! I'm standing here with
Gordon's clothing in my hand.
There are broken teeth in the
pocket. Monday may be too late!
The lawyer has been banned.
Stanley is waiting, his great hand on his hips, the other
one on Emily's shoulder. She is sitting on a chair.
Obviously, Stanley doesn't expect a positive response.
INT. LEWINSON HOME - NIGHT
Do you mean Julius Nqakula?
Too bad, he's a good lawyer. Why
are you getting so involved, Ben?
INT. BEN'S STUDY - NIGHT
I'm just trying to help Gordon.
... You represented many cases,
tell me, does this happen often?
But Gordon's not political.
Okay, Dan, I'm sorry for
disturbing your weekend.
Ben replaces the phone. Turns to Emily and Stanley.
He agrees to see you tomorrow and
will apply to the supreme court
for an interdict to stop any
assaults on Gordon. And, we'll
find out what's going on.
You're all right, Lanie.
Ben can just hear Emily's soft voice.
Thank you, Baas.
Come on, sisi. Tomorrow it'll all
be first-class again.
INT. DU TOIT LOUNGE - NIGHT
Laughter again. Ben has rejoined the party in the
lounge. The women are together talking, laughing and the
men on their own.
More coffee, anyone?
The security police don't arrest
people for nothing, Ben. Leave
They could make a mistake.
Blacks lead double lives. One
you see and one you don't. These
people surprise you all the time.
That's what I like about them.
We're not concerned with 'blacks.'
We're talking about GORDON. A
good man and very loyal.
(serving coffee to
And a hard worker too.
A hard worker? I had to get rid
Susan doesn't react. She leaves to join the womens'
I fired him a few days before he
was arrested for staying away from
work for days. And for the sake
of the school I say good riddance.
What do you mean 'good riddance'?
I have a responsibility for the
children. These are troubled
times, Ben, we can't trust the
natives any more.
You have to be extra careful about
any influences, Oom Ben. Even
their churches are breeding
grounds for all sorts of evil
Gordon's not subversive and
definitely not a Communist.
Then he's got nothing to worry
Except his three teeth. Our
government mustn't allow such
things to happen. After all, it's
a Christian government.
(turning to Bester)
What do you say, Dominee?
Bester doesn't answer.
I'm not talking about the
government! I believe in our
government, damn it...
His sharp tone surprises everybody. He quiets.
... Look, I know the police often
know more than we do. I'm not
questioning that. I'm as loyal as
the next man. But I do know
Gordon Ngubene... there is
There's a moment's embarrassed silence, broken by Suzette's
entrance with a tray of glasses and a bottle of brandy.
(putting the tray in
front of Ben)
Anything else, Papa?
Ben starts pouring, and offers the first glass to Bester.
Bester shakes his hand.
Ben hands the glass to Viviers.
Immediately Viviers raises his glass and laughingly says:
Oom, Ben, may your problems be
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM (JOHN VORSTER SQUARE) - DAY
Gordon is undoing his trousers.
Venter roughly drops the trousers and pushing him to the
He handcuffs him while Johannes pulls off the trousers
and underpants, and manacles his ankles.
Johannes fetches a rod.
Venter goes to a cupboard, pulls out two electric wires
with electrodes attachments and places them on the desk.
All the preparation is done with practiced efficiency.
From the adjoining room there are angry shouts of a
Venter and Johannes place the rod between Gordon's elbow-
joints and the back of his knees. The door opens.
Gordon has a look of terror on his face.
CAPTAIN STOLZ (O.S.)
Sorry I'm late.
Captain Stolz enters carrying a thickish file under his
arms, goes straight to the desk and sits down.
Johnannes, the table.
Johannes moves the table in line with the desk.
Lieutenant Venter and Johannes lift the trussed Gordon
and the ends of the rod between the desk and table.
You're a heavy shitface. Too much
Captain Stolz holds Gordon by the head and swings him like
How do you feel today? Ready to
Very calmly Captain Stolz pulls out some papers from the
(pointing one sheet
Yes, Mister Ngubene, we know about
this Wellington... and...
... We know about him... and him
... Now, we want the names of the
others. And today you're going
to tell us.
The WOMAN in the next room SHOUTING louder than before --
that one is a real and tough activist --
As Johannes is fetching the bucket of water. Venter goes
to the cupboard and stays there.
'Samson' is ready, Captain, shall
I switch him on?
Johannes empties the bucket over Gordon. Stolz attaches
the terminal to Gordon's earlobes.
Gordon is given a short burst of electric shock.
That was a small taste of 'Samson.'
We have a whole day...
A knock at the door.
A black policeman in uniform. JOHNSON SEROKE, enters
with a letter in his hand.
What do you want?
A letter for you, Captain.
Stolz goes to take the letter and turns to place it on
his desk. He notices Seroke still standing.
What are you bloody-well waiting
No reply, Captain?
Get out of here.
Now about these affidavits who
told you to collect them? The
A.N.C.? Who recruited you?
Gordon mumbles something.
He bends forward to hear, and Gordon's swollen, puffy
eyes hold his gaze.
I don't know anything about the
You've had your chance. Now
you're going to shit.
(to lieutenant in
Reg gert. (Okay, Gert)
Gordon suddenly shakes violently and shouts repeatedly.
Hai! Hai! Hai!
INT. DUTCH REFORM CHURCH - MORNING
Dominee Bester is preaching from the pulpit.
God created the whole human race
so that they could occupy the
entire earth. He decreed how
long each nation should flourish,
and what the boundaries of each
territory should be. Our task is
to preserve that creative diversity.
Behind him, in his deacon's black tails, Ben listens with
clasped hands. On the opposite side, another man is lis-
tening, standing in the love of his family, Cloete.
Brothers and sisters, like our
forebears, the Voortrekkers, who
trekked into the wilderness
preserve the Afrikanere way of
life given to them by God. Today,
we also live in times of great
danger. Let not fear overcome
you! Cling to the ways of justice
and truth preserved by our leaders.
So shall God be honored...
The faces of his friends scattered among the pews, Suzette
and Susan listening intently, Johan beside her visibly
bored, his eyes wandering to the Cloete's daughter at
the end of the pew.
... So shall the Afrikaner people
The organ plays the opening notes to a hymn, the congre-
gation rises and sings.
INT. BEN'S GARAGE - DAY
Ben's garage/workshop -- the door is open. Ben and Johan
are together building a strong desk for Johan.
The RADIO offers MUSIC to keep them company. Susan is
Why didn't you tell me you'd been
down to John Vorster Square?
What difference would it have
I'm your wife, damn it!
She turns the RADIO DOWN, irritably.
I didn't want to upset you.
Upset me? It upsets me when you
share your bloody secrets with a
Johan is embarrassed. Ben glances at him. Johan shrugs
and shakes his head "not me." Ben planes on.
Ben! Ben! Look at me for God
(turns to Johan)
Johan uit met jou!
(posing down the
We have a good life. We may not
have everything we might have had
... If I'd been more ambitious.
(looking at him)
Ben, what's happening?
Sometimes it seems to me I don't
Ben looks at her. Her tone is panic, urgent. She looks
afraid. He crosses over to her, takes her in his arms.
What's happening -- it's something
I've never had to face -- deal
with -- before.
He's the gardener for God's sake,
not one of the family.
Be patient with me... When Gordon
is free you'll have me all to
yourself again... promise.
(nuzzling into his
Ben. We're growing old.
Nonsense. One's as old as he
feels. I feel young and very
attractive. I can still do my
She smiles up at him, chuckles, and then they kiss.
(smiling indulgently at
Stanley's here, Papa.
Oh, bloody hell!
Susan exclaims in angry frustration and flees.
Stanley appears at the garage door. He stands.
The news leaves Ben speechless. Stanley continues in
flat, emotionless tones.
The bastards say he committed
suicide... hanged himself.
Ben, recovering from the shock.
Suicide... is that what they told
Emily -- poor woman...
They didn't tell her. She heard
it on the radio like the rest of
us. I contacted Lewinson
immediately. He then rung the
police to ask why Emily wasn't
informed. Would you believe it,
they said they were sorry, and they
didn't know where to contact her.
Ben walks slowly out of the garage in deep thoughts --
Stanley follows him.
EXT. GARAGE - DAY
(almost to himself)
God! I never thought Gordon could
Did you understand me? I said,
they said he committed suicide.
How do we know?
Gordon wasn't a coward.
What do you mean 'but'? What
about Timol who they said had
jumped from a top-floor window?
What about Ngudle? What about
Mosala? Joyi? Malele? They all
died in that John Vorster Square.
All suicide, eh?
Ben stares at him. There is something like a strange
silence between them. Ben is confused and Stanley is
staring at him. Ben breaks this embarrassing mood.
Anything I can do to help?
He's got brothers.
I'm his brother, man, we all are!
We'll take care of everything.
That's the African way.
Stanley, I'd like to see Gordon.
Don't look for trouble, man. You
know there are riots all over
Soweto. You're out of it. Why
don't you stay out?
Don't you understand? I've got to go.
(with a mischievous
You got to go? Of course, Lanie... the
last farewell. But we have to be careful.
INT. STANLEY'S CAR - DAY
Stanley drives sportingly as he talks to Ben, seated in
We expected it.
How can you talk like that!?
A guy gets picked up by the S.B...
he's part of history, man.
You mean you had no hope, you
didn't believe he'd be released?
Hope's a white word, Lanie... It's
not hope we need.
There's silence for a moment.
Well, thank God Emily has you to
lean on, Stanley.
Emily is like my sister... We go
back many years.
Do you belong to the xhosa tribe too?
I am an African. That's all!
(looking through the
I am an African too!
Stanley turns abruptly.
I was fourteen before I wore shoes
-- except for church... I grew up
on a plaas miles from any town...
watching sheep and...
Bullshit! Next you'll have me
believing we grew up in the same
country, same laws, same freedom,
EXT. SOWETO BORDER - DAY
(like a tour guide)
We are now about to leave the
white jungle and entering the land
of love and glory.
The car approaches a huge perimeter notice:
"YOU ARE NOW ENTERING SOWETO TOWNSHIP. NO PERSON WITHOUT
THE NECESSARY PERMIT IS ALLOWED..."
Ben is driven into a different world; children playing in
dirty streets, in wrecks of cars, open spaces devoid of
vegetables, smoke from large rubbish dumps, burnt-out
skeletons of buses, beer halls and buildings. Clusters
of policemen in battle dress patrolling in the distance.
So this is Soweto.
(like an actor, with
big expansive gesture)
Land of love and glory, Lanie!
But watch out for the police and
army. They're patrolling all the
The car follows an isolated broken stretch of tarred road
hill cluttered with rusty tins, cardboard containers,
EXT. FUNERAL PARLOR - DAY
A group of young children playing under the blinding sun
in a muddy ditch, notice the big painted butterfly on the
hood of Stanley's car.
They wave and scream at Stanley in their language and he
screams back at them.
Two little girls start running, heading toward the car.
Stanley notices the red VW parked in a corner. He man-
euvers and parks his car nearby.
Hurry up, Lanie.
A modern funeral parlor with its name painted on the side:
"MOROKA FUNERAL DIRECTOR (PTY) LTD."
BACK TO SCENE
Stanley notices the two little girls with dusty smiling
faces, standing there waiting for him.
(checking his pants'
No sweets today. I'm sorry,
The children give Stanley a coy disbelieving look as they
watch him go with the "white man."
On the doorstep of the funeral parlor: Stanley and Ben
run into a young woman coming out with a shoulder bag
and a camera.
The young woman and Stanley exchange a quick, friendly
greeting -- it's MELANIE BRUWER, the Rand Daily reporter
-- and keep moving.
BACK TO SCENE
Ben turns back for a moment. Her face seems familiar to
him. He would like to talk to her, but there is no time.
Stanley is already inside.
INT. FUNERAL PARLOR - DAY
Ben and Stanley follow the proprietor who is expensively-
dressed in a dark suit. Gordon's coffin stands as one of
many in the room.
Inside the casket, brass fittings, white satin, lies
Gordon, incongruous, ludicrous in a black Sunday suit.
His hands are crossed on his chest like the claws of a
bird and his face, barely recognizable, is gray, the left
side distorted, blackish purple.
There are rough stitches of the postmortem across his
skull and a scar on his lips.
Stanley speaks in an African language to the undertaker.
The man opens Gordon's shirt and reveals the bruised and
Stanley observes Ben who looks at the wounds with horror.
Then another command from Stanley and the undertaker
opens the shirt to the waist. Ben's ashen. Stanley
thanks the man and turns to leave. Ben remains a minute.
He shuts his eyes tightly. Now he saw it. Now he must
believe it. He must accept that this battered corpse is
As he follows Stanley, he thanks the undertaker.
EXT. FUNERAL PARLOR - DAY
Outside the "sunlight," the children's laughter and
Stanley, hands in pockets, waiting for Ben by the car.
The same two little girls approach Stanley who gives them
some coins -- they run off happily.
Ben is coming outside blinking in the glaring sunlight.
Stanley glares at Ben, who is pale, shaken and silent.
They get into the car in silence.
(turning to Ben)
'The living close the eyes of the
dead. The dead open the eyes of
Stanley starts the car.
Please, take me to Emily.
Stanley looks at him.
Look, we'd took one hell of a
chance to get here, let's not push
I really have to see her, Stanley.
Stanley drives off.
I said don't push it. I have to
keep you alive. What's more the
house is full of mourners.
They drive in silence... then:
What are your thoughts now?
What do you mean?
Come on. I know you came to see
the body. What do you think now?
I... I cannot think. I'm
You either believe what you saw
or maybe you still prefer the
For Christ sake, just get off my
Okay. It was a simple question.
Stanley turns his RADIO ON and BANTU MUSIC invades the
car as it speeds away in a cloud of dust.
EXT. WHITE SUBURB STREET - LATE AFTERNOON
The big brassy Dodge is threading its way through the
leafy calm of the white suburb.
