Edward Tsumele, Grahamstown
The controversial SABC documentary about President Thabo Mbeki that the Auckalnd Park authorities commissioned and then canned in May has resurfaced at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.
The documentary has since precipitated a huge controversy between the public broadcaster and the producers who insist that the film must still be shown by the SABC.
The documentary was screened yesterday at Rhodes University to hordes of curious festival goers.
Tickets to the screening were sold out, disappointing many others who wanted to see what the producers Redi Direko and Ben Cashdan have repackaged and titled Thabo Mbeki Unbanned.
Cashdan fielded questions from the audience afterwards.
Direko, who is featured as a commentator alongside media veterans Mathatha Tsedu and Allistair Sparks, among others, was not at the screening. She hosts a show on Talk Radio 702.
Cashdan said the reason why the SABC declined to screen the documentary only a few hours before the scheduled time was not clear.
It seemed, however, that the SABC was not happy with certain aspects of the documentary, especially the reference to the assassination of Chris Hani it seemed to link his murder to the rumours about Mbeki's alleged involvement.
Mbeki is shown in the documentary dismissing the link in a file interview.
The documentary also shows Mbeki during his schooling days and exile in London, tracing his intellectual genesis and his erudite analysis of the struggle against apartheid.
Also in the same documentary there is a snippet that quotes Govan Mbeki, former African National Congress leader and Thabo's father, saying that Mbeki was more than a son to him, preferring to call him a comrade.