Cape Town - In April 2012, South Africa and the world were shaken to their core by the shocking news of the Griekwastad-murders. Deon (44) and Christel Steenkamp (43), and their daughter, Marthella (14) were brutally murdered on their farm, Naauwhoek. Marthella was also raped. Don Steenkamp (their son who was 15 at the time of the murders), was found guilty of these atrocities in 2014.
Now, for the first time since it happened, the story of the Griekwastad-murders will be immortalised on the big screen in 2019, by the production house SCENE23.
World renowned South African actor, Arnold Vosloo, will be playing the leading role of Colonel Dick De Waal, the investigating officer of the case. This will be his first Afrikaans film in more than 30 years and he is excited to return to his native country to work on this project.
Safta-winners Tertius Kapp and Jozua Malherbe will be responsible for the script and direction respectably.
"To re-work a true story into a feature film is a challenge that I am very excited about. The ‘Griekwastad-murders’ shook the nation and I intend to interrogate the causes and the characters and show audiences how much it really affected those who were directly involved. This film is building on my body of work through characters that are asking for their own time on screen," says director Jozua Malherbe.
The development of the film was one of the first projects of SCENE23, consisting of producers Deon Meyer, Tim Theron, Cobus van den Berg and Tracey Lange. Originally the idea for the film came from South African writer Deon Meyer, who acquired the rights to the book The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa by Jacques Steenkamp.
"As a crime-writer I was of course - just like the rest of South Africa - completely bound by the Griekwastad-murders, and believed from the start that it would make a compelling film. Jacques Steenkamp’s brilliant book finally convinced me to explore this possibility. Because of that I am extremely excited that this will now become a reality," says producer Deon Meyer.
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. To this day, people are still struggling with questions such as ‘Why? How can a child do such a thing? Can it happen to my family?’.
The story forces the public to confront the fact that the truth can sometimes be ugly and gruesome, and that there are people (the police and detectives like Dick De Waal) who have to confront these circumstances every day, and protect the rest of humanity against it.
Filming will begin in May 2019 and the film will predominantly focus on the happenings around the murders, as well as the investigation after the murders.
SCENE23 is currently busy with auditions for the other roles, of which the most important, that of Don Steenkamp.