With the powerful historical action thriller ‘Silverton Siege,’ South African director Mandla Dube makes his directorial debut. After a mission to destroy an oil depot goes haywire, MK Cadres Khumalo, Aldo, and Terra storm into a bank, burning money and threatening hostages. When all else fails and the chances of escaping look slim, the guerrilla warriors try to convert the kidnapping into a movement. While the adventure is exciting and thought-provoking, you have to ask how much of the novel is based on reality. Let us begin an investigation in that matter.

Is Silverton Siege a True Story?

‘Silverton Siege’ is based on a genuine story in part. As the final title card discloses, the film’s plot is based on true events that occurred on January 25, 1980, in Silverton, a Pretoria suburb.

Mandlakayise Walter Dube directed the film, which was based on a script by Sabelo Mgidi, who was making his screenplay debut with the film.

As a result, the presentation and premise come off as refreshing, despite the fact that the film contains several heist movie and Blaxploitation genre tropes. The soothing ambiance is created by the film’s ability to repackage an ancient story of class and ethnic conflict.

While writing the screenplay, the screenwriter appears to have drawn inspiration from the historic Silverton Siege, which occurred on January 25, 1980.

Most of the details of the incident are preserved in the film, however the names are changed slightly. MK militants Stephen Mafoko, Humphrey Makhubo, and Wilfred Madela allegedly plotted an attack on oil depots near Mamelodi on the date specified above.

They eventually discovered, however, that the cops were following them. The Cadres then took a different route and headed to a Volkskas Bank branch.

During this time, the MK liberationists held 25 civilians prisoner on the bank’s ground level and carried out their demands.

As a result, there was a six-hour stalemate. The demands, like those depicted in the film, were diverse, ranging from R100,000 in cash to a safe flight to Maputo.

They later sought the release of Nelson Mandela, who had been imprisoned on sabotage charges at the dreadful Robben Island Prison since 1964.

The demand to speak with State President Vorster and, as a result, get Mandela released would eventually launch the Free Mandela movement, which would send shockwaves across the country.

However, as the film progresses, it drifts into the world of fiction, as it makes little effort to stay true to fact. In reality, unlike in the movie, when Terra shoots Aldo down, the first gunshot in the scene was not heard until 7.05 p.m.

Although the film attempts to set the rebels against one another, history indicates that Humphrey Makhubo and Wilfred Madela were most likely executed by the police.

Furthermore, despite a character in the film denying it, it appears that there were other exits in the back, from which the upper-floor employees evacuated and the police entered.

Stephen Mafoko was the only member of the team that fought back, using hand grenades to create a distraction.

Two hostages died, as the film implies, but in very different circumstances. Valerie Anderson, who appeared to have been injured by Mafoko’s grenade, died on the spot, while Anna de Klerk, another prisoner, died in the hospital. In light of this, the film appears to be an eclectic blend of reality and fiction, with a heavier emphasis on history.

Netflix’s ‘Silverton Siege’– An action drama with purpose

Even if people are skeptical and tired of apartheid films these days, Silverton Siege should not be dismissed.

For years, South African films have been pigeonholed and chastised for solely depicting the most terrible period of our history: colonization and apartheid.

As a result, it’s not unreasonable to believe that audiences are sick of these films and want more action and comedies.

But what if an action film also contains the element of repeating our past in a memorable way?

Silverton Siege accomplishes this, and it is a pulsing action drama with a purpose.

The Netflix Africa original film tells the story of three black MK cadres, Stephen Mafoko, Humphrey Makhubo, and Wilfred Madela, who were caught in a stressful bank hostage situation in 1980 following a thwarted sabotage mission.

After a failed sabotage mission, the three freedom fighters scrambled for escape after realizing they were being pursued by the authorities. They sought refuge in a Volkskas Bank branch in Silverton, Pretoria, in an attempt to flee.

Thabo Rametsi, Stefan Erasmus, and Noxolo Dlamini star in Silverton Siege as Calvin Khumalo, Aldo Erasmus, and Mbali Terra Mabunda, the infamous three on which the film is based.

Michelle Mosalakae plays Rachel, Tumisho Masha plays Sechaba, Elani Dekker plays Anne De Klerk, Jacques Gombault plays Jacques Gombault, and Arnold Vosloo plays police commander Johnan Langerman.

Where to watch Silverton Siege

Comments are closed.