South African broadcasting corporation , broadcasting for total citizen empowerment - SABC
| Make this my Homepage


Truth be told episode synopses

South Africans have so many stories to tell, be it political, sports, health or any other field. It is imperative that such stories are documented so as to pass the knowledge from generation to generation. SABC 2 continues to be the vehicle in delivering such offerings to our multitudes of viewers. Truth be told is a 6 part documentary series which premieres on SABC 2 Sunday, 30th September 2012 at 21h00.

“Truth be told is a strand of independent journalism. In this series we would like to open viewer’s eyes to what’s going on in their world. We want to investigate unchartered territories in novel ways. The idea is broadening the notion of what investigative documentaries can cover and think afresh about how they can be made into engrossing stories” said Zandile Nkonyeni – SABC 2 Publicity Manager.

Episode 1 - 30 September 2012


The purpose of this documentary is to investigate and introduce the feasibility of marketing Vietnam and China. The film will also explore the “industry” in Southern Africa and end users in Yemen, Vietnam and China.

We will also visit the private wildlife reserve that is proposing a new concept of “Shaving the Rhino”, to examine the practicalities of the concept.

This film will be about Rhino conservation which needs our attention, not only to protect bio diversity but also the jobs, infrastructure and income generated by wildlife conservation. In 2009 cities reported that over 200 hundred rhino were poached in South Africa and more than 80 in Zimbabwe. Some poachers have become so brazen that they check into game reserves posing as tourists to poach rhino within these protected areas. It is common knowledge that dealing in rhino horn involves big money. But, if things go wrong, harsh jail sentences and heavy fines await the perpetrator.

Episode 2 – 07 October 2012

Swallow this

In this documentary we investigate at how food gets to our dinner plate. We often take for granted the journey travelled by cut of steak or chop. This film takes an in depth look at that journey – from the farm to the table. Is the meat we eat humanely treated or is it handled like timber or plastic thrown from one end to the next?

Food production in South Africa has become more and more a question of economics and less about providing quality products that are naturally in season. The demand for foodstuffs all year round has led to the industrialization of the food industry in which farmers have turned to mass production as a way to meet public demand.

This is an investigative TV documentary that unpacks meat production, distribution and consumption in South Africa. This documentary will educate the nation around what goes into the meat we are eating, where it comes from and what it actually contains. Swallow this will take a journey for the viewer from farm to slaughter house to supermarket, a journey we never consider as shoppers when we pick our favorite items off the shelf at our local shop.

This film will cover three stages of the meat production cycle:

Farm life of the animal

Transportation to the abattoir and slaughter, and

The handling and packaging of food once it is received by our local supplier.

We will go undercover to get the best out of this film.

Swallow This! has the potential to offer South Africans a chance to uncover and educate themselves about the real state of the South African meat industry, which will have a huge impact in positively influencing the choices our consumers make around the food they buy and what they put in their bodies – a first for South Africa!

Episode 3 – 14 October 2012


In this documentary, Hendrick Verwoerd returns like a phoenix to observe the failed education system in South Africa. After all, he was and architect of the scars we seem to be grappling with today. This film will reveal the shocking realities of high levels of illiteracy and low qualities of education.

The constraints identified are; overload on teachers brought about by the assessment requirements of the NCS, knowledge gaps in some subjects in the transition from the foundation to the intermediate phase, curriculum overload in the intermediate phase, insufficient attention to teaching foundational knowledge in literacy and numeracy, and lack of national assessments in the early phases of the schooling system.

The researchers continue to allude that South Africa is likely to keep sliding down in the global competitiveness tables, which recently rated our education among the worst in the world, I the country fails to address illiteracy. South Africa ranked 137th out of 139 countries when it came to the quality of education and 125th for the quality of primary school education.

In this documentary we would like to investigate the following, what makes us to rank so low in terms of the quality of education? Is this because of lack dedication and commitment from teachers? How do we move forward as a country when we have conflicting views where others believe teachers do not care about the quality of education? What future do we have, when only a few end up in tertiary education? When we have grade 10 – 12s who cannot properly read, write or even solve logical problems?

Episode 4 – 21 October 2012

The pendulum swings: the Percy Yutar Story.

The State vs the National High Command and Others – This is truly a unique South African story that has not been told before. Percy Yutar was the South African government’s most notorious prosecutor during the apartheid years. His aggressive arraignment at the 1963 Rivonia Treason Trial, one of history’s most famous political trials, sent Accused Number One to prison for life. Based on an exclusive series of television interviews with Yutar shortly before his death we will explore his claim that he saved