In what will surely go down in the record books as the most bizarre cast of actors, three of South Africa’s most notorious guns-for-hire are playing themselves, for a R1 million price tag, in a new docu-drama about the killing of mining magnate Brett Kebble. by Henriette Geldenhuys
Self-confessed killers Mikey Schultz, Nigel McGurk and Fiazal “Kappie” Smith re-enact the controversial 2005 killing in the 100-minute production, set for release at cinemas nationwide in June, and which will compete for an award at film festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival.
Producers Tony Miguel and Warren Batchelor, from InThaZone in Joburg, hailed the re-enactment of the murder by the actual murderers as a world-first.
Batchelor, who also directs, said: “This has never been done before; no one has been offered full immunity for a crime like this.”
He added that they didn’t want a fake re-enactment which would turn the production into a run-of-the-mill crime investigation.
“We wanted it to be as real as possible.”
Actress Anne Powers, a co-producer, said they were “breaking new ground”.
“It’s very authentic, and no one in the world has done it.”
On Saturday Weekend Argus revealed that police have, since Kebble’s murder, re-issued nine weapons licences to Schultz and McGurk, five for the former and four for the latter.
The docu-drama, shot here and in Johannesburg, shows Schultz, accompanied by McGurk and Smith, driving towards the scene of the Kebble murder, on the bridge over the M1 in Melrose, Joburg, on September 27, 2005.
Moviegoers will see Schultz open fire on a Kebble look-alike actor, using blanks and a prop weapon resembling the real gun – a Tec-9 semi-automatic weapon.
The same model cars used during the killing are also replicated in the movie, with the killers in a black Citi Golf and “Kebble” in a silver Mercedes Benz.
Approached for comment this week, Schultz and McGurk confirmed their roles.
“It’s a little bit about our lives, and a little bit about the Kebble story,” McGurk said.
The docu-drama also includes interviews with other main players in the saga, including corrupt former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, alleged mastermind of the Kebble killing Glenn Agliotti, and legendary detective Piet Byleveld, who investigated Kebble’s killers for their involvement in bouncer gangs in Joburg.
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Kebble’s father Roger and his brother Guy were also interviewed. They have denied the killing was an assisted suicide, as claimed by the killers, labelling it a planned hit.
The film’s working title is 204: Getting Away With Murder, referring to the indemnity the trio received in terms of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedures Act.
This allowed them to remain free from prosecution in exchange for testifying against Agliotti, not only the alleged mastermind of the murder, but also an alleged syndicate boss and a convicted drug trafficker.
Agliotti was cleared of the murder charge.
In the docu-drama, the three killers are seen meeting Agliotti at the sushi bar in The Grand strip club in Rivonia, complaining about not yet receiving the R500 000 they were each allegedly offered to kill Kebble.
Locally, filming took place in Mitchells Plain and in Claremont, in the driveway of a home in the same street where Kebble enemy Stephen Mildenhall was shot and injured by two other men, allegedly organised by Schultz and McGurk.
In Johannesburg, footage features Hillbrow, Troyeville and Fourways, along with “Kebble” in the boardroom at JCI, where he was chief executive, and the Rand Club.
Powers, who convinced people like Selebi and Agliotti to participate in the film, said it was a “huge coup” to get the Selebi interview – one of the last he gave before being imprisoned for corruption.
Batchelor, who convinced the killers to take part, said the re-enactments by the real killers were the most visually compelling aspect of the filming experience.
The three were paid a combined R1m.
Powers said the producers were currently finalising post-production, and had already signed a distribution deal.
They had high hopes it would be an award-winning production.
In her book Killing Kebble An Underworld Exposed, journalist Mandy Wiener says McGurk, a former bouncer who now works as a mechanic, paid off his BMW, while Smith, a former Hard Livings gang member, claimed he funded heart treatment for his mother. Schultz, a professional box and former bouncer, treated himself to an overseas trip.
“Mikey did what any self-respecting hitman would do. He went to Vegas!” Wiener wrote.