For years in Alexandra Township, girls as young as 14 years old, women and couples fell prey to two serial rapists hiding in balaclavas. The men would rob, rape, kidnap and force couples to have sex with each other at gunpoint. Late last year, the men – Josias Xaniseka Mkansi and Sinja Robin Mabitsela - were sentenced to 14 life terms and 185 years, and 32 life sentences plus 270 years respectively. This brought their almost decade long reign of terror to an end.
In this episode of Special Assignment we put the spotlight on this painful chapter that the community of Alexandra has finally been able to close. But, the men leave behind a trail of destruction where some victims have never been able to recover from their ordeal. The families of the two perpetrators are left in disbelief and cannot fathom who the rapists really were. This programme also focuses on the phenomenon of serial rape, its modus operandi and how the law deals with it.
Watch The Balaclava Rapists produced by Lindile Mpanza for Special Assignment, aired Mondays at 21h00 on SABC3.
For more information contact the Special Assignment office: 011 714 5419
Suspended SABC news boss Phil Molefe loses his court application to have his suspension and pending disciplinary hearing ruled unlawful.
Lulama Mokhobo placed Phil Molefe on "special leave" back in April (while the SABC was working on creating a new 24-hour TV news channel with pay-TV platform MultiChoice, now with no permanent head of news at the SABC) when Phil Molefe refused to hand over the SABC News division's news diaries to her.
The SABC which has refused to talk about the reasons, said at the time Phil Molefe was placed on "special leave" due to "human resource matters". Phil Molefe decided to challenge his suspension, saying that the order to forward the daily news diary to the SABC's CEO Lulama Mokhobo amounted to editorial interference.
Phil Molefe, interestingly represented by advocate Dali Mpofu - a previous CEO of the SABC - will now have to face off with the SABC's top executive in a disciplinary hearing after the South Gauteng High Court dismissed Phil Molefe's court application to have the pending disciplinary hearing declared unlawful.
Phil Molefe also wanted his suspension to be declared unlawful in a bid to get his "special leave" declared "unlawful and, accordingly, invalid, null and void".
SABC acting after broadcaster paid millions in unauthorised spending on the South African Sports Awards, soccer and rugby matches.
The beleaguered South African public broadcaster is taking action against high-level executives at the SABC involved in unauthorised spending totalling more than a hundred million rand with payments made for events ranging from the trashproduced South African Sports Awards to Sapa, SuperSport, the South Africa Football Association (Safa) and Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The SABC incurred R114 million in irregular expenditure and is now taking action against the SABC officials who were responsible or involved in payments for events shown on SABC television each totalling millions of rands and which were broadcast without any signed contracts or payments which were made for events without proper contracts actually being in place.
The payments include Cricket South Africa who was paid R28 million and SuperSport which was paid R5,2 million for the broadcasting rights to the Tri-Nations home rugby tests in 2011.
The SABC forked over R7,5 million to Sports rights holder Sport Five and the South African Football Association (Safa) to show the soccer matches against Burkina Faso and Egypt in which Bafana Bafana played.
The SABC paid R2,1 million for the broadcast of the South African Sports Awards classified as irregular spending. Another R2,6 million was paid by the SABC for a Confederation of African Football (CAF) under-20 event.
The SABC also paid the South African Press Association (Sapa) R4 million within the public broadcaster's radio division.
BREAKING. Dali dining with a despot: Dali Thambo jets to Zimbabwe for a feast with Robert Mugabe in his famine ravaged country.
Dali Tambo and a 14 person crew jetted into Zimbabwe as he interviewed and ate with Robert Mugabe during 19 and 21 December.
The opulent episode will be shown on SABC3 early in 2013 in Dali Tambo's interview show People of the South.
The Zimbabwean president is described by critics of conducting a "reign of terror" and being "an extremely poor role model" for the continent of Africa.
Whilst feasting in the country ravaged by famine for a "celebratory dinner", Dali Tambo and his entourage were also given access to State House, the majestic official presidential residence of Robert Mugabe for the episode.
The local talker and profile show was resusitated by the SABC in 2012 for a new run on public television in South Africa, the second season of which will be shown on SABC3 during the first half of 2013.
In the new incantation of People of the South which was made possible with assistance from South Africa's department of communications, Dali Tambo interviews personalities and their family members around family feast tables laden with a massive amount of food which 90% of ordinary Africans, in all likelihood, will never be able to afford nor taste in their lifetimes.
The People of the South episode shot in Zimbabwe will also include Dali Tambo interviewing Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace Mugabe, as well as the Mugabe offspring, Bona Mugabe and Chatunga Mugabe.
Fox News Channel to ring in 2013 with an All-American New Year's Special with Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly.
