The Highwaymen

DAILY MAVERICK  |  Podcast , ±20 min episodes every 5 days  | 
In December 2022, the 55th – and possibly last – elective conference of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will take place against a backdrop of socio-political chaos. In this new limited audio documentary series by Daily Maverick, investigative journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille take a road trip across South Africa in search of answers to how the country got to this breaking point, and how the lives and careers of three senior ANC figures – Ace Magashule, Gwede Mantashe and Dr Zweli Mkhize – may be representative of the rise and stumble of our once vaunted democratic project and, by extension, liberal democracies everywhere.

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30
NOV

EPISODE 6: Island of Angels

In this episode, the investigation swerves into South Africa’s Eastern Cape province — home of Struggle heroes like Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and the Sisulus. But here the focus is on one of the most powerful politicians of the democratic era — Gwede Mantashe, long-time ANC boss and current Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. As we delve into Mantashe’s life, we learn about his history in organised labour, and the role unions played in bringing down apartheid. But as the democratic age deepened, organised labour became embedded in the ANC, and Mantashe became the company man — a genial version of a mob boss.

Featuring:

Gwede Mantashe, former union boss, ANC Secretary General and current Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
Ferial Haffajee, Daily Maverick Associate Editor
Heinrich Böhmke, Director of the Specialised Skills Institute of South Africa; former trade unionist
Neil Coleman, Co-Founder and Senior Policy Specialist at Institute For Economic Justice (IEJ)
Jay Naidoo, co-founder of Cosatu
Estelle Ellis, Daily Maverick Senior Journalist
Bantu Holomisa, Parliamentarian and president of the United Democratic Movement
Dr Protas Madlala, Struggle stalwart, businessman and academic

Archive & Music Credits:

SABC News / eNCA / British Pathé

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional music by Janus van der Merwe
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
23
NOV

EPISODE 5: Mister Ten Percent

Continuing with the Elias “Ace” Magashule saga, Diana Neille and Richard Poplak delve into the alleged political murder of Noby Ngombane, a key administrator in the attempted clean up of the Free State during the early zeroes. His assassination is an example of what can happen when, in the binary gap between opportunity and poverty, liberal democracies begin to swerve toward gangsterism. The tragedy reverberates through the years, as if the sound of the gunshots has never faded.

Featuring:

Elias Sekgobelo “Ace” Magashule, former Free State leader and former Secretary General of the ANC
Nokwanda Ngombane, former chief of staff to former Free State premier, Beatrice Marshoff
Petrus “Pat” Zanemvula Matosa, struggle stalwart and former ANC Free State leader
Pieter-Louis Myburgh, investigative journalist at Daily Maverick Scorpio
Beatrice Marshoff, former Premier of the Free State

Archive & Music Credits:

SABC News / eNCA / Ray Charles, “Drown In My Own Tears” / Luther Vandross, “Dance With My Father”, sung by Zandile Ngombane

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional music by Janus van der Merwe
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
16
NOV

EPISODE 4: Out In Their Coats

For many years, the Free State functioned as the personal fiefdom of one of South Africa’s most prominent – and most dangerous – politicians: former drama nerd, “internal exile” and Secretary General of the African National Congress, Elias “Ace” Magashule. Nokwanda Ngombane and her family experienced firsthand the thrall Magashule held over the province from the 2000s until his fall from power in 2021, and paid the ultimate price for their role in trying to rid the Free State of factionalism and corruption.

Featuring:

Elias Sekgobelo “Ace” Magashule, former Free State leader and former Secretary General of the ANC
Nokwanda Ngombane, former chief of staff to former Free State premier, Beatrice Marshoff
Petrus “Pat” Zanemvula Matosa, struggle stalwart and former ANC Free State leader
Pieter-Louis Myburgh, investigative journalist at Daily Maverick Scorpio

Archive & Music Credits:

Associated Press / SABC News / eNews Channel Africa / Periscope Film / SA History Online

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional music by Janus van der Merwe
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
The Highwaymen
15
NOV
 bonus  

BONUS EPISODE: Pallo Jordan's Waltz

In this bonus mini-episode, Diana Neille and Richard Poplak give some context to their seven-point progression of how liberal democracies break down over time, referred to throughout the series. They’ve enlisted the help of struggle stalwart and former cabinet minister and ANC National Executive Committee member, Pallo Jordan, to illustrate how South Africa’s democratic project is emblematic of this breakdown.

