Just after dusk on Good Friday, 6 April 2012, the peace and quiet permeating the small Northern Cape town of Griekwastad was disrupted when a young teenage boy sped into town in his father’s Isuzu bakkie and screeched to a halt in front of the town’s nearly deserted police station. It was shortly before 19h00 when Don Steenkamp jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the station’s charge office, covered in blood, to announce that his parents and sister had been brutally shot and killed on the family farm, Naauwhoek.
Although the killings were initially thought to be just another farm attack, months later Don was arrested for the murders, setting in motion a chain of events that would grip South Africa and divide the people of Griekwastad.
The case was followed intensely by individuals and reporters alike, including award-winning journalist and screenwriter Jacques Steenkamp. Jacques interviewed all the key roleplayers – including the investigating officer on the case, the forensic and ballistic experts, as well as family and friends of the deceased – to produce a comprehensive account of what really happened on Naauwhoek farm on that fateful day in a riveting book titled The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa.
Today, his telling of the story has been adapted to film. Griekwastad, premiering 5 May 2020 on DStv Box Office, was filmed by production company SCENE23 and tells the story of the cruel acts that shook the world to its core in 2012.
Bringing untold stories to the fore
World renowned South African actor, Arnold Vosloo, plays the leading role of Colonel Dick De Waal. SAFTA winners Tertius Kapp and Jozua Malherbe are responsible for the script and direction respectably.
In the film, Dick de Waal must relinquish his belief in the innocence of youth to solve a triple homicide on the Steenkamp farm. The Steenkamp family are all watching television on a warm autumn evening in the Northern Province when Deon, Christel and their daughter are murdered in their living room.
Their son is the only survivor, who rushes into the local police station, bloody except for his clean shirt. He falls to his knees in the middle of the floor: “They are dead, they are all dead!”
The stage is set for Dick de Waal to solve the most haunting case of his career.
A historic tale
The happenings around the Griekwastad-murders kept the whole nation glued to every single piece of news and every new fact which were made public. The film predominantly focuses on the happenings around the murders, as well as the investigation after the murders.
The film is produced by SCENE23, consisting of Deon Meyer, Tim Theron, Cobus van den Berg and Tracey Lange. The cast includes the likes of Arnold Vosloo, Alex van Dyk, Jane De Wet, Albert Pretorius, Albert Martiz, Deon Lotz, Ira Blanckenberg, Rolanda Marais, Tim Theron, Jody Abrahams and many more.
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