The "Bantu" MUSIC is STILL PLAYING on the radio under
Stanley's animated conversation with Ben.
You know, Lanie, when you run a
taxi, especially a pirate taxi
like me, you have eyes and ears
everywhere. Even when a policeman
farts in his bed you know. People
want a reference book, a permit to
stay in Soweto, a house, anything,
we taxi drivers know the routes.
I'll tell you something...
A news bulletin in African language interrupts the music.
Dr. Hassiem has been picked up.
Stanley silently pulls up along the curb and comes to
rest at Ben's gate.
EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - ENTRANCE - LATE EVENING
Dr. Hassiem is the doctor we got
to represent Emily at Gordon's
autopsy. We wanted the truth.
Ben suddenly realizes the significances.
He would have testified. Bloody
A smart move by your Boer
brothers. They have silenced
His report has to be important.
We can only use what we have.
Therefore, Lewinson must get a
very good advocate.
If only we could get hold of this
What's the use? It's one big game
and we blacks are merely
spectators. Hey Lanie, can one be
a spectator as he's being kicked
It's not a question of being
spectators. The courts are
impartial, the law is what
That's what you all say. I have
to move man. Your neighbors!
Now, be careful. They will put
their marks on you!
Stanley takes an empty cigarette packet from his pocket,
he writes on it.
You'll find out!
(handing the packet
In case you need me. Don't give
your name -- just say 'Lanie'
phoned -- right?
Ben gets out of the car.
Now tomorrow at ten...
Sharp! At our smart liberal
friend's office, yeh!
Stanley drives vigorously away.
Ben walks slowly and thoughtfully towards his house. He
notices Susan watching him through the window.
He slumps on a chair on the veranda as Susan comes out of
the house followed by Johan -- they both stand slightly
worried at his moroseness.
I went to Soweto and saw Gordon's
body. They have lied to me, my
own people -- they killed him! I
saw the body.
Johan looks horrified.
Ben, you're not a doctor. His
death was announced officially.
They wouldn't say anything unless
they were certain of their facts.
Facts? There's a doctor who
participated at the autopsy. A
Doctor Hassiem and he...
You mean the Indian doctor who's
It was in the five o'clock news,
That's him, he represented Emily
at the autopsy.
Ben, I'm sorry about Gordon's
death, but please for all our
sakes, forget about this whole
thing. Let's get back to a normal
Can I have a drink?
You always know what I need.
Johan hurries into the house.
Please, Ben, I'm frightened.
She turns and walks into the house, leaving Ben.
EXT. SOWETO CEMETERY - MORNING
The large Soweto cemetery has scores of graves ready for
burials. The chief mourners, Emily, Robert, his sister,
Margaret, four relatives and Stanley are standing on
either side of the PRIEST. Gordon's coffin is in the
grave; several wreaths are on the side of the grave.
There are about fifteen hundred mourners, and half are
youths. There are several local reporters and overseas
The police are in attendance in large numbers at the edge
of the crowd, some in battle dress and some with dogs.
Before I conclude, I have to say
we are tired of making this
journey every day, sometimes twice
in one day, burying our children,
and those, like our departed
brother, Ngubene who were merely
seeking the truth; and those who
have been denounced by traitors
amongst us; and those who have
been brutally killed for no
reason, yes I shall say it, by the
police. Let those who rule this
land of ours listen to the word
of God; let them listen to our
peaceful and just demands; let
them be humble and go down on
their knees and seek forgiveness,
then listen to God.
The crowd roars: "Amanda! Amanda!"
The Priest starts a short hymn and the crowd joins in.
At the end of the hymn.
We will have a few words from Mr.
Pilani our father and leader.
The crowd starts singing a freedom song with arms raised.
The funeral has now become a political demonstration.
Mr. Pilani, who is a dignified, educated 70-years-old,
walks slowly and waits beside the chief mourners. He
is handed a loudspeaker.
A SENIOR POLICE OFFICER threads his way through the
crowd, a loud hailer in his hand. As he reaches the
grave he turns. The crowd is quiet. He says something
to the Priest then addresses the crowd.
The funeral is over. I order
everyone to go home. This is not
a political rally. I repeat,
As though by signal the police start attacking the
mourners with truncheons and dogs. There is pandemon-
ium, women screaming, people falling into graves or
covering in them.
The Priest and Stanley lead Emily and the family away
in the opposite direction.
The press and television are recording the scene. The
police start throwing tear gas canisters. There is no
confrontation, the crowd is fleeing in all directions.
One television cameraman is purposely pushed into a grave
by a very young policeman, his round recordist is pulled
up into the adjourning grave by the connecting cord.
Melanie stands on a tombstone watching and making notes.
INT. BEN'S LOUNGE - NIGHT
Ben, Susan watching the main evening news bulletin on TV.
On the screen a sequence of rioting.
Despite repeated warnings young
blacks attacked the police with
rocks and petrol bombs. Five
policemen were injured.
Susan briefly glances at Ben.
Several arrests were made. One
youth was killed and five wounded.
Follows the newscaster and then reports:
This morning there was a serious
disturbance at the funeral of
Susan leaves the room.
The detainee who committed suicide
by hanging himself at John Vorster
Square. An overseas television
cameraman broke an arm during the
disturbance. It's been reported
that several people had been
killed by a car-bomb in Belfast
Ben turns OFF the TV and stays in his thoughts.
EXT. JOHANNESBURG - STREET - AFTERNOON
Stanley and Ben are driving in the outskirts of
EXT. APPROACHES OF SOWETO - AFTERNOON
Stanley drives seemingly alone at very high speeds, which
he maintains through the streets of Soweto... using his
horn to scatter people out of his way, to the anger and
indulgence of others.
The CAR SCREECHES to a halt outside Emily's house.
Stanley gets out of the car and greets the startled
neighbors... and acknowledges the friendly shouts of
Stanley looks around, then goes back to the car, opens
the back door, leans and says something. Suddenly, to
everyone's astonishment, Ben crawls out of the car;
Stanley hustles him into Emily's house.
Stanley waves at the people, a sign of assurance, then
closes the door behind him.
INT. EMILY'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON
Ben stands awkwardly for a moment, taking in the room and
the people in it. He then walks over to Emily who is
standing at the table. He goes to shake her hand.
How are you, Emily?
Well, thank you, Mr. Ben, sir.
Eh, that's father Masonwane, our
priest, and that's Margaret from
Ben nods at them. Stanley sits himself down.
(raising his hand in
Please sit down. Take this chair,
the other one is broken.
I didn't mean to disturb you.
I've come to talk to you.
(as she sits on the
Yes, it's good. What I want to
know is why did they kill him. He
didn't do them nothing. You know,
Mr. Ben, sir, I washed his whole
body for he was my husband. And
I know a man who killed himself,
he doesn't look like that.
Master, you must understand she's
still raw inside.
Robert walks in, looks at Ben and walks into his bedroom
to fetch something, then as he's about to go out:
Robert, where are you manners
today? Don't you greet visitors?
Robert stops momentarily and looks at Ben with hostility
and hurries out of the room banging the door.
I'm sorry for his rudeness.
You have to understand what's
happening to our children today,
they're like wasps when you burn
That's right. Our children are
saying 'that's enough!' Things
have to change in this country.
They accuse us of being cowards.
Emily, I have really come to
assure you that I will do all I
can to help you find out what
really happened to Jonathan and
your husband -- we cannot bring
them back to life, but we can make
sure that this sort of thing won't
ever happen again.
You mean well, sir, but it's
better to forgive. If we keep the
pain alive then hate and
bitterness will remain with us.
The air must be cleared. So we
can breathe again.
The air can only be cleared if we
forget about yesterday's thunder.
Mr. Ben is right. It's not that I
want to go on with this thing
because it's a bad thing that
Jonathan died, that Gordon died
that's hard enough to bear, but
I can forgive it. But they
covered Gordon's name with dirt
and we must clean it up, else
he'll never have peace in his
You must understand for us,
suicide is a coward's way out, how
do they say, it's a 'cop out.'
Gordon wasn't a coward and we'll
prove that. We have a very good
advocate for the inquest. His
name is De Villiers. I have
confidence in him and the truth
will come out.
The truth must be known. They
killed my husband who wouldn't
hurt a fly and they killed
Jonathan who was only a child...
Those people who did it are sinful
people who don't know what they're
He! Mfundisi, what are you saying
now? You mean...
We must help them. That's the
only way. They need our help, not
hate, but love.
I pity them and I ask the Lord to
help me so I can learn to love
If that's what you preach in your
church you will soon be starving.
They covered his name with dirt.
Aren't you afraid sis Emily?
No. In the end one grows tired of
Ben has been listening to the discussion with interest,
this being the first time he has heard Africans talking
seriously about their problems.
Emily, Stanley and I will do all
we can. As I said we have a good
advocate. Everyone involved with
Gordon's death will be questioned
and all that's known regarding
what happened in John Vorster
Square will come out.
How can anything come out of that
John Vorster Square? Who there
will say: 'Yes, we killed the
boy and Gordon?'
Lawyers ask questions.
And don't policemen lie?
Thank you, Mr. Ben, sir for what
I'm pleased I came.
(to Ben as he goes to
Wait, let me check the situation.
He opens the door and walks out.
EXT. EMILY'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON
A small group of youngsters are there, hands thrust into
their pockets, hanging around in a stony silence.
Robert is standing by the door.
Stanley calls one of them and talks to him -- the boys
look around and say something.
As Stanley goes back to the door, passing Robert, he
ruffles his hair.
Take it easy.
(then to Ben)
It's okey, dokey, but hurry.
Ben hurries out of the room. The children stare at him.
(as they go to the
Yes, on the floor man.
Stanley opens the back door for Ben. Who crouches on
Some of the boys snicker and one bursts out laughing.
As Stanley gets into the car he shouts at them:
Okay. Kids, time to go home. Be
Sure 'bra' Stanley. Take it easy.
Stanley drives off at speed.
EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF SOWETO - LATE AFTERNOON
Stanley is driving, they have left Soweto. Ben still on
Are we still in Soweto?
Why don't you look for yourself?
Ben rises and sees that they're at least a mile out. He
is not amused.
What the hell are you playing at?
(as he bursts into
Don't call me Lanie! What does
that mean anyway?
You will not understand, Lanie.
They drive off.
INT. BEN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Susan and Ben are in bed. Susan is in Ben's arms, she is
relaxed and loving.
Ben talks quietly and calmly.
I think I am without awareness.
I have always cared about people,
call it a social conscience. But
my visit to Gordon's house made me
experience another dimension of
The poverty, ja...
No, I expected that. But
listening to them talk made me
realize that I did not know the
blacks. Now I question my
attitudes, my concerns as Ben, and
complacence as a white person.
Ben, I know your anxiety about the
inquest. All will be cleared up,
in a legal way, and you'll be back
to your normal self. Now let's
turn off the lights.
Susan kisses Ben tenderly.
INT. COURT ROOM - FIRST DAY OF INQUEST - DAY
The inquest of Gordon Ngubene... conducted by MAGISTRATE
KLOPPER. In the witness box is DR. JANSEN, the state
pathologist, giving evidence. Advocate DE VILLIERS is
Dr. Jansen, you are a state
pathologist of many years
standing and I have no doubt a
Could you now please tell us
what caused the death of the
I found that death had been caused
by the application of force to
the neck, consistent with
There's a vigorous reaction to this around the court,
which gives us a chance to discover the crowd:
In the white section of the public gallery are Ben and
about eight other whites.
The black section is filled to capacity with a few stand-
ing. In the front row is sitting Stanley next to
Margaret. At the entrance, a white policeman.
In the press section are several reporters; amongst them
Melanie Bruwer the Rand Daily Mail reporter.
Colonel Viljoen and several policemen are sitting around
You are sure about the hanging?
This pressure on the neck, could
it also have been exerted in other
It could, but it is not for me
Of course not, Doctor. The list
of injuries found on the body was
horrifyingly long; bruises,
swellings, abrasions, broken rib,
lacerations, etc. How long before
death do you estimate he received
I couldn't say exactly.
Some were fourteen to twenty days
old, others three to four days and
others even more recent.
Even more recent. I see. I
understand you had a Dr. Hassiem
present at the autopsy.
There were two reports, ours and
his. Did they tally?
Yes, it was. In most respects.
ON Stanley listening.
Isn't it normal practice to have
one report? Why did Dr. Hassiem
decide to draw up a separate
report? If he really co-signed
That's for him to answer!
I would very much like to, Dr.
Jansen, but he's been detained --
you know of course that he
represented the Ngubene family.
There's a murmur around the court... Ben looks across at
Viljoen who returns his gaze -- smiling.
the police physician, giving evidence.
Dr. Herzog, did you examine the
Yes, one day Captain Stolz called
me in. The man had toothache.
As far as I could tell -- yes.
You didn't examine him thoroughly?
Why should I? The man was
perfectly healthy, just
complaining of toothache. I
extracted three decayed teeth, and
gave him aspirin for the pain...
Did the captain or anyone else
assist you during the examination?
I... I cannot remember.
(more aggressive and
Dr. Herzog, tell us. Have you
been intimidated by the Security
Police or did you deliberately
cooperate with them in playing
their disgusting little game of
(jumping up from his
I protest, Your Worship.
Advocate De Villiers, will you
refrain from insinuations?
Thank you, Doctor Herzog... I'm
sure Gordon Ngubene was extremely
Herzog's face is impassive.
ON crowd reacting.
During the hubbub De Villiers and the state advocate
trade places. The courtroom is quiet.
Thank you, Your Worship. I'd
like to call Captain Stolz.
There's a buzz from the spectators as Captain Stolz walks
up to the witness stand. He's given a Bible.
ON Ben -- watches him.
CLOSEUP - STOLZ
In witness box, swearing in Afrikaans.