The Fox News Channel (TopTV 405) will bring viewers a 2013 New Year's Special which South African viewers will be able to see on Tuesday morning 1 January 2013 from 06:00 until 07:30 (South African time).
Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly from the Fox News Channel will be back in New York's Times Square as the hosts of the channel's All-American New Year's 2013.
The All-American New Year's 2013 will feature performances by Sarah Brightman and Pat Benetar, as well as the cast of Broadway's "Million Dollar Quartet".
Other Fox News Channel personalities who will be a part of the All-American New Year's 2013 include Greg Gutfeld, Anna Kooiman, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Maria Molina.
Game of Thrones, Dexter, The Big Bang Theory the most pirated TV shows of 2012.
Game of Thrones, Dexter and The Big Bang Theory - all shown on M-Net in South Africa, top the list of the most illegally downloaded shows in 2012, followed by sitcom How I Met Your Mother seen on e.tv in the 4th place.
TorrentFreak released its annual list of most popular illegally pirated TV shows and in 2012 more than 80% of all TV content downloaded illegally, came from countries outside of America.
Viewers with internet access in countries around the world are taking to illegal downloads in an ever increasing number as their impatience grows and as they're unwilling to wait for TV shows and episodes to show up on their TV sets in countries where pay-TV is prohibitively expensive or distribution of specific shows are limited.
No African country made the list of top 10 countries where the biggest illegal downloads happens. According to TorrentFreak more than 90% of illegal downloading through the internet happens within the first seven days after a new episode of a TV show becomes available.
The top Game of Thrones episode was downloaded 4,28 million times in 2012, followed by the top episode of Dexter with 3,85 million illegal downloads and The Big Bang Theory with 3,2 million illegal downloads.
The top 10 is rounded out by How I Met Your Mother (2,96 million), Breaking Bad (2,58 million), The Walking Dead (seen in South Africa on TopTV's FX channel), Homeland, House, Fringe (all also seen on M-Net) and Revolution (seen in South Africa on the M-Net Series channel and the only brand-new TV show to crack the Top 10 list).
James Gibbons appointed as the new country manager for Discovery Networks looking after Discovery's channels in South Africa and Africa.
That means that James Gibbons becomes responsible for looking after Discovery's multiple TV channels available on MultiChoice's DStv and On Digital Media's (ODM) TopTV pay-TV platforms in South Africa and on DStv throughout Africa.
James Gibbons will be looking after TV channels such as TLC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and ID Investigation Discovery in South Africa and across the African continent from London. He has been based in Japan the past five years managing Discovery's operations there. His new goal will be to grow and develop Discovery's business in South Africa and Africa as well as in the other CEEMEA regions.
"I am both excited at this new opportunity and confident that we will continue to focus on the expansion of Discovery Networks in South Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and across the African continent through broader distribution with a view to creating greater local relevance for our valued viewers and partners," says James Gibbons in a press statement.
"We continue to lead the factual entertainment space in these markets and I'm looking forward to working with our talented teams to further expand Discovery's footprint, while continuing to deliver the highest quality programmes in the region," says James Gibbons.
"I am delighted that James is joining our team," says Kaisa Kieli, the president and managing director for Discovery CEEMEA. "He is well-placed to springboard our business in markets where we believe there is potential for greater growth, such as Turkey, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East."
Community TV station 1KZN to now remain on TopTV 'indefinitely'; therefore available on both DStv and TopTV.
You're reading it here first.
An interesting development is that the KwaZulu-Natal based community TV station, 1KZN, will now remain on the struggling TopTV pay-TV provider's channel line-up "indefinitely", meaning that 1KZN is available on both TopTV as well as DStv.
MultiChoice added 1KZN from 13 November to its own DStv channel line-up.
1KZN then told me that the communtity TV station will no longer be available on TopTV from the end of November.
1KZN now tells me that 1KZN "will remain op TopTV on channel 187 indefinitely and will therefore be seen on both DStv channel 261 and TopTV".
The community TV station which started broadcasting last year from the Richards Bay area didn't respond to a follow-up media enquiry as to why 1KZN originally would have left TopTV and now remains available.
1KZN's dual availability makes it one of a limited number of TV channels seen in South Africa on both TopTV and DStv and included on both platforms, such as BBC World News (strikingly available on channel 400 on both services), Al Jazeera, FashionTV and TLC besides the must-carry public channels of the SABC and then e.tv.
History's cracking mini-series Hatfields & McCoys coming to South Africa from 12 January at 20:30 on M-Net Movies Drama & Romance.
The hugely popular mini-series Hatfields & McCoys which lured record TV audiences in May to the History channel in America is coming to South Africa but won't be seen on History (DStv 186) here - the South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net grabbed the three part show which will start on M-Net Drama & Romance (DStv 107) on 12 January at 20:30.