Featuring:
- Pallo Jordan, struggle stalwart and former ANC National Executive Committee member & cabinet minister

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
09
NOV

EPISODE 3: A Rising Tide Lifts All Superyachts

Investigative journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille continue their travels around KwaZulu-Natal. As they hear from those on the ground, and as they dig deeper into the history of the embattled province, and that of its notorious former leader, Dr Zweli Mkhize, they are drawn into the heart of Assassination Nation.

Featuring:
- Dr Zweli Mkhize, former Premier of KwaZulu Natal, former ANC Treasurer-General, former Minister of Health
- Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa
- Sibusiso “S’bu” Zikode, President of Abahlali BaseMjondolo
- Cyril Madlala, communications consultant and former head of communications for former KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize
- Chris Makhaye, freelance journalist and KZN correspondent
- Neil Coleman, Co-Founder and Senior Policy Specialist at Institute For Economic Justice (IEJ)
- Andrew Feinstein, former ANC MP turned anti-corruption advocate, author and filmmaker
- Quinn Slobodian, author, historian and the Marion Butler McLean Professor of the History of Ideas at Wellesley College
- Zackie Achmat, activist and co-founder of the Treatment Action Campaign

Archive credits:
The Forge / Associated Press / SABC News / eNews Channel Africa / Periscope Film / World Peace Foundation / Journeyman Pictures / The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
The Highwaymen
02
NOV

EPISODE 2: Bad Medicine

KwaZulu-Natal is the diva of South African provinces, a place with a deep and complex history of political violence that has not abated, and one that has suffered a string of disasters, uprisings and climate catastrophes in recent years. One of its most famous sons is Dr Zwelini Lawrence Mkhize, a former uMkhonto we Sizwe militant, a doctor in a white coat and a prominent part of South Africa’s political elite, who has played a major role in shaping the past and present of this troubled province.

Featuring:
- Dr Zweli Mkhize, former Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, former ANC Treasurer-General, former Minister of Health
- Sibusiso “S’bu” Zikode, President of Abahlali BaseMjondolo
- Cyril Madlala, Communications consultant and former head of communications for former KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize
- Chris Makhaye, freelance journalist and KZN correspondent

Archive credits:

News24 / CGTN Africa / Newzroom Afrika / eNews Channel Africa / SABC News / Associated Press / ABC News Australia / Reuters

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
The Highwaymen
23
OCT

EPISODE 1: We’ll Miss it When it’s Gone

Investigative journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille set out on a road trip through post-uprising South Africa, in search of answers to help explain what is happening to the country’s democracy and, by extension, to many others around the world. They meet with two self-described community activists in Durban, who stepped in to the void created by a government that couldn’t cope, during the eight days of riots that followed former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration in July, 2021. Then, they make their way up to the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, to the birthplace of a presidential hopeful, whose story is representative of the devolution of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress.

Featuring:
Zain Soosiwala, co-founder of eThekwini Secure
Mohammed Ismail, senior member of eThekwini Secure
Songezo Zibi, author and co-founder of progressive think tank, the Rivonia Circle

Channel 4 News / eNews Channel Africa / Africa News / CBC News: The National / SABC News / NBC News / CNBC / World Is One News / CNN / DW News / BBC News / Carte Blanche

Written, produced & directed by Richard Poplak and Diana Neille
Fact checking and editorial oversight by Sasha Wales-Smith
Editing & sound design by Diana Neille, Bernard Kotze & Tevya Turok Shapiro
Original soundtrack & visual aesthetic by Bernard Kotze
Additional voice work by Ayanda Charlie
Transcriptions by Gloria Cooper
Project Manager: Kathryn Kotze
Marketing lead: Sarah Koopman
Editor-in-Chief: Branko Brkic
Deputy Editor: Jillian Green
Executive Producer: Styli Charalambous

Produced with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(The content may not necessarily reflect the Foundation’s views or opinions)
The Highwaymen
13
OCT

The Highwaymen | Trailer

In December 2022, the 55th – and possibly last – elective conference of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will take place against a backdrop of socio-political chaos. In this new limited audio documentary series by Daily Maverick, investigative journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille take a road trip across South Africa in search of answers to how the country got to this breaking point, and how the lives and careers of three senior ANC figures – Ace Magashule, Gwede Mantashe and Dr Zweli Mkhize – may be representative of the rise and stumble of our once vaunted democratic project and, by extension, liberal democracies everywhere.

8 episodes