You're a police officer stationed
at John Vorster Square?
That's right, Your Worship.
You arrested Gordon Ngubene.
Could you describe what happened?
Acting on information we had
received, I went to the house of
the deceased, accompanied by
Lieutenant Venter, Lieutenant
Botha, and three native members
of the security force. This was
about 10 P.M. I informed Ngubene
that he was under arrest under
Article 6 of the Terrorism Act.
He then became violent and resisted
arrest. A certain force had to be
applied to restrain him.
ON Stanley listening.
ON Ben listening.
We found several incriminating
documents. These pointed to his
involvement with the A.N.C. and
activities endangering the
security of the state.
ON Ben looking at Stolz, and shaking his head, bewildered.
Was the deceased ever assaulted to
Never. He was always treated with
courtesy and correctness. But,
one time we had cause to use force
against him. It was the day before
his death. The deceased suddenly
showed signs of aggression. He
tried to jump through the open
window of my office. He was
acting like a mad man. It took
six of my men to restrain him,
and he had to be manacled hand
and foot, for his own safety.
But once he calmed down, he was
ready to make a statement about
his activities. The next morning
we found him dead in his cell.
Is the statement in evidence?
No, Your Worship. It can't be
disclosed in court without
damaging our investigation, but
I would like to offer into
evidence a suicide note written
by the deceased.
Louw, taking it from his file on the table.
Stanley and Margaret listening.
'Dear Captain. I prefer to die
rather than betray any more of
my friends. Amandla! Gordon
He hands it to the court clerk. There's uproar at this.
Thank you, Your Worship.
Advocate De Villiers?
Ben is disgusted. He looks about the court, as if seeking
allies. His eyes meet Melanie's -- just for a second
there's recognition -- then he returns to De Villiers.
Advocate De Villiers cross-examining Captain Stolz.
Thank you, Your Worship. Captain
Stolz, you said you treated the
deceased always with courtesy and
correctness, then how do you
account for the injuries found on
Sometimes detainees deliberately
injure themselves for propaganda
The gallery screams its objections. Stanley leans forward
and grins across the partition at Ben. The Magistrate
warns the crowd. Finally the gallery quiets down.
You say he tried to jump out of
the open window... Are there no
bars to prevent such an act?
They had been removed for repair.
And why did he wish to jump out?
Because you were torturing him?
He wasn't tortured.
Perhaps it was the toothache then.
No reaction from Stolz.
You said you seized incriminating
documents at the deceased's home;
can you produce them to see how
subversive he was?
Those documents cannot be
introduced as evidence, Your
Worship, in view of the fact that
state security is involved.
The Magistrate makes a note.
I put it to you, Captain -- that
the only subversive activities
the deceased had been involved in
were his efforts to establish
what happened to his son,
Jonathan, allegedly shot during
a riot, although several witnesses
are prepared to testify that he
died in detention one month later.
This would support my case that an
innocent man has died in your hands
under highly questionable
If it please Your Worship... this
unwarranted slur on the integrity
of the special branch is
unacceptable... and based, I may
say, on allegations which are in
any case irrelevant to the present
(turning on Louw)
If the police are really interested
in retaining an unsullied
reputation, they should not object
to the real facts being presented.
Thank you, Captain.
The real facts are being presented
-- as the following affadivits
prove. They are all by detainees
-- who testify that they had all
seen the deceased intermittently
from the time of his detention --
to the time of his death -- and on
all occasions he was in good
As the documents are passed to the Magistrate, they are
scorned by De Villiers. Imperviously he requests:
I trust the signatories of these
... documents... are available to
corroborate their evidence in
STRAIGHT ON ARCHIBALD CHIGORIMBO
Detainee in the witness box. He swears in Zulu.
De Villiers holds his signed affidavit.
Mr. Archibald, when did you first
meet Gordon Ngubene?
(looking at black
crowd, then to De
I never saw Gordon Ngubene.
A sudden stillness in the court.
Are you saying that you didn't
sign this statement?
... I never met Mr. Ngubene...
they forced me to sign. Captain
Stolz, he hit me many times with
a rubber hose... he said he would
kill me 'less I signed... this...
this is what he did to me.
He pulls up his shirt -- his back is covered in bruises.
The crowd cannot restrain itself any longer. Ben is
aghast by what he sees.
Thank you, Mr. Archibald.
No thank you, Your Worship.
As Archibald leaves the witness stand, held by a special
branch officer, he raises his fist in salute and shouts
to the crowd: "AMANDLA." The crowd responds: "Ngawethu."
Ben looks at Archibald. He is very impressed by this
strength in the prisoner's eyes.
An officer of the court shouts at the crowd: "silte in
die koort" (silence in court) -- bailiffs collar a few of
the loudest protesters and pull them with brutality
out of the courtroom.
(to town, wearily)
May we put up the second
Louw confers hurriedly with the prosecution officers, then
turns back to the court.
Your Worship -- the other three
signatories cannot appear for
reasons of state security.
He sits down, bland, examining his papers.
Your Worship, I'd like to recall
As Captain Stolz returns to the stand he crosses Archibald
being handcuffed by the S.B. officer.
Ben watches him passing by the detainee, straight, im-
passive without a look to him.
Captain, you're still under oath
-- you took Archibald's statement.
Was it voluntary? I'm sure you'll
say it was, then how did he come
by the injuries on his back?
He fell down the stairs a few
Fell down the stairs. You should
do something about those stairs,
Captain, so many people fall on
them. Thank you.
The crowd laughs.
(to the Magistrate)
Your Worship, may I be excused? I
have to escort detainee Archibal
back to John Vorster Square.
You may, Captain, and thank you.
(to the crowd)
I think this's a good moment to
adjourn -- we'll reconvene at two
EXT. COURTROOM - DAY
Emily, Margaret, Stanley and a man, are sitting outside
the court eating fish and chips.
There are various Africans sitting around for their lunch
INT. CAFE NEAR COURT - DAY
Ben and Dan Lewinson having a light lunch in a nearby
De Villiers is making mincemeat
He's very good. His cross-
examination has got them rattled.
It's obvious to anybody! The
evidence is clear!
Did you see Archibal's back? He
didn't have to tell the truth.
Dan Lewinson's dry laugh catches in his throat.
That's what Stolz is saying to
him right now in his torture room.
INT. COURTROOM - AFTERNOON
Advocate De Villiers and a dignified Emily in the witness
Captain Stolz lied. My husband
never fight the police when he
was arrested. They were rough
with him, pushing him and
When your husband's clothes were
given to you, in what condition
There was blood on them and in
the back pocket I found three
Now Mrs. Ngubene, you have seen
the note that's said to have been
written by your husband. Do you
recognize the writing?
That's not how my husband writes.
He never wrote that letter, they
Thank you, Mrs. Ngubene.
He shakes his head.
Magistrate and in
They killed my husband and son.
ON Ben, satisfied.
(to a policeman next
Will you take the woman out?
I'd like to call my last witness.
Grace's name is called. She is an attractive 20-years-
old girl. As she passes by Ben, he watches her with
concern; her face looks familiar. Of course he remembers
having seen her at John Vorster Square the first time he
went there to meet the colonel. GRACE NKOSI is the
African girl the two security officers were lifted to the
ten flour. He recognizes her.
Grace Nkosi in the witness stand.
She swears in Xhosa.
Were you ever detained?
Yes sir, at John Vorster Square.
For how long?
Can you tell us what happened to
you during that time?
I was interrogated by many special
policemen, but mainly Captain Stolz
and the one they call Venter. As
they were searching somebody I
know, they wanted me to tell them
where that person was hidden. As
I refuse to cooperate they beat me
with a sjambok. After some time
I fell and they kicked me in the
face and stomach.
ON Ben obviously shocked.
I spot blood and they try to make
me lick it. Then Captain Stolz
threw a wet towel and started
twisting it around my neck...
... until I lost consciousness.
They did this several time and
the last one Captain Stolz said
'come on meid, speak up, or do
you want to die like Gordon
Ngubene?' A few days later I was
ON Melanie taking notes.
Thank you, Miss Grace. That's
all, Your Worship.
(rising and looking
at Grace for some
You made that up. Say you made it
It's the truth. I have nothing
more to say.
Louw sits down.
We shall adjourn until tomorrow
morning. I'll hear the arguments
and give the verdict.
The crowd stands and starts to leave the courtroom.
INT. COURTROOM - MORNING (SECOND DAY)
A silent black crowd; Emily, Margaret, Stanley anxiously
awaiting the verdict. Today the public gallery is more
crowded than before.
I wish to thank both advocates for
conducting this case without
rancour and in the best traditions
of the South African legal
ON Ben's face. ON Dan Lewinson's face. ON Viljoen and
I have listened to all the
evidence and the arguments. To
begin with I have to say that
there was no conclusive evidence
offered to prove beyond doubt that
members of the Security Police had
been guilty of assault or any
irregular conduct on the deceased.
There were indications that
Ngubene was aggressive and on more
than one occasion had to be
restrained with force. There was
sufficient evidence to conclude
that death had been caused by a
trauma following pressure applied
to the neck, consistent with
hanging. Consequently, I find
that Gordon Ngubene committed
suicide by hanging himself and
that on available evidence his
death cannot be attributed to any
act or omission or amounting to
a criminal offense on the part of
Viljoen and Stolz smiling, shaking hands with Advocate
Louw in congratulations.
INT. FOYER OF COURTROOM - DAY
The predominantly black crowd obviously dissatisfied with
the verdict, discussing it as it moves slowly towards the
In the crowd Stanley, Margaret and Emily controlled,
dignified but obviously pained.
totally depressed, walking up to Emily.
(to Ben over noise
of the discussion)
Don't worry, man. There's another
Ben leans towards Emily.
I'm sorry, Emily.
Several press photographers are taking pictures osten-
sibly of Emily the widow.
Stanley gently guides Emily out of the building.
Ben, who is following, is besieged by the insistent
'Mister Du Toit, how do you know
Mrs. Ngubene?' 'Mister Du Toit, can
you answer, is it true, he was a
Ben tries to get through.
Mister Du Toit, what do you think
of the verdict? Do you believe
Melanie appears, grabs Ben and pushes him away through
Hang on, Melanie, I'm coming with
The press is still pursuing them.
As Ben and Melanie reach Melanie's car:
My car is over there.
(opening the car)
Never mind your car. Let's get
away from these vultures.
They get into the car and as they drive away, Melanie
By the way, I'm Melanie Bruwer.
Obviously of the Rand Daily Mail.
I read your article about
Ten out of ten, Mr. Du Toit. I
know about you too.
We have a mutual friend. One
I remember. The mortuary in
... The ambiguous Stanley.
Stanley? No. Just careful. A
big black rough uncut diamond.
Don't be fooled by his happy-go-
lucky attitude. There's much more
He couldn't have given you a
glowing report of me.
I'm sorry, but where are we going?
I thought a cooling drink at my
(on the defensive)
Mrs. Bruwer, I'm not...
I promise you. I'm not after an
interview or anything like that.
I really must go home.
Please, Mr. Du Toit, and you'll
meet my darling father.
She smiles again. A disarming smile.
EXT. MELANIE'S HOME - DAY
Melanie drives into the yard. The house is an old
Colonial style house amidst flowers, bushes and trees, a
controlled wild garden.
A figure is bent over a beehive. A large brimmed old hat
with a net hides his head and features.
Melanie stops the car in the driveway.
(pointing from the
There he is by the eucalyptus
tree, on the left. That's old
They get out of the car and walk towards him.
How long have you lived here?
Oh, about twenty-one years. I
love this house.
(without looking up)
Is that you, Melanie?
Of course, Dad. I want you to
meet a friend.
Does anyone have a friend
He straightens up and throws the net over his head and
studies Ben. MR. BRUWER is seventy years old; an
interesting face with a goatee beard.
Mr. Du toit, Dad.
Do you like bees?
I have nothing against them.
Be careful, I can see philosophy
You shut up.
Let me tell you about bees, and
for that matter ants: a bee has
a completely altruistic sense of
purpose -- based on the common
good. A course from which he
cannot be deflected. Greed,
ambition, they mean nothing to
him. He lives solely to serve
his fellow bee.
What about individuality, Dad?
There's the rub, my girl. There's
the rub. One of these days I'll
ask the bees. I'm sure they have
the answer. Now, you two run
He replaces his net and continues with the hive.
A drink, Dad?
I've been peeing too much this
(as they walk toward
That's my Daddy.
Melanie and Ben enter the house.
INT. MELANIE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
The Bruwer living room is a profusion of piles of papers,
of books on shelves, on tables, on the floor, paintings
-- records, African sculptures.
On the floor tangled lengths of flex leading from a
record player to two voluminous speakers.
A settee, a chess set. The furniture is old and well-
used, dominated by a large leather club chair -- two
big cats sleeping on it. It's civilized pandemonium.
(gesturing to the
Now you see in what environment I
Ben looks at the shelves and smiles.
Please sit down, on that chair.
(pointing to club
That's Dad's. Drink?
(looking at her
No thanks, a beer will be fine.
Melanie goes into the kitchen leaving Ben. He cannot
forget what he heard and what he saw in the court!
She returns barefooted, with two beer mugs, and hands one
The mugs are the few things that
Dad brought from Germany. He
studied philosophy in Tubingen
and Berlin before the last war.
I thought they were German?
Melanie sits, her legs propped up on the settee, hugging
Mr. Du Toit, tell...
Please, call me Ben.
All right, Ben, tell me, why are
you so depressed? You really
expect a different verdict?
Why do you ask? Can you understand
Of course I understand it. What
could they have. I'm not cynical.
I'm only trying to be realistic.
Tell me, Miss Bruwer...
Ben and Melanie, that's fair.
Tell me, do you believe in the
notion of justice?
(lighting a cigarette)
I'll never stop believing. But in
this country I've learned it's
pointless to look for it in
What use is a system if justice
does not apply to all situations?
Exactly. And you cannot fight
for justice unless you know
injustice very well. You've got
to know your enemy first.
That's a tall order: 'know
injustice... know the enemy.'
it seems I have a long haul
ahead of me.
Not at all, Ben. You have already
taken the first steps.
Welcome to South Africa!
INT. BEN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Susan is sitting at the dressing table. She is applying
cleansing cream to her face. She is relaxed. Ben is
getting ready for bed.
Did you enjoy the 'bobotie?' When
I heard the verdict on the news I
knew you'd be upset.
I wanted to make you something
Thank you, darling.
A pause. Susan starts to remove the cream.
I'm glad it's all over. You take
things to heart too much.
Ben comes and stands behind Susan -- looking at her through
(trying to keep control
They killed Gordon -- first they
kill Jonathan, and then him. How
can they get away with it?
Now come on, Ben. Gordon's death
upset me, too. But the Magistrate
had all the facts. He must know
what he's doing, he's had years of
experience. The case has run its
course, and nobody can do anything
more about it! It's all over and
(looking at her)
I'm not so sure about that, Susan!
Susan swivels around and faces Ben.
I'm damned well sure! It's over,
Ben! You better get that into
Ben just stares at her with seething anger. She stands up
and starts being hysterical.
A teacher, always a bloody teacher.
You never moved yourself for us.
But for the blacks, oh yes. Whose
side are you on, Ben? And I'm sick
and tired of those natives coming
here. Why don't you bloody well
go and live in Soweto?
Ben strides out of the room.
(following and shouting)
Now where are you going?
Then shuts the door behind him.
Susan stands stupefied. There's the sound of the SPARE
INT. SPARE ROOM - NIGHT
Ben is standing in the middle of the room, in the dark.
On the wall behind him is a young Suzette's picture.
After a few seconds, Ben moves slowly to the bed and sits
on it still in deep thought.
SLOW MOVE TO a:
CLOSEUP ON BEN
INT. NEWSPAPER AND CONFECTIONARY SHOP - MORNING
It's a Saturday morning.
A shopping center in a white suburb. Ben goes into a
There are two children buying sweets and a woman leaving.
The PROPRIETOR is an Afrikaner in his middle age.
More meneer Van de Merwe.
(Morning Mister Van de Merwe.)
(in offhand manner)
More meneer du Toit.
Our boys gave the Eastern province
Ben realizes that the man is not his usual conversational
Is anything wrong?
Ben goes to pick up an Afrikaans newspaper and the Rand
(walking up to counter)
And a packet of tobacco and pipe
The man gets them and takes a note from Ben and gives him
his change. By then a man is waiting.
See you tomorrow.
As he walks out the other man turns around to watch him.
EXT. STREET - MORNING
Ben walks out of the shop. The newspaper under his arm.
A group of three middle-aged women turn to look at him.
Ben didn't see them. A little further on, he meets Mrs.
Coetzee. He tries to greet her but she walks straight by.
Further on, he notices two men obviously talking about
him. Then a couple of boys on bikes snigger as they
pass him. He begins to wonder what's it all about, and
spontaneously checks his clothes.
EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - VERANDA - MORNING
Susan and Suzette sit there. Suzette's holding a news-
paper -- the Ossewa -- Susan's thoughtful, her face is red
and discomposed -- obviously she had cried. The PHONE
RINGS but they deliberately ignore it.
Ben appears with the newspapers under his arm, sees
Suzette's sports car and hurries to join them.
Suzette doesn't even give him a chance to kiss her.
(jumping up and showing
the cover of Ossewa)
Now, Papa, this is going too
far! How could you?
How's that, Suzette?
Ben takes the newspaper and looks at the cover. A picture
of himself and Emily outside the courtroom. The two faces
are close together with the notes:
"EMILY NGUBENE, wife of native who
died in detention, comforted by a
friend of family, Mr. BEN DU TOIT."
And in parenthesis "see page two."
He throws the Ossewa on a chair and checks into the Rand
Daily Mail. Inside there is a long article with Emily's
picture, titled "the Face of Grief."
Ben folds up the newspapers, and shakes his head. He
suddenly realizes why the people reacted like that outside.
You didn't stop to think of the family.
Poor mother, how can she face anyone?
And tomorrow is Sunday!
Johan steps into the veranda.
What's everybody yelling about?
You listen, Papa, just tell me, why?
Recognizing his father in the photo, Johan has picked up
the newspaper from the chair.
Do you really think I specially
arranged for the photographers to
take that picture? And what's
more it's distorted.
What's distorted about it? Your
face is practically touching that
meid's face, like you were about
to kiss her.
Suzette, pull yourself together!
Today the whole country has seen that
photograph. We, your children, are
going to suffer. At this very moment
Chris is negotiating with the Provincial
Council. Would you like to see them
cancel it? You have no feeling, Papa!
She leaves in rage.
What's Papa done, anyway? If
something happened to him,
wouldn't you be upset?
Not enough, Johan, to throw myself
into the garden boy's arms.
That goes without saying.
(trying to joke)
There must be easier ways of
getting your name in the paper.
Before she can stop herself, Susan slaps him across the
face, although not hard. Johan leaves without a word.
She clutches her hand, shocked at having it against him.
The PHONE starts to RING. Susan runs out sobbing.
Ben looks at her then walks into the living room to pick
up the phone.
INT. BEN'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING
Who?... I don't know you and have
nothing to say to you... No thank
you for your advice!
He puts the phone down. The PHONE RINGS again. Ben picks
it up and waits.
It's you, Viviers... I appreciate
it... of course... Not yet... Any
thank you. Tot siens.
He replaces the receiver and is about to light his pipe
when the PHONE RINGS again.
Morning, Mr. Cloete... I'd like
... Mr. Cloete, may I ask what on
earth has the picture to do with
politics?... I'm sorry Mr. Cloete,
I have to go.
He replaces the telephone and walks out of the house.
The PHONE KEEPS RINGING.
EXT. BESTER'S FARM - COUNTRY - DAY
The farm is a typical transvaal farm covering thousands of
acres. In the distance there's a range of mountains.
Several cattle are grazing, herded by a poorly-clad African
and his son, aged 8 years.
Bester and Ben are leaning on the wooden fence of the
cattle kraal with calves penned in.
Everything was examined in depth
Did you read the papers, Dominee?
Were you happy with what came to
light? And is it the Magistrate's
work to pretend that the facts
which came to light didn't exist?
Was it really facts, Ben?
Just then the African "HERDBOY" walks up to them taking
off his lattered greasy hat.
Ja? What is it Tom?
Does the Baas want me to bring the
Tom hurries away.
I bought a bull last week.
I know, Gordon. What they said about
him, that he was plotting against
the government -- is a downright
lie. He was only doing what I
would have done as a father;
searching for his son.
No one but God can see what's in
Isn't it presumptuous to pretend
we can speak for someone else?
Have you no faith in your fellow
men, Dominee? Don't you love your
Wait a minute, instead of
criticizing blindly, don't you
think we have reason to be proud
of the judiciary we have? suppose
this had been Russia; what do you
think would have happened then?
What's the use of reaching a
court when a handful of people
have all the power to decide what
is going to be said in that court
and by whom? The one man they
allowed to speak for himself, that
young Archibald Chigorimbo, didn't
he immediately deny everything
they forced him to say in his
statement? And the girl who
spoke of her own torture?
CUSTOMER PAGE 99 MISSING
That did not refer to our
situation in this South Africa.
Do you know what I believe in,
Dominee, that once in one's life,
just once, one should have enough
faith in something to risk
everything for it.
One can gain the world and still
lose one's soul. Tea must be
Bester and Ben walk towards the house still in
INT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - MORNING
The staff is having coffee during morning break in the
staff room. The room has several easy chairs, a table with
the morning newspapers on it. The walls have pictures of
South African scenes.
There are several conversations in Afrikaans. This is the
first morning since the photograph.
Ben walks into the staff room. The conversations stop.
Everyone looks at him with hostility. The teachers all
place their cups on the table and quietly file out of
Ben pours himself a cup of coffee; as he takes his first
sip, Cloete looks in, sees him. He walks in.
I hope you don't mind us talking
I don't mind, Mr. Cloete.
I'll come to the point. You can't
imagine how shocked I was by that
scandalous photograph in the
The woman lost her husband, she
was shattered with grief.
A Kaffir woman, Du Toit.
I can't see that it makes any
Have you gone color blind then?
And what about the apartheid laws?
Our first responsibility as
teachers is the reputation of the
school, the pupils entrusted to
us. We have to be an example to
them in and out of this school
Ben looks at him calmly.
I thought I had warned you about
involving yourself with Kaffirs.
Obviously you didn't heed my
advice. That's all I have to say
Cloete walks out of the room.
Viviers hurries into the room, he is late for his
'Morning, Oom Ben.
Private coffee with Cloete?
Ben picks up the copy of the Ossewa with the photograph
and shows it to Viviers.
EXT. MELANIE'S HOME - DAY
Ben stops the car in the Bruwer driveway. From the
driving seat he searches the garden for Bruwer.
He walks up to the front door and knocks, but there's no
reply. He goes 'round to the back and finds the old man
on his knees weeding his vegetable garden.
Good afternoon, Professor.
Melanie isn't home. You are...
Ben Du Toit. You have a nice
You mean the area or the produce?
Both. What plants are these?
What's the world coming to? It's
herbs, can't you see? Thyme
there, oregano over there, feunel
next to the tomatoes, sage here
and rosemary somewhere. Poor
plants, they re not in their ideal
soil or climate. Next time, I'll
bring some soil from the mountain
of Zeus. Perhaps the old man's
holiness will do the trick.
He throws down the small weeding-fork.
Come, you are just the person to
sample my greengage wine. I don't
suppose you've ever tasted it?
I'm sure I'm the only person in
the country making greengage wine.
He leads Ben to the two old chairs by the back wall. He
enters the kitchen and returns with a bottle of greengage
wine and two glasses.
(as he pours)
The first bottle this year, and
you don't have to tell me if you
like it or not. Tell me, did you
ever study philosophy?
Not really. I've read a few
(taking a sip)
Not bad, in fact quite good. Now
where was I... Oh, I was going to
say after decades of philosophy, I
find myself being forced back to
the earth. Do you know, Ben, we're
all living in the spell of
abstractions. Hitler, apartheid,
the great American dream, the lot?
What about Jesus?
(referring to the
You don't have to finish it.
It's quite nice.
Melanie has told me a little about
you. It's not an easy road you
I feel I have no choice.
Bruwer farts loudly, Ben is taken aback, but the
Of course you have a choice.
Damn it. One always has a choice.
Only thank God you made the choice
you did. But all I want to say
is, keep your eyes open, young
We are both Boers, Ben. We know
how hard our people worked to get
a toehold on this land; it was a
good life. Now look at the mess.
It's all systems and no God!
Sooner or later people start
believing in their way of life as
an absolute: unmutable,
fundamental, a precondition. Saw
it, with my own eyes in Germany,
a nation running after an idea.
Sieg heil, sieg heil. I left
there thirty years ago because I
couldn't take it any longer. And
now I see it happening in my own
country, step by step.
Terrifyingly predictable. This
sickness of the great abstraction.
He farts and sips his greengage wine.
Ben is so fascinated by the old man's conversation he
didn't react. He is learning form his old Afrikaner.
What you say is very interesting
Take for example the way the
government is handling the
electorate; like a bloody donkey.
Carrot in front and kick at the
backside. The carrot is
apartheid, Dogma. The kick is
quite simply, fear. Black peril,
red peril, whatever name you want
to give it.
Fear can be a wonderful ally, Ben.
I talk too much, I always do with
younger people, they don't fall
asleep to me.
We Afrikaners have to stop to turn
a blind eye and look around us and
You are right. We still have
time. History should teach us
about those who regarded
themselves as the chosen people.
Professor Bruwer, may I say I have
needed to hear somebody say some
of the things you said. I still
have hope for our country.
If you lose that you have lost
everything. I'll get back to the
I'll tell that hot-head daughter
of mine that you came to see her.
Ben takes his leave.
INT. LEWINSON'S OFFICE - DAY
Ben and Dan Lewinson are sitting opposite, cups of
coffee in front of them.
There is absolutely no doubt that
they were killed in custody.
Those responsible must be
punished, whoever they are, or
whatever their rank.
The problem is laying our hands on
Tell me, Dan, we lost at the
inquest, what next?
The family can file a civil claim.
What does that entail?
To put it briefly, it means we
have to have witnesses, affidavits
and any information relating to
the arrest and death of Gordon.
We also need similar information
on Jonathan. You see Ben, for
example, Stolz figures in both
cases. That's one link at least.
I know what I have to do.
EXT. ROADSIDE CAFE - AFTERNOON
It's lunch time and the working population of Jo'burg
has paused for lunch. Ben and Melanie are sitting at a
table outside. The cafe is on the outskirts of a very
affluent part of Johannesburg.
I didn't think you would want to
have anything to do with me after
that crap in the Ossewa.
Why? You didn't write it.
I'm a journalist, perhaps tarred
with the same brush.
So what happened? I can imagine.
The family, the dominee,
A distorted photograph and a few
poisoned words and meneer Du Toit
is a leper. That's why I called
on you the other day, I needed to
talk to somebody rational.
Thanks for the compliment. But
remember, you're an Afrikaner,
you're one of them. In their eyes
they regard you as the worst kind
You are an Afrikaner too, and your
articles, in a liberal English
My mother was a foreigner, I'm not
pure, wragte Afrikaner. They
don't expect the same loyalty from
me that they demand from you.
What kind of loyalty? Blind
loyalty. Until the deaths of
Jonathan and Gordon, I gave all
the loyalty I could give, laager
loyalty. You know, Melanie, we
Afrikaners have always lived in
our laager, we have not seen
what's beyond the mountains.
