The documentary “Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star” caused outrage in the Meyiwa family when it won at the SAFTAs on Saturday.
The documentary won a South African Film and Television Award in the Best Made For TV Documentary category. StoryScope Production and Real Eyes Productions produced the doccie while Netflix distributed it. The documentary delves into the investigation surrounding the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper.
Key figures in the documentary include Senzo’s mother Irene Meyiwa, his brother Sifiso Meyiwa, investigative journalist Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, prosecutor Gerrie Nel, and Senzo’s best friend, Tumelo Madlala.
Senzo Meyiwa Family Slam SAFTAs
Despite its SAFTA win, Senzo Meyiwa’s family expressed strong displeasure and anger over the documentary. Daily Sun reports that they accused the SAFTAs of insensitivity and disrespect towards their suffering and quest for justice.
The family believes that the documentary contains falsehoods and cover-ups, referring to it as a “slap in the face” and a “mockery” of their search for the truth. They even questioned the credibility of the SAFTAs and announced their decision to boycott future events and programs associated with the awards. The Meyiwa family appealed for a boycott of the documentary and urged the public not to watch or believe its content.
In response, the SAFTAs defended their choice, stating that it was based on the documentary’s artistic merit and social relevance. They emphasised their respect for the Meyiwa family’s right to express their opinions while also acknowledging the filmmakers’ creative freedom. The SAFTAs clarified that their intention was not to hurt or offend anyone but to celebrate excellence and diversity within South Africa’s film and television industry.
Sprouting Productions On The Late Soccer Star
The Meyiwa family has previously criticised the sprouting of documentaries on Senzo. Last year, a second documentary, Senzo Meyiwa: The Second Docket, emerged. The Meyiwa family disclosed that the producers did not consult them.
Senzo’s brother, Sifiso Meyiwa said:
“I came to know about this when someone sent me the poster talking about the documentary and soon got a call from Shiba. We are not going to allow any documentary on Senzo without our approval. People have seen an opportunity to make money out of my brother’s death.”