Hatfields & McCoys will be shown in South Africa, as it was in America, in three 2 hour episodes on M-Net Drama & Romance. It stars Kevin Costner as William Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randolph McCoy and follows the intrigued multi generational, extended family feud between the two families and their legendary saga from just after the American Civil War.
Hatfields & McCoys received a whopping 16 Emmy nominations winning several, one of which for Kevin Costner. The mini-series was History's first scripted TV programming ever.
BREAKING. Award-winning SABC cameraman Jan de Klerk dies after a long battle with cancer.
Jan de Klerk's career spanned several decades at the SABC behind the scenes as a veteran cameraman and he leaves behind his wife and a two year old daughter. Funeral arrangements are not yet known.
Jan de Klerk is most noted for the several stories on which he worked in tandem with the investigative TV journalist Jacques Pauw for SABC3's Special Assignment for which the pair won numerous awards.
"We worked together from 1993 until 2007 for 13, 14 years," Jacques Pauw told the SABC. "We've probably produced 50 television documentaries him and myself, from half an hour to two hour special documentaries for mainly Special Assignment."
"As staff and management at the SABC we are deeply shocked and saddened by Jan's untimely passing away," says Themba Mthembu, the SABC's acting head of news and current affairs. "Jan was passionate and committed to his craft. In fact he stands among the best of the cameramen we've ever had at the SABC."
Karen d'Orville, an SABC colleague and friend told the SABC that "my impression of Jan was always that of a mentor. He's been an incredible mentor for junior journalists and producers in the field. He had an incredible ability to convey knowledge in a very patient way."
"I always remember him as someone who was very neatly dressed with a jacket," says SABC colleague Jan Singleton. "I remember him as someone who was always friendly, and always made time for a joke."
M&S, Vusi Zion's new short form profile show on South African movers and shakers, starting on the eNCA on 14 January.
You're reading it here first.
As usual e.tv and the eNCA (DStv 403) are not communicating anything to the press about the 24-hour news channel's upcoming new programming, but M&S, short for Movers & Shakers, is a new local show which will be starting on the eNCA on Monday 14 January at 10:50 (South African time).
M&S with Vusi Zion will profile and interview South African business personalities in the new eNCA series with every short form episode which will be repeated every day on the eNCA until a new episode every Monday.
M&S will profile the "visionary entrepreneurs and creative champions we would like to emulate" such as Jenna Clifford, Ivor Ichikowitz, Richard Loring, fashion designer Nkensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie and artist Hugh Masebenza.
Vusi Zion was responsible for The Edition magazine show on eNCA which was shown in 2012.
M&S will be repeated on the eNCA on Tuesdays (14:50), Wednesdays (20:20), Thursdays (10:50), Fridays (08:50), Saturdays (08:20) and Sundays (07:20).
Curiosity on Discovery Science creates a magnificent virtual sun to explore the nuclear fusion reaction taking place inside a star.
Curiosity on Discovery Science (TopTV 302), the excellent scientific investigation series, is creating a virtual sun for an upcoming episode which South African viewers will get to see in 2013.
With the help of one of the world's top astronomers and leading experts in the field, Curiosity is set to dazzle viewers by creating a virtual sun using the latest scientific data from telescopes on Earth and in space, combined with the latest special effects imaging techniques to recreate the nuclear fusion reaction taking place at the heart of a sun, radiating out to its surface and into space.
Astronomer Phil Plait will take viewers on an amazing journey deep inside the virtually created sun's core and through its atmospheres in the episode entitled "Sun Storm".
The Curiosity episode will be shown in America on 30 December and later in 2013 in South Africa. it will try to look at and explain what's really inside the sun and what could be expected when the next solar super storm takes place.
Sony channels its new but cancelled TV drama, The Mob Doctor, straight to Sony Entertainment Television from 25 February at 20:30.
I can break the news and exclusively reveal that The Mob Doctor, the new but cancelled America TV drama is coming to Sony Entertainment Television (DStv 127) where it's set to start on Monday 25 February at 20:30 (South African time).
The Mob Doctor revolves around doctor Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) in Chicago who, reluctantly, agrees to become an after-hours doctor for the mafia besides her real daytime job, to work off her brother's debt.
Sony Pictures Television produced The Mob Doctor for the Fox TV network in America where it started in September but got cancelled last month. Sony Pictures Television International Networks decided to channel the 13 episode season of The Mob Doctor straight to Sony Entertainment Television.
Sony Entertainment Television's biggest exclusive TV content for tune-in to the channel remains The Amazing Race, and the channel has had some limited success for bringing South African viewers the shortlived and cancelled drama The Firm earlier this year.
Sony recently decided to yank The Late Show with David Letterman from Sony Entertainment Television which South African viewers can no longer see on the channel or elsewhere on South Africa.
BREAKING. MASSIVE SHOCKER coming; Downton Abbey the heir apparent of Dallas as major character gets killed off in season ending cliffhanger!
While Britons are reeling in shock, if I were BBC Worldwide Channels I'd start showing the new 3rd season of Downton Abbey not from April in South African on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) as their plan is currently, but right now.
Last night in the 3rd series finale on ITV in the United Kingdom viewers saw a great character die and that news is not going to remain a secret to South African viewers who will have the show spoiled by the time its seen many months from now on BBC Entertainment.
Britains are reeling this morning (and word will very soon get out as to who it is who died as the spoiler spreads quickly around the world) after last night's 3rd season finale of the worldwide British TV hit in which Downton Abbey all but finally and firmly took over television's cliffhanger crown.
Whereas Dallas in the 80s started the modern-day trend of season-ender cliffhangers in television giving viewers an unexpected jolt in the last seconds of a season with unbelievable plot twists (inaugurated by the shocking second season "Who shot JR?" finale), Downton Abbey has now firmly entrenched itself as the show making viewers' jaws drop and keeping them buzzing until a new season starts.
As if one massive death earlier in the new 3rd season of Downton Abbey wasn't enough, another major main character, never close to death, danger or old age, suddenly got killed last night in the extremely popuar Julian Fellowes British period melodrama.
BBC Worldwide Channels which pipes the various BBC channels to South Africa through MultiChoice's DStv play-TV platform will get a lot more bang for its buck from the ITV bought series if the new 3rd series of Downton Abbey starts showing in South Africa now.
By April when the show is due to start on BBC Entertainment in South Africa, pay-TV subscribers to DStv will not be able to experience the same shocking sensation as the TV production intended, since the shocking surprises, twists and the death packed into the final episode will be firmly all over the internet and have been seen, unwillingly, by a lot of people who didn't want to know and will have the dramatic television narrative spoiled for them due to online media.
The actor who just got killed told The Telegraph that it was "very emotional shooting the end of the series because those guys are like family".
Festive messages from all of South Africa's TV broadcasters and pay-TV operators, reflecting on 2012 and looking ahead to 2013.
I asked all South African broadcasters, TV channels and pay-TV operators for a special 2012 festive, end-of-the year message to reflect on the year that was, look forward to what might be in store for 2013 and to share any and all that they might want to tell their viewers, subscribers, and all stakeholders about their television business for the year past - and the year ahead.
Below are all of their responses.
The channel management of SABC1 would like to express its sincere gratitude to the continued support of our audiences, talent, our content suppliers, media and advertising partners who have continued to support this brand in the current year.
Despite the challenges experienced by the channel as the industry continues to fragment both in terms of the audience base and revenue share, SABC1 has continued to be the most viewed channel with a daily audience of over 20 million viewers with the channel consistently delivering the top ten most watched television programmes. This continued dominance affirms the channel's brand promise as Mzansi's Original Storyteller, crafting content that resonates with and inspires South Africa.
Generations continues to deliver an audience base in excess of 60% audience share per night at 20:00. The channel's daily drama offering at 20:30 that included programmes like the new Shakespeare in Mzansi series Dreaming in Jozi and Room 9 bore testimony to the channel's committment to originate new fresh South African stories and support the local industry and talent.
From an entertainment point of view, the channel was proud to launch our first ever interactive technology-based programme, Zone'd, that allowed the normal South African viewer from all corners of the country to co-create content withthe channel by uploading their own videos shot on mobile phones. In this year we revived our popular dance programme Turn It Out and brought back an old favourite All You Need is Love back to the screen. Our popular documentary slate continued to enthral and educate South Africa about its history with the popular Robert Sobukwe series Why Are We So Angry, My World as well as the series that celebrated the positive impact various women leaders have had in our lives in the I Am, We Are series.
As we move towards 2013, the channel promises to deliver a more exciting schedule starting with the African Cup of Nations from 19 January until 10 February 2013. The channel will also launch new seasons of our successful dramas Skeem Saam and Intersexions alongside new dramas like Hustle and Mawaza on Friday night at 20:30. Next year promises to be an even more exciting year with great empowering, exciting, informative content that resonates with our target market.
Acting SABC1 channel head
For SABC2, 2012 has been a year of reflection and stocktaking. We recently bid a sad farewell to the iconic Afrikaans newsreader Riaan Cruywagen, who, after a career of 47 years at the SABC, decided to retire.
After 20 years on SABC2, Noot vir Noot continues to draw massive audiences. Muvhango celebrated 15 years of broadcast and Morning Live 13 years.
SABC2 reported some programming highlights: after a successful run of 10 years Stokvel came to an end. SABC2, where everyone feels at home, also brought South Africans the 2012 London Olympic Games. SABC2 comedies, Ga Re Dumele and Stokvel walked away with some Safta Awards.