Has it ever occurred to you that
the Volk may be scared to leave the
laager? That's the downfall of
this country. So, where do you go
We carry on. There has to be
We lost at the inquest, so we
pursue them in a civil action. I
consulted the attorney Dan
We know each other well.
CUSTOMER PAGE #'S 107 - 110 MISSING
Mr. Du Toit, if you knew what
we're working with every day of
our lives, and what we're up
against, you would understand
why we have to be so thorough.
However you go about it.
I can understand you're upset
about having your house searched
I wasn't thinking about myself.
What are you talking about then,
Mr. Du Toit?
My thoughts, Captain, I'm sure,
are an open book to you.
Stolz picks up a book of Picasso's Peace Paintings,
starts leafing through it carefully, scrutinizing each
He puts the Picasso book carefully back in the place he
took it from.
An interesting book -- Picasso --
Not one I'm familiar with.
Not on your list of banned books,
Stolz doesn't react...
INT. BEN'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
The search continues in the living room. Susan is
standing pale, rigid, shocked.
Mr. Du Toit. If you're keeping
anything from us, we can turn this
whole house upside down if we want
to. We have all the time in the
(throwing Ben a
I'm afraid I don't understand.
Nothing from Stolz.
One of the men starts to roll up the carpet to look under
Susan has to move out of his way.
(gently to Susan)
Why don't you go upstairs?
I'm afraid she has to stay where
we can see her -- in case she
wanted to warn someone.
My father's an M.P.! Warn who?
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - DAY
All four tires of Ben's car have been slashed to ribbons.
INT. BEN'S GARAGE - DAY
Ben and Johan are there.
Ben takes a file from under a toolbox and measures it
carefully against the drawer base. Then, he selects a
piece of wood approximately the size of the drawer and
tries it for size.
We should be in no doubt that's he's constructing a
INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON
Susan is preparing a roast. There's music from a trans-
istor RADIO. Susan is startled by a voice, her father's
(Ben's FATHER-IN-LAW). She turns OFF, the RADIO.
Roast beef, I hope it's like your
He is aged about 70 years, thick set. She rushes to him
and he hugs her tightly and practically lifts her off the
floor. She kisses him.
She disentangles herself and goes to the living room as
excited as a child, the mother is standing by two cases,
Susan hugs her.
She holds her mother at arm's length inspecting her.
The perfume and a new hairstyle.
Your father insisted that I don't
(hugging her again)
I expected you a little later.
She insisted we start early.
Where is Ben?
(walking in with golf
In the study. I'll get him.
Have you put on weight, Susan?
Please don't say that, Papa.
Ben walks in.
Sorry. Didn't hear you arrive.
He shakes hands with Father-In-Law.
How are you, Ben?
He goes to MOTHER-IN-LAW. He kisses her on the cheek.
And how are you, Ma?
Well, Ben, still have trouble with
Why doesn't everyone sit down?
I'll prepare some tea. I baked a
She goes to the kitchen.
EXT. LOCAL GOLF COURSE - SUNSET
Ben and Father-In-Law are having a drink after a round of
golf, outside the club house.
I'm getting tired of the trek to
Cape Town and then back to
Pretoria. If I had my way,
Parliament and government would
be in the same city. There's
nothing wrong with Pretoria.
I thought you'd prefer Cape Town;
the sea and Table Mountain.
That's for holidays. Anyway, Ben,
one of the reasons for this visit
was that I wanted to have a
discussion with you.
It's that photograph in the
papers. Ben, a thing like that
could be an embarrassment for
someone who is a member of
Parliament. It's a grievous day
when one's family's behavior
comes between him and his duty
to the fatherland.
Are you blaming me for trying to
help those people?
I've been doing that all my life,
be they black or white. But no
member of our family has been seen
with a Kaffir woman before, Ben.
Father signals the African waiter for more drinks.
I am glad you mentioned it, Father.
Because I'd like to discuss the
whole thing with you. First,
there's the matter of Gordon
What about him? I thought the
case was closed.
The inquest didn't clear up half
of what happened.
We have no irrefutable evidence
yet, but we have enough to
indicate that something serious is
being covered up.
You're jumping to conclusions,
I know what I'm talking about.
The black waiter places the drinks on the table.
All right, Ben, I'm listening.
Perhaps I can use my influence.
But you'll have to convince me
If they have really nothing to
hide, why is the special branch
going out of its way to intimidate
What's this about special branch?
They raided the house; they are
tapping my phone, and I have been
threatened by one of the officers.
I'm sorry, Ben, I'd rather not
have anything to do with this sort
If the special branch are involved
they must have good reasons.
It's exactly what I said, Father,
when Jonathan first got into
trouble. Of course, they have
good reasons: hushing up how
Gordon died and how his son died!
Ben, how could you side with the
enemies of your people?
You mean you're prepared to sit
back and allow an injustice to be
(his face grows
It's you, Ben, who talk about
injustice? A man who teaches
history at school? Did you forget
what our people have suffered
under the English oppressors?
Now that we have at along last
come to power in our own land.
Now we're free to do to others
what they used to do to us. What
will you do if you were a black
man in this country today, Father?
Don't you realize what the
government is doing for the blacks?
It's a slow process, Ben. One of
these days the whole bloody lot of
them will be free and independent
in their own parts of the land, the
bantoustans -- what can be more
just than that? But they're not
The waiter returns -- Father-in-law pays the bill, and as
he rises to leave, he puts a paternal arm on Ben's
We have nothing to be ashamed of
before the eyes of the world, my
(standing, his golf
bag in his hand)
We don't? I'm not sure we're
going to survive.
They walk away.
Don't underestimate us, Ben. Our
power of survival. We are
EXT. STREET CORNER - EVENING
Stanley is parked in a street corner in the last white
suburb on the way to Soweto. Ben pulls up in his car
behind Stanley's. He walks over to Stanley's car and
enters the back. Stanley smiles as he points at his
They drive off towards Soweto.
Doesn't matter, Lanie -- as long
we are on time for the revolution.
The special branch searched my
house four days ago.
The S.B. searches your house?
Did they take anything?
A few journals, letters -- nothing
much. Just wanted to scare me,
Don't be so sure. They may think
you're onto something big.
They're not that stupid.
'Lanie' -- don't you believe it --
nothing's as stupid as the old S.B.
If they decide it's a bomb they're
looking for, you can shove a turd
in their face and they'll swear
to God it's a bomb.
He laughs... making Ben smile.
And did they?
No. They tried too hard.
Stanley laughs again.
(offers his huge
Shake, man. Join the club.
Ben accepts the handshake.
INT. BEN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Susan sitting on an armchair, sewing. She is aware of a
car stopping opposite the house. Then several young
The car drives off at speed.
Susan sits petrified.
INT. STANLEY'S CAR - NIGHT
Ben and Stanley driving in Soweto.
It's a different city by night. The dark seems to soften
the violence of the confrontation, hiding the details
which, by day, assault and insult the eyes. There are
several GUNSHOTS in the distance. The only light comes
from the small, square windows of the innumerable houses.
Did you hear that, Lanie? More
Ben says nothing.
Further on there's a group of people outside a house. As
they pass they hear HYMN SINGING from the house.
What's happening? What's the
A wake for a child; eight months
old. She was sleeping and they
threw tear gas into it.
They drive on.
INT. EMILY'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Ben, Stanley and Emily are sitting 'round the table. Ben
has pulled the lamp closer to read one of two notes from
Gordon -- one is written on ruled paper, the other a
square of toilet paper. The notes have been smuggled out
of John Vorster Square.
'My dear wife, you must not worry
about me. I miss you and the
children. You must look after
them in the fear of the Lord. I'm
hungry, and I don't know what they
want from me. But I think I'll
be home some day. I think
They are interrupted by a KNOCK at the door. Emily
snatches the notes and stuffs them into her bosom.
Everyone is tense as Emily slowly walks up to the door.
She opens it and a man with a hat and dressed as a min-
ister walks in. Before anyone can say anything, Stanley
bursts out in a loud laugh. The man is slightly built,
aged 40 years. He is JULIUS NQAKULA.
On your knees, everyone, prayers
Ben is perplexed. Emily closes the door and locks it.
Hey man, you should have been a
mfundisi holiness oozer...
(removing this hat)
Okay, Stanley. It's stupid, but
one is forced to do these things.
He walks up to Ben and offers him his hand.
I'm Julius Nqakula... I'm banned
and also under house arrest.
That's why I have this ridiculous
He's one of the most solid
lawyers we have; they've
immobilized him, that's the right
word isn't it?
Stanley has told me about you. I
appreciate the risk you are taking
by coming here to meet me. I was
reading the notes Gordon smuggled
out of John Vorster Square...
May I have a glance at them?
Emily produces the notes. Julius takes them. He starts
reading the toilet paper, which is harder to read.
(speaking with great
'My dear wife. I am still in these
conditions... worse... and too
much pain. They don't want to
believe me. You must try to help
me. They won't stop. You must
care for the children. I don't
know anymore if I will come home
alive. They're very --
(a word mumbled)
-- but God will provide. I love
you and I miss you very much. Try
to help me because...'
The voice breaks off.
When did you get the letters?
The first one two days after they
took him away. And the other one
But, Emily, why didn't you tell me
I had given my word to the man
-- who brought them to me --
Emily, I have to meet the man.
He said he didn't want anybody to
know who he is. I cannot make
trouble for him in his work.
He has to be persuaded. He is very
important to us.
You as a lawyer will understand.
We intend starting a civil suit
against the police, to do that it
is necessary to have as many
affidavits as we can from people
who have any information about
Gordon since he was arrested.
And this man is vital and so is
the Indian doctor.
You mean Dr. Hassiem. How are you
going to do that? You know of
course that he is detained.
I know, with luck they may release
But, Emily, this man is important,
please try to tell him we will
protect his identity. No one will
know. Nothing will be done without
his approval. I only want to talk
Why don't you leave it to Stanley
and I? What do you say, Stanley?
May I call you Julius, I'm not
very good with some African names.
Nqakula, that's a hell of a name.
Please call me Julius.
This case must be reopened and we
must win. We have to dig up
everything. We need your
Where do I start? Don't forget
They did not ban you so you could
sit on your backside and have a
You could help with the affidavits.
Lewinson the lawyer has stressed
We know each other. He's a good
lawyer for this kind of case. Of
course I'll do what I can. My
commitment forces me.
How are you planning to safeguard
the documents? Stanley told me
you have already had a said by
I wouldn't worry. I have a secure
Let's hope so.
I'll make some tea.
Not for me, Sis -- too strong for
me. No whisky?
In my house? You know better
than that, Stanley.
(turning to Julius)
... and God forgive me --
INT. BEN'S GARAGE - EVENING
Ben is standing by the workbench, the new drawer he and
Johan built for the toolbox, open before him.
He's rereading Gordon's letters to Emily.
Sound of approaching FOOTSTEPS. Ben quickly puts the
letters into the drawer and shuts it.
Susan appears at the door -- she looks ten years older.
Ben, it's Johan. You'd better
INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - EVENING
Johan sits, Ben crouched before him. The boy's shirt is
torn, his eyes swollen, his lip cut. He looks at the
floor. Susan hovers.
He won't tell me why it happened
Ben holds his son's arms, gently.
Johan. Was it because of me?
He doesn't answer for a moment. Then he nods.
You see! It's gone too far, Ben.
You've got to stop it...
(shouting at his
I don't care! It doesn't hurt me!
Susan stares at him, at Ben, turns abruptly, walks out of
the room. Johan looks at his father.
It was my friends, Dad. They're
so stupid... They won't listen.
They don't even want to know what
you're trying to do.
Are you sure you know?
Yes. I know.
Does it worry you?
Johan looks at his father through his tears.
Don't stop, Dad. You mustn't
give up now!
Ben hugs his son.
The Gordon Ngubene name-cleaning team on the move.
in a phone box dialing a number.
RINGING, RINGING, on a desk full of scattered
files and papers. By the phone a photograph of a six-
year-old Indian girl.
C) CLOSE ON NURSE
Sound of the PHONE, a young nurse's frightened face as
she remembers peering in at a young boy, struggling
and moaning... Policemen closing the door...
D) CLOSE ON
her hand signing the affidavit and handing
it to a man's hand.
E) CLOSE ON
Ben in the phone box hanging up the phone
F) CLOSE ON
a young black man's face listening to Julius's
... And on the morning of the
autopsy, as I was cleaning the
mortuary, Captain Stolz gave me a
bundle of Ngubene's and ordered
me to burn them.
The young man nods.
having a look on the two affidavits before hiding
them into the drawer of the stool box.
SHOTS. Three! Loud, sharp, terrifying.
INT. BEN'S LIVING ROOM - LATE EVENING
The WINDOW, a LAMP and a MIRROR SHATTER -- Susan screams,
standing, her hands -- clamped over her ears -- eyes
tight shut -- hysterical -- the TELEVISION CHATTERS on
an Afrikaans' play.
Ben bursts in, holds her tight, as she screams into his
Call the police, Ben, call the police!
Johan's voice comes from his room.
It's okay, son... we're all right.
It's okay, stay there, please!!
Gently, he leads Susan who is sobbing now, out of the
INT. KITCHEN - LATE EVENING
My God. They were trying to kill us.
She's seated at the kitchen table. Ben has poured her a
brandy which she cups in her hands.
They were trying to scare us, that's
Her fear turns into anger.
Oh, is that all... What the hell
more do you want to happen...
we're ordinary people for God's
sake -- and you've pitched us into
this -- this nightmare. I can't
take any more, Ben... I can't take
She drops her head and sobs.
Ben sits beside her, and takes her hands to comfort her.
Susan puts her head on his shoulder.
(in a quiet pleading
Please, Ben, stop. Just stop...
Ben is obviously moved.
He squeezes her hands, then takes her in his arms.
INT. VILJOEN'S OFFICE - DAY
The colonel, amiable, cool, behind his desk. A dishev-
elled Ben, pitched angrily forward in his chair.
Now you must be exaggerating,
Mr. Du Toit.
My house has been searched. My
phone is tapped. My mail is
opened. And last night three
shots were fired through my window
-- close to killing my wife.
Mr. Du Toit, if shots were fired
into your premises, we will
All I want to know, Colonel, is
why don't you leave me in peace?
Now wait, wait a minute, Mr. Du
Toit, you're not trying to blame
Tell me, Colonel, why is it so
important to you people to stop
my enquiries about Gordon Ngubene?
Is that what you are doing?
Well, now. If you possess any
information that may be of use to
us, I trust you won't hesitate to
discuss it with me.
He leans forward towards Ben, his tone darkening.
Because if there are facts you are
deliberately hiding from us, Mr.
Du Toit -- If you give us reason
to believe that you may be
involved in activities that may be
dangerous to both yourself and us
-- then I can foresee some
Is that a threat, Colonel?
(smiling and sitting
Let's call it a warning. A
friendly warning. For God's sake,
open your eyes, Mr. Du Toit!
Don't you see you're being used!
By the Communists, I suppose.
Ben gets up to go. The colonel doesn't rise to see him
(at the door,
He leaves. The colonel immediately picks up the phone.
EXT. BEN'S KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING
A 40-year-old African woman walks up to Ben's kitchen
door. She knocks.
Ben opens the door in pyjamas and dressing-gown. She
hands him a note and leaves.
Ben reads the note and goes back into the house.
EXT. STREET IN VREDEDORP - MORNING
Vrededorp is a colored section of Johannesburg. It's
rundown area vacated by whites. There are children play-
ing in the street. Some unemployed men are sitting on
old chairs outside a doorway; a vendor is serving two
women from his milk churn.
Ben drives into the street searching for an address. He
stops outside a house. As he gets out of the car the
children and everyone stop to look at him with interest.
He walks up to a door and knocks.
A COLORED WOMAN appears as the door opens. She is young
and obviously educated.
Mr. Du Toit?
Ben nods, hesitatingly.
Please, come in.
Ben walks into the living/dining room. It's a very tidy
room with a three piece sitting room suite, a sideboard
with a clock on it. At one end of the room is the dining
area. The floor is linoleum and covered with a rug in
Stanley is lounging on a settee, beer in hand. On the
chair next to him a black man in a brown striped suit,
drinks orange squash. Thirtyish, pleasant face but very
tense. He rises as Ben walks in.
(rising and shaking
hands with Ben)
How's it? No trouble finding this
place? You met Sadie. She's one
Ben nods to her.
And this is Johnson Seroke. The
man of the letters.
(nodding in greeting)
SADIE (COLORED WOMAN)
Please sit down, Mr. Du Toit. A
beer, tea or orange squash?
A beer would be nice.
Sadie goes to a cupboard and brings out a bottle of beer
and a glass. She opens the beer and hands it to Ben.
She disappears into the bedroom with a curtain at the
You know they call this place
Vrededorp, but we baptize it
Malay Camp. Your first time in
Malay Camp, Lanie?
I've driven through here many
The main road, eh?
The woman re-enters.
You'll excuse me. Stanley, you
know what to do with the key.
Sure, Sadie. And thank you. Can
I help myself to another beer?
You know it is. Goodbye, Mr. Du
Toit, and you, be careful.
To the Seroke.
(trying to smile)
That woman can die for you. We
mustn't be long, Johnson has to
be back on duty.
Alright, let's get on with it.
Stanley tells me, you work at
John Vorster Square.
I had no choice, they transferred
Yet you smuggled out letters to
(pulling the fingers
of his left hand one
by one cracking the
joints over and over)
What do you do if a man asks you,
and he's in trouble?
If they find out he'd be in very
I know that. Tell me, what do you
know about Gordon?
You did talk to him from time to
He gave me the letters.
When was the last time you saw
Just before he died.
Did you attend any of the
No. I'm not a member of the
Special Branch. But once I had to
deliver a letter to Capt. Stolz,
Gordon was there.
How were they interrogating him?
Seroke hesitates and looks at Stanley.
It's okay. Tell him what you told
They were using the pole.
The pole, what's that?
They handcuff you and manacle your
feet then they put a pole between
your arms and the back of your
knees. Then you're like a chicken
ready for the oven. They hang you
between two tables. Then they do
what they like with you. The S.B.
call it the aeroplane.
Ben is horrified.
I see. Who were in that room?
Lieutenant Venter and a black S.B.
You are sure?
It's very interesting. When was
the last time you saw him?
I saw them take the body away to
the cells. He was limp.
You did! Johnson, why do you stay
with the police? You don't really
It's a job. And how can I go
away? I love my family.
He jumps up and faces Ben with a look of anger and panic.
They must never know I told you
I understand. I promise.
This is strictly between the
three of us. Don't worry, man.
Seroke shakes hands with them as he's leaving.
(slapping his back)
Take it easy.
Stanley goes to the cupboard for another beer.
A beer, Lanie?
No, thank you. You know, Stanley,
after what happened the other
night I was about to give this
whole thing up.
What happened, man?
My wife nearly got killed. Three
shots were fired into the house.
What right have I to expose my
family to harassment and actual
physical danger? That's what I
Three bloody shots and you crawl
on your hands and knees to people
like Stolz, and say 'I give up.'
What is the beginning for you is a
version of what we suffer all our
bloody life. Shit, I thought you
had more guts than this, man!
I didn't say I'm giving up.
But you thought about it.
Johnson has revived my
It's a hell of a time, Lanie, but
we'll survive. You and me. I
You think we may still win in the
Of course not, Lanie -- but we
needn't lose either -- what
matters is to stick around.
By the way, man, I'm off on a trip
-- Botswana -- thought I'd tell
you in case you get worried.
Why are you going there?
Business. Tell you next week.
Now for the bad news I've been
saving to the last.
Julius has been arrested. He
broke his banning order and
visited his sister. You know what
that means? At least a year's
A year in jail just for visiting
That's the chance he took. And
he'll be the last to complain.
Don't you think the real reason
for this arrest was that they
found out he was helping us?
So what? Lanie, you're not
getting guilt complexes now, are
you? That's a luxury only
liberals can afford. Julius will
be back, man. All refreshed by a
spell in the deep-freeze.
How can we shrug off a man we've
been working with?
Who said we're shrugging him off?
Best way of remembering a man,
Lanie, is to carry on fighting.
INT. BEN'S STUDY - DAY
Ben's study is in chaos.
The books have been plucked from the shelves and the
contents of his drawers emptied on the floor.
Ben standing in the middle of the room surveying the
INT. BRUWER KITCHEN - AFTERNOON
This is a medium-sized kitchen with two doors leading
from it, one to the dining room and the other to the
living room. It has not changed since it was furnished
twenty years ago, the only modern appliances being the
electric stove and a modern mixer on the working table.
Ben is leaning against the wall next to the door leading
to the living room, drinking coffee.
Melanie, bare-feet, her long black hair tied up in a
ribbon, is washing up. She looks younger and fragile
with this hair-style.
What about you?
I mean not married...
And living in this chaos with my
eccentric father? I love him and
we get on perfectly. We have
been together since I was a year
old. My mother could not adapt
to South Africa. She went back
to London and we've never heard
from her since.
Being a professor and bringing up
a child, how did he manage that?
Dorothy, dear Dorothy, she was a
fantastic mother. In fact she had
two families, me and her three
children in Alexandra township.
And this little girl grew up to be
a tough journalist. Why a
Sometimes I ask myself the same
She leans against the sink and picks up her mug of
Alright. I'll tell you. I was
brought up in a sheltered way, not
that Dad was possessive, not
openly anyway. I think he'd just
seen enough of the mess the world
was in, to want to protect me as
much as he could. Then, I went
to university. I don't know what
you'll think... being a teacher.
Then I married my ex-teacher.
Oh. He must have been young.
Fifteen years difference. He too
protected me like Dad. Then one
day I visited Dorothy in Alexandra
and saw her home and the appalling
conditions in that township. I
was shocked, Ben, and ashamed.
Melanie pours him another mug of coffee and starts to
That made me think that I was a
parasite, something white and
maggot-like... just a thing... a
sweet and ineffectual thing. I
felt more and more claustrophobic.
Poor Brian, who loved and pampered
me. Had no idea what was
happening. I left him for a whole
year and we divorced.
And then you became a journalist?
Melanie goes to the living room, as she passes Ben she
touches his arm and continues talking.
I thought it would force me, or
help me, to expose myself. To
force me to see and to take
notice of what was happening
Did it work?
She returns to the kitchen with a cigarette.
I wish I could give you a straight
answer. What did help me was my
wanderings in Africa.
How did you manage that on a
South African passport? We South
Africans are white devils in
My mother was English, remember?
So I get a British passport. It
comes in handy even for the paper.
You really are your father's
I wonder what he's doing right
now. Most likely standing on a
rock, looking through his old
binoculars at springbok or a lion
One of the two large CATS approaches them, tail in the
air, and goes to Melanie, drubbing against her legs,
PURRING luxuriously. She picks it up into her arms.
How often does he go on these trips
to the veldt?
It depends --
(approaching Ben with
-- Bonjour, Ben. I'm Porto and my
friend is Bello!
Ben smiles and starts to caress Porto in Melanie's arms.
EXT. SOWETO - EMILY'S HOUSE - MID-MORNING
Parked outside the house is a municipality truck already
half-laden with Emily's furniture and possessions. Four
Africans in khaki overalls are loading the truck -- super-
vising the eviction of Emily are a white Soweto official,
Captain Stolz and Lt. Venter. In the b.g., a hundred yards
away is a "hippo" with black and white armed policemen.
Behind the truck are two police Land Rovers.
Emily is sitting outside on one of her chairs as neighbors
walk up to her to comfort her and say their goodbyes. Her
daughter is carrying the youngest child and standing next
to Emily -- several children are watching. A woman in
the crowd starts singing a freedom song: "UMZIMA
LOMTHWALO" ("THIS BURDEN IS HEAVY"). The song is taken up
by the other women.
Venter tries to stop them and disperse them. Stolz
signals to him to leave them alone. One of the Africans
then walks up to her for the chair. She refuses to get
off the chair. The man looks at the white official as
though to ask "what do I do." The official looks at
Stolz. Venter walks up to Emily and, about to pull her
off the chair.
Don't you touch me!
Venter pulls back. The women start to ululate. Emily
rises majestically, takes the youngest in her arms and
walks slowly to the truck followed by her daughter.
People cluster around her, singing with rage and shaking
her hand. Stolz observes the scene, impassive.
Come back! Buya!
Emily and the children are helped onto the back of the
truck which drives away preceded by the police "hippo" and
escorted from the rear by the Land Rovers. The crowd
EXT. STREET - MORNING
Ben is leaving his home. This is a Saturday morning. Two
men are sitting in a car a few yards from the entrance to
the house. Ben doesn't pay attention to them. When he
is about twenty yards past, one of the men, Jaimie -- who
was present when Gordon was arrested -- gets out of the
car and follows Ben. Ben stops at a corner for a car and
again the FOOTSTEPS stop.
He turns furtively and sees the man, stopped, turning his
head. Ben decides to turn the corner, and listens to the
FOOTSTEPS. The man is still following. Ben then decides
to turn right back to have a good look at the man. They
pass each other and Ben takes a good look at him and turns
back onto the streets to the local shops. The man decides
not to follow.
INT. BEN'S STUDY - NIGHT
Ben and Stanley sit. Ben on his desk. Stanley in an
armchair with a drink. They look perplexed.
She's a widow, man. That's what
happens in Soweto when a woman
loses her man. They throw her out
of the house and out of the city.
Zululand! The whole thing smells
of being an excuse to send her
hundreds of miles from the case.
And how will they live there?...
Shit! I was about to find her a
place, but I had to go to look
So, that's why you went to
Sis Emily asked me but it was no
use. His mind was made up. He
was going to join Wellington in
Couldn't you stop him? He's a
little boy, Stanley!
Stanley gulps down his whisky and stands up.
(focusing Ben in the
He'll be back in a few years. And
he won't be throwing stones!
Then, puts the empty glass on the desk.
INT./EXT. STANLEY'S HOUSE - EVENING
Stanley peers through the curtains: he sees a car parked
outside the house. In it Jaimie and another S.B. They
are watching the house. Stanley quietly opens the door
and walks outside.
EXT. STANLEY'S HOUSE - EVENING
Stanley walks past his car and approaches the policeman.
(using his usual
Good evening. I'd like to invite
you into my humble home, but it's
full of terrorists.
The two policemen get out of their car, obviously angry.
(pointing at Stanley's
Open the boot! You cheeky bastard!
Okay, with pleasure.
They search and find nothing.
Open the door and remove the seat.
Stanley executes the order. Jaimie and the OTHER POLICE-
MAN peer in, their eyes sweeping the car.
Now, your pass, bliksem.
Stanley produces his passbook and hands it to the Police-
man who inspects the pages laboriously, then throws the
book to the ground. Stanley doesn't pick it up and just
watches the man.
You watch your bloody step! Right?
They return to their car and drive off. Stanley looks at
them thoughtfully, then picks up his book.
EXT. DAN PIENAAR SCHOOL - MORNING
All the students are in classes. Cloete walks out of a
classroom and sees Capt. Stolz walking towards the build-
ing. Cloete stops to wait for him. They shake hands and
walk to Cloete's office talking affably. They enter
INT. BEN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Ben and Susan in bed, asleep. The PHONE RINGS... waking
them both. Ben answers. There's no one there. He puts
it down. The RINGING STARTS AGAIN. Ben puts the re-
Ben, please stop whilst there's
time. Please, Ben.
(focusing on ceiling)
It's impossible to stop now, Susan.
I believe I'm right in what I'm
doing. If I stop now I'll go mad.
