Gripping historical tale of living on death row

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

Just before you entertain thoughts of hibernation, make sure you go and seeMantolo - The Tenth Step, the State Theatre's artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi's latest theatrical piece.

Directed and co-written by Sekhabi and Sibusiso Senele Masuku, Mantolo opens at The Arena on May 22 at 8pm

The cast is Phillip "Tipo" Thindisa, Kholofelo Kola, Mahlubi Kraai, Hope Sekgobela, Peter Mashigo, Tshallo Chokwe, Madge Ntamo and Pamela Ndlovu.

Mantolo - The Tenth Step is a true story about the life and struggle of Masuku. In 1986 Masuku, an MK cadre, was arrested and charged with terrorism and murder. He was sentenced to hang. When the time came to face the gallows, his first appeal was successful. The execution was stayed for the first time.

While on death row, he met Almond Nofomela, a former Askari and hit squad member. Their conversations led to revelations about Vlakplaas and the deaths of many freedom fighters.

The apartheid regime did not relent and he was again given notice of execution. Ten minutes before the sentence was to be carried out, the execution was stayed for the second time.

Long suffering and yet tenacious and steadfast in his belief, Masuku was released from prison in 1994. This was after spending 39 days on hunger strike, "a day less than Jesus" - as he puts it.

Eight actors tell this chilling story of a man who had been served his last meal twice.

Mantolo- The Tenth Step is the story of the people of Soshanguve, Pretoria, and the country as a whole. A powerful enactment of human triumph over the evil apartheid system.