In December 2017, Steven Spielberg released yet another masterclass film called The Post. The movie is a dramatised account of the days leading up to the publication of The Pentagon Papers in 1971. In January 2020, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation hosted a screening of a movie called "How to steal a country" which chronicled the rise of the Gupta family and the - coincidental - emergence of State Capture.
The common feature of both movies was the focus on the role of whistleblowers. In "How to steal a country", the movie highlights the role of whistleblowers in helping South Africa unpack and understand the state of affairs as they unfolded across organs of state and Saxonwold.
The whistleblowers - known and unknown - play a fascinating and often contested role in public discourse. Almost 50 years ago, Daniel Ellsberg, a former staffer at the Pentagon, became famous for his actions of leaking the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post and the New York Times. The Pentagon Papers indicated the deception applied by the US government in justifying the Vietnam War. Its immediate effect was the delegitimisation of the cause for the Vietnam War, then the eventual resignation of Richard Nixon. Its longstanding impact is the lingering question of the balance between patriotism, loyalty to an institution and responsibility to society.