Whatever the price you pay for it?
I have got to.
Susan shuts her eyes tight and turns her back on him to
hide her tears.
INT. CLOETE'S OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON
It's a functional office. Picture of the South African
president (1976) John Vorster, on the wall. Various staff
pictures... Ben, summoned by Cloete, sits.
Think of your heritage, man. My
God -- think of your wife, your
family, friends, neighbors.
What's going to happened to them --
all of us -- if we can't depend on
our own kind? We're
educationalists -- teachers. We
are building for the future.
Without simple justice we don't
deserve a future.
We're Boers, man -- Afrikaners.
We are your nation. What's justice
for us is justice -- period!
Traitors like you are threatening
centuries of Afrikaner sacrifice.
That last remark was slanderous --
I'm simply being faithful to the
Slanderous? My God, man, you
slander a whole people.
He walks silently through the office then continues.
You have given me no alternative.
I have to abide by the regulations
of the Department of Education --
so I have made my report.
And there will have to be a formal
inquiry. But until such time...
It won't be necessary, Mr. Cloete.
I'll send you my resignation.
Thank you for making things much
Ben stares at him for a moment, then turns to leave. As
he reaches the door, Cloete says:
And it would be better if Johan
Ben turns to stare at him, amazed.
Are you serious?
He's a Kaffir-lover too, isn't
The color drains from Ben's face. Then he steps forward,
slaps Cloete thunderously across the face, hurling him
back into his chair, and strides out, leaving the door
EXT. SCHOOL YARD - LATE AFTERNOON
It's the end of the school day. The yard is practically
deserted. Only Viviers waiting for Ben under the veranda.
Oom Ben, I was waiting for you.
I have something interesting to
(striding on towards
But, Oom Ben, it's about the
S.B. they came to question me.
Before they started questioning
me I told them they were wasting
Ben doesn't react.
They asked if I was cooperating
with you. What I knew about the
A.N.C. Can you imagine that! They
then said: 'Mr. Viviers you come
from a good Afrikaans family and
it's important that you realize
that communists are looking for
people like you and before you
know where you are they're using
you! And, Oom Ben...
(reaching the car;
I'm sorry, Viviers. I never
wanted you to get involved.
(getting into his
I have just resigned.
Ben drives away.
INT. BEN'S DINING ROOM - AFTERNOON
Christmas day lunch. Assembled around the table are
Ben's Father-in-law, his wife Helen, Suzette and Chris,
her husband, Johan, Ben and Susan. They're all wearing
paper hats from Christmas crackers. On the table is a
large piece of roast lamb, ox tongue, a large turkey and
Ben is at the head of the table adjacent to the door lead-
ing to the kitchen, the Father-in-law is sitting by his
side facing the door.
Ben is in the middle of carving the turkey, plates are
being passed to him.
Was last year's turkey as big as
About the same size.
Do you remember the turkey I had
for Easter? You said it was as
big as a baby ostrich, Papa.
I don't remember that, Suzette.
You know, Johan, when I was a boy
in the Karoo, we used to fry
ostrich eggs. You know how big
As big as this table.
I think he deserves the parson's
nose for that remark.
They laugh. Susan laughs. She does her best to compose.
Suddenly... a KNOCK at the outside kitchen door. As Ben
turns towards the door it opens and...
INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON
... Stanley erupts into the kitchen like a great black
bull in white suit and white shoes. A scarlet tie is
matched by a huge handkerchief hanging from his pocket.
He is a little drunk.
by this family
(then grinning and
Merry Christmas, everyone!
There's deadly quiet -- not even the clink of a spoon --
as the Du Toits look on aghast.
Slowly, as if in a dream, Ben rises and goes to Stanley
who spots him.
'Lanie'... compliments of the
season, old mate.
Stanley. What are you doing here?
Before Stanley answers, the Father-in-law gets up from his
chair and goes to the kitchen.
Who's this Kaffir, Ben?
Why don't you tell the Boer who
this Kaffir is?
Shut up, Stanley.
That's all right. I'll...
(quivering with rage)
A Kaffir calling me a Boer?
Chris hurries into the kitchen ready for a fight.
Ben, did you hear that? Call the
Please, go to the table.
Stanley, wait outside.
Who are these people, anyway?
Stanley, this is still my house.
Let me throw him out.
Ben steps between them and pushes Chris back into the
Let him try, leave him, Lanie.
Please leave me with him. I'll
explain everything later.
Nothing has changed in this house.
Mother, let's go!
He strides into the dining room.
INT. DINING ROOM - AFTERNOON
Susan sits with her eyes tight shut -- trying to shut out
the horror of it all. As the Father-in-law goes into
the living room, he pulls back his wife's chair and helps
her to her feet.
(to his wife)
Let's leave this house. I've been
sworn at by a Kaffir and Ben
Chris follows. Susan also. From the living room, she
calls Johan who is left alone at the table, perplexed.
Johan goes to his mother.
There's a general rush for the door and, without warning,
the room is empty. Only the TIN ANGELS TINKLE merrily
around their candles.
INT. KITCHEN - AFTERNOON
Lanie! Ever in your fucking life
seen such a stampede, hah?
Maybe you think it's funny,
Stanley, but I don't. Do you
realize what you've done?
(he sighs deeply)
Come into the dining room.
Stanley follows Ben slowly, swaying.
Jeez, who was that old cunt with
the potbelly and black suit, looks
like an undertaker?
INT. DINING-ROOM - AFTERNOON
Ben sits on his chair.
(sitting beside Ben)
Shit! I fucked it all up for you.
He laughs again. Ben cannot take it anymore.
Now pull yourself together,
Stanley. It's not funny at all!
What's the matter with you today?
You're drunk and making an idiot
of yourself. Say what you've come
to say. Otherwise, go to hell!
Stanley's laughter changes into a broad grin. He sur-
veys the table and takes a bit of turkey from a plate
and starts to eat it quietly.
(after a pause)
Right. Dead right. Put the
Kaffir in his place.
Ben grabs him by the shoulders and starts to shake him.
Bloody hell! Stanley, what's
wrong with you?
Stanley shoves Ben off, and glares at him, bloodshot eyes
Emily is dead.
Ben stares at him in stunned disbelief.
Emily dead? How? When?
Stanley doesn't answer - he cries.
Ben grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him.
What happened, Stanley? Oh, my
God. Please tell me.
(between two sobs)
A broken heart. All they said.
Ben's hand still on Stanley's shoulder, he sits slowly
beside him, shaken, his face ravaged by the news.
Through the window, he sees Suzette and Chris carrying
suitcases, back down the path to his in-laws' car;
Father-In-Law shepherding his wife and an ashen, dazed
Susan, helping them into the car.
As they leave see Johan leaning against the dining room
door, watching his father and Stanley.
INT. BRUWER HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - LATE EVENING
A very tense Ben is sitting on Professor Bruwer's chair.
Melanie is curled up on the old settee.
They don't know what you've got
and you're a danger to them. I
know there's a point of no return,
but with our system, one has to
plot the route with care.
That's the main reason for coming
here tonight. Melanie, I need
your help. Without Emily, we can't
pursue our civil suit. The only
thing left open to us is to expose
them through the press, and the
media here and abroad.
And your safety also, Ben, lies in
That way the world will know the
brutality and power of our
security services; here questions
can be asked in Parliament. And
the white public can appreciate
the implications of the fascist
laws of this country.
You know, Melanie, I'm discovering
that the enemy is not in Soweto.
The enemy is ourselves. Our
bigotry, our laws, our system. We
have our own fight and it's just
We better win before the blacks
Ben and Melanie laugh.
Now, before going to the press, I
have to have all the documents. I
must have two vital affidavits;
Dr. Hassiem's, he's detained and
Jonathan's friend, Wellington has
fled to Zambia.
Zambia? I'm going to Rhodesia...
I can go to Zambia.
And I can use my British passport.
I know my way around Lusaka.
That would be very useful.
Melanie jumps off the settee.
This calls for a drink. Gin and
As Melanie walks away, Ben looks at her with admiration
and tenderness... her dress swinging around her legs...
her bare feet soundless on the floor... the quiet grace
of her movement.
On the way to the kitchen to get the drinks, Melanie goes
to the record player. There's a record already on the
Suddenly as if rising from a dream, Ben murmurs:
Melanie. Be careful.
(as she plays the
Of course, Ben.
She goes into the kitchen.
As Melanie hums to herself to the BLUES MUSIC, in the
kitchen, Ben walks over to the window and furtively
glances out, to assure himself that nobody is watching.
He takes then a book on a pile next to the settee and
pages slowly through it.
Melanie returns with two glasses, still in her happy
mood. She places Ben's glass on the side table next to
the settee, takes the book from him and makes him sit
Ben raises his glass and touches it with hers.
Do be careful. I wouldn't want
She reaches for his hand.
And hurry back.
A new track starts on the RECORD.
That's my favorite, Ben.
Jumping up and taking Ben's glass and placing it on the
side table, she pulls him to his feet.
I can't dance.
They laugh as they start to dance to the slow BLUES
MUSIC. The laughing subsides as they hold each other
closer. The dancing starts to lose the beat of the
music. They look into each other's eyes and Ben envel-
ops her tenderly in his arms hugging her as close as
possible against him.
They stop dancing. Ben kisses her. A long, warm and
INT. MELANIE'S BEDROOM
Ben and Melanie in bed.
He is kissing her and fondling her passionately. During
the love play, Ben reaches for the lightswitch of the
bedside lamp, and knocks it over. They make love.
INT. LOCAL SUPERMARKET - MORNING
Ben is shopping at the local supermarket. He is pushing
a trolley. As he places some groceries into his trolley,
he notices a man standing near the check-out counters.
The man is similar built as Jamie and similar hairstyle.
He's reading a newspaper, his face concealed.
Ben drops the package he was inspecting, back on the
shelf and pushes his trolley towards the man to try and
see his face.
The man moves away. Ben follows him and has decided to
confront him. Man picks up a pack of ham.
Ben is about to remonstrate with him.
Just then a LADY and her daughter hurry to the man, push-
ing a trolley. Man turns to look at Ben.
Darling, put that down, it's not
good for your cholesterol.
(to the man)
I'm sorry, my mistake.
He pushes his trolley away embarrassed.
EXT. SUZETTE'S HOUSE - SWIMMING POOL - DAY
The immaculate blue of the pool. Johan hurls himself out
of the water, flops down at the side.
Suzette and Ben nearby, sitting in the sun.
Pieter at the barbecue, sizzling thick steaks.
A servant in white uniform soundlessly laying the table
on the patio behind him.
The nanny with the baby in the shade.
-- How's she doing?
Better... She's waiting for you to
ask her to come home.
I doubt it.
She turns to Ben, squinting in the sun.
Papa, I don't want to interfere...
I know this is going to sound
strange coming from me... I mean
I haven't exactly been supportive
for the past months... I can't say
I agree with what you've done but
I respect you for what you are...
ON Johan listening.
I'm just... destroyed by what's
happening to us as a family.
Please, Papa, for Mom's sake...
For all of our sakes... Let's
try and patch it up.
Ben smiles sadly at her... Suzette understands. Johan
looks at them.
EXT. SUZETTE'S HOUSE - LATER
Ben and Johan in the car. Suzette leans in through the
Let me know if there's anything I
can do to help.
Thanks. I'm glad you understand.
I don't want to worry about you.
That search, this vandalism, those
shots... they're really after the
evidence you've been accumulating
... Can I look after them for you,
You don't have to worry. They'll
never find them.
Where on earth do you keep them?
ON Johan looking at Suzette then at Ben with concern.
EXT. INDIAN TOWNSHIP - DAY
Ben has parked his car in a street corner of the upmarket
section of the Asian township. He peers around him, then
Ben knocks at a door.
The door is opened cautiously by DR. HASSIEM, a tall,
handsome Indian, aged 35 years. His clothes are casual
but expensive. His six-year-old daughter, large dark
eyes, is clinging to his leg. We recognize the little
girl of the photograph near the telephone, from earlier.
Dr. Hassiem? I'm Ben Du Toit.
I'm a friend of Gordon Ngubene's...
(raising his hands)
The inquest is over, Mr. Du Toit.
Not for me, Doctor. I've got to
know what happened to Gordon.
Dr. Hassiem looks shaky, nervous.
I only came home yesterday. After
three months in detention and now
I'm banned and confined to the
house. There's nothing I can do
The little girl still clinging to his leg, watching Ben.
I know it may be painful to you,
Doctor, but I need to talk to you.
How can I be sure you weren't
actually sent by them?
Ask Emily. Doctor, we are in the
process of filing a civil claim.
And your help is vital.
Hassiem gives Ben a long look. He picks up his daughter
and opens the door fully.
Ben walks into the large living room, tastefully
Ben is still looking 'round at the opulence. He sits in
Thank you for inviting me in.
(the little girl on
What do you want to know?
Just one thing, Doctor. Why did
you sign the State Pathologist's
report on the autopsy if you drew
up your own report as well?
What makes you think I signed Dr.
The report produced in court had
both your signatures on it.
What did you write in your report?
Dr. Jansen and I didn't disagree
on the facts. After all we
examined the same body in the same
time. But just on the
interpretation. For example, if
Gordon, had really been hanged,
the marks on his throat would have
been concentrated on the front.
(he touches his
But in this case, the bruises
were more obvious on the sides.
Pause. Ben nods, silent.
Something else really upset me,
perhaps it isn't important.
What was it?
Dr. Hassiem puts down his daughter.
You see, through a misunderstanding
I arrived at the morgue too early
for the autopsy. There wasn't a
soul around except a young African
attendant. When I told him I'd
come for the autopsy, he let me in.
The body was on the table dressed.
I noticed blood on the clothes.
As I examined the clothes more
closely, a police-officer came in
and said I wasn't allowed in the
morgue before Dr. Jansen arrived.
When I returned with Dr. Jansen,
half an hour later, the body was
Doctor, we've already got the
African attendant's affidavit. He
testified that Capt. Stolz ordered
him to burn the clothes.
Did you mention what you said in
Of course. I found it most odd.
Doctor Hassiem would you be
prepared to put that in writing?
Dr. Hassiem thinks it over for a while then:
Please excuse me for a minute.
Ben watches him leave the room, the little girl following
him. He gets up from the chair, walks to the window,
glances through it, then steps to look at some family
photographs on the mantlepiece. Amongst them a photograph
of Dr. Hassiem before "Big Ben." Dr. Hassiem returns
with a file, the daughter still following.
(opening the file)
This is my report. I only have
You have a copy of the report?
I know how to hide things from the
S.B., Mr. Du Toit.
Ben congratulates him by a deep laughter.
INT. HASSIEM'S OFFICE - DAY
Ben and Dr. Hassiem working as a team, tape the type-
written sheets of the report among a Rand Daily Mail
newspaper pages at the back.
On Dr. Hassiem's desk we recognize next to the phone, the
little girl's photograph.
I hope you have as secure a place
as I have.
(with an accomplice
I think so.
INT. BUILDING IN CONSTRUCTION - LATE AFTERNOON
A multi-storied building half-built. Stanley standing on
the fourth floor watching Ben's arrival.
Ben searches for Stanley who draws Ben's attention;
beckons him up. Ben indicates they meet halfway.
He joins Stanley who's sitting on a pile of bricks.
Take a pew, man.
We have it, Stanley!
Hassiem's report. You know what
that means, Stanley? Melanie
arrives in two days. We'll have
all the evidence. Everything is
in place. We'll get them yet,
That's fantastic, man.
Stanley produces from his jacket pocket a newspaper --
Rand Daily Mail. He opens it on a certain page with the
picture of an African in police uniform, and hands it to
God! It's Johnson Seroke.
Late at night. A knock on the
door. He opened and five shots,
point-blank range. Face, chest,
'A police spokesman when questioned
said: "It's not the first time that
a black member of the police has
lost his life in the service of
his country, fighting terrorism."
(folding paper in
Bloody bastards! They killed him.
Stolz must have thought he knew
What's the score? The nurse is
detained; the mortuary attendant
has disappeared; the police van
driver who brought Jonathan to
hospital is detained. Julius is
in jail, and now Johnson dead.
Who's next on their secret list,
I wonder? How much longer must
the list grow of those who pay the
price of our efforts to clear
Hey! Are you going soft, Lanie?
We must keep going even more so
now. And for every bloke who's
going to die of bloody natural
causes in their hands. And for
our children's future.
I know. If I can no longer
believe that right is on my side,
if I can no longer believe in
imperative to go on, what will
become of me, Stanley?
Ben looks at Johnson's picture again and shakes his head.
INT. BEN'S STUDY - DAY
A 8x10 black and white photograph on Ben's desk.
On the photograph a naked man and a girl on a bed and a
bedside lamp on its side. The man is Ben and the girl
Stolz in sports jacket, standing next to the desk is
We're all made of flesh and
blood, Mr. Du Toit -- we've all
got our flaws. And if a man likes
to sample the grass on the other
side of the fence, well, that's
his own business. But it would
be unpleasant if people found out
about it, especially if he's a
You mean, if I cooperate, if I
stop digging, embarrassing you,
threatening you... these
photographs will disappear.
Let's just say I may be able to
use my influence to make sure that
a private indiscretion isn't used
Suppose I refuse?
Stolz looks past Ben.
Is this your son?
Ben whirls around to see Johan at the door. He shoots,
puts himself between the photograph and his son obviously
surprised to find Capt. Stolz there.
Johan, leave us alone, please.
Johan walks away.
Don't you think this business
has gone long enough?
Ben, struggling to maintain his composure.
That's for you people to decide.
Isn't it? I won't be blackmailed,
Captain -- not even by you.
Mind if I smoke?
Ben answers by a gesture.
(after lighting his
Now be honest. Has all the
evidence you've been collecting
in connection with Gordon Ngubene
brought you closer to the truth
you are looking for?
Yes, I think so and there's more
I really hoped we could talk
It's not possible, Captain. Not
between you and me.
It's high time, Mr. Du Toit, we
allowed the dead to rest in peace.
I'm offering you a chance.
You mean my very last chance?
One never knows. It may not be
important to you, but we have to
If we can only survive through
murder and torture, then we have
forfeited our right to exist.
Slowly and deliberately Stolz stubs out his cigarette
in the ashtray.
Is that your final answer?
Before you go. I'll tell this,
Captain. I have a pretty good
idea of what I will eventually
uncover. I mean the truth.
And I won't allow anyone or
anything to come between me and
Ben walks up to the door to see him out. There's no
response from Stolz. He calmly takes a small card out of
his pocket and rests it on Ben's desk.
Here's my card -- my private line.
If you should change your mind...
Let's say before the end of the
Goodbye, Captain, and don't forgt
Stolz picks up the photograph and puts it into his
Be careful, Mr. Du Toit. There
are people who can make things
very difficult for you.
They are wasting their time. They
just can't hurt me anymore. I
trust you'll give them the message,
He walks out. Ben follows him 'round the garage and
watches him get into his car and drive away.
Johan joins his father.
A brandy, Papa?
(smiling back, ruffling
A gin and tonic would be fine.
INT. JAN SMUTS AIRPORT - DAY
Ben and Johan are standing in the public enclosure on the
top floor of the airport building. Ben is unshaved, he
looks tired, but happy. There is the usual bustle of
airport staff for the steps and luggage, two-thirds of
the staff being black.
Passengers emerge from the plane Melanie amongst them.
Some waving to friends and relatives on the public en-
closure. Melanie stops momentarily and looks up at the
enclosure. She sees Ben and Johan and waves at them.
They wave back and Ben indicates they'll be waiting for
her below. She walks off as they happily await her after
the ususal formalities.
INT. JAN SMUTS AIRPORT - DAY
Ben and Johan are waiting outside the arrivals exit.
Several passengers stream out, some being met. Eventually
there is a trickle of passengers. An INDIAN WOMAN is one
of the last to come out. Ben approaches her.
Excuse me, I'm waiting for a lady
with a red dress. Are there still,
many people to come?
I did see her. She was ahead of
me. Maybe she's still in there.
Just then an OFFICIAL walks out of the door. Ben hurries
Can I help you?
I'm waiting for a passenger, Miss
Bruwer. She's taking a rather
long time to be cleared.
What did you say her name was?
I'll go and check.
The Official hurries back.
Is there any other exit, Papa?
No. They have to collect their
luggage and pass through customs.
Maybe she can't find her bag.
Just then Stolz appears through the door. He slowly
walks up to Ben and Johan. Ben becomes apprehensive.
Afternoon, Meneer Du Toit. Johan,
Ruffling his hair; Johan pulling away and glaring at him.
What now, Captain?
Word came to me that you were
asking after your very good friend,
Miss Bruwer. You know, subersives
come in all guises and can be
very resourceful. Now let's take
your friend, she has been using
her privilege as a journalist to
endanger the security of this
country. But you know something
else? She has been secretly
holding a British passport. A
South African passport and a
British pasport. Now you tell me,
where is her patriotism? Her
allegiance? The minister telexed
to the immigration officers here
declaring her an undesirable
immigrant. So she is being put
on the first available plane to
London. This must be heart-
breaking for you. Good afternoon,
Meneer Du Toit, Johan.
Stolz walks back.
Let's go home, Johan.
I don't understand, Papa...
I'll explain later.
They hurry out of the building in silence.
EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - DAY
Ben and Johan arriving at the house. An unsympathetic
small crowd is there waiting... They react, murmuring
in Afrikaans, watching them with hostility as Ben and
Johan get out of the car and discover the chaos. The
wreckage. The garage and Ben's study have been bombed.
Johan leaves Ben and rushes to the house. The crowd
starts to disperse.
The entire tools cupboard has been methodically ripped
apart and the contents strewn on the garage floor.
Everything is half-burnt... charred... Ben has sunk onto
the stool in total defeat. There's silence.
Then Johan appears at the door. He hands Ben a large
envelope -- in it, the file with all the papers. Ben looks
up at Johan.
I took it out. Hide it in my
Ben grabs his son, hugs him and holds on for dear life.
Thank you, son. You did a man's
INT. BEN'S STUDY - DAY
Ben is sitting at the kitchen table.
Before him, scattered on the table: the affidavits he
collected, the Hassiem report, cuttings of articles by
Melanie in the Rand Daily Mail about Jonathan, newspaper
pictures of Gordon, of Seroke, of himself with Emily, the
half-burnt "peace painting" of Picasso, half-burnt photo
of Ben with Suzette, a staff photograph, Ben amongst it,
and a charred trophy.
Ben starts putting material relevent to his inquiries
into a large brown envelope.
Johan enters kitchen with a large envelope and hands it
to his father.
Somebody has dropped it through the
I'm nearly ready, Papa.
Ben examines the unstamped envelope with his address,
with curiosity then opens it.
The contents is Wellington's affidavit.
He looks inside the envelope, expecting a personal note.
Good old Melanie!
INT. JOHAN'S BEDROOM - DAY
Johan is packing his sport kit and few clothes into a
EXT. BEN'S HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - DAY
Ben and Johan are walking towards the entrance, Johan
wheeling his bike. Ben hugs his son.
Johan gets on the bike and rides out.
INT. BEN'S KITCHEN - DAY
Ben is pouring coffee. He looks tired and tensed. The
PHONE RINGS in the living room. He hurries to answer it.
Who knows, could be Melanie from the airport!
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Ben picks up the phone. A menacing male voice says:
Meneer du Toit, tonight we're
coming to kill you.
Ben replaces the receiver obviously shaken. He becomes
aware of FOOTSTEPS approaching the kitchen. Ben is
A KNOCK at the door and the door swings open: it's
What's happened, man?
It's you. It was a bomb.
And the papers?
Don't worry. Safe. Thanks to
Johan. Incidentally, I have
Wellington's affidavit. Melanie
found him. She's being deported.
The official reason is that she
possessed a British passport. I
don't know how she managed to
smuggle the envelope to me.
Man, it's all happening!
Stanley walks out, glances at the devastated study. He
reenters the kitchen and slams on a chair. He takes a
packet of "Lucky Strike" from his pocket and offers it
Like a joint?
Stanley lights a cigarette and surveys the table. He
picks up the half-burnt Picasso book, gives it a brief
glance, and tosses it back on the table and starts to
What's so funny?
They drop the bomb on you!
Ben walks up to him puts his hand on his shoulder.
There's an understanding trace of a smile on his face.
INT. CAFE - DAY
Ben sitting in a cafe smoking his pipe. A waiter serves
him a glass of beer, for which he pays.
EXT. JOHANNESBURG STREET - DAY
It's raining. Stanley driving in the rain on the same
road as Johan.
EXT. CAFE - PASSENGERS' POV FROM PARKED CAR - DAY
Suzette's sports car pulls up outside the cafe where Ben
INT. CAFE - DAY
Ben rises as Suzette joins him at his table. They kiss
and she sits opposite him.
(looking at her
How are you, Suzette?
(in a soft voice)
Would you like a drink?
Without taking his eyes off her, he takes a brown envelope
from a chair and pushes it slowly towards the uncomfor-
She picks up the envelope.
I have to go, Papa.
Suzette awkwardly kisses him on the cheek.
Look after them.
Suzette looks at him for a moment and hurries to her car.
As Suzette leaves, Ben turns back into the room, his
eyes glassy with tears.
EXT. STREET CAFE - DAY
Suzette gets into her car and drives off. The parked
car follows. The two cars turn at the next corner.
EXT. QUIET STREET
The two cars approach following each other. As the second
car overtakes, he draws Suzette's attention with his HORN
and signals her to pull up.
As she gets out of her car holding the brown envelope,
Capt. Stolz gets out of the other side.
Suzette walks over to the passenger: Colonel Viljoen.
I see you got the goodies.
I was on my way to your office,
We thought we'd save you the
trouble, Mrs. Klopper.
She hands Viljoen the envelope.
Here it is, Colonel.
Thank you. This country needs
more people like you.
I must hurry, Colonel. Goodbye.
She drives off.
INT. CAPTAIN STOLZ'S CAR - DAY
Stolz gets into the car as Colonel Viljoen starts open-
ing the brown envelope.
Now let's see what we've got.
EXT. RAND DAILY MAIL BUILDING - DAY
Stanley is parked near the building. He's drumming on
the steering wheel to the rhythm of AFRICAN MUSIC from
his car RADIO.
INT. STOLZ'S CAR - DAY
Viljoen has just finished opening the brown envelope.
He pulls out the half-burnt Picasso book and Captain
Stolz's card which he gave to Ben. On the card is
"APARTHEID MUST GO"
Ben Du Toit
EXT. RAND DAILY MAIL BUILDING - DAY
Johan hurries out of the building and is about to get on
his bike. His attention is drawn by Stanley's familiar
Johan turns, sees Stanley, and with a grin makes thumbs-
up sign which happy Stanley returns with his large thumb.
Johan cycles away followed by Stanley.
INT. CAFE - DAY
Ben looks at his watch. He goes to the cash desk and
pays. He walks slowly out of the cafe. Stands at the
door to find his car keys; the rain has emptied the
street. Ben turns up his collar and waits for a break
in the traffic.
EXT. STREET - DAY
Captain Stolz alone in the car. He drives around the
corner into the cafe street.
Just then, Ben is hurrying across the road to his car.
Captain Stolz sees him, accelerates and hits Ben, hurling
him high into the air. And speeds away.
People rush to Ben's side... crowd quietly gathers.
FREEZE FRAME and...
SLOW DISSOLVE TO BLACK:
Dry White Season, A
Writers : Euzhan Palcy
Genres : Drama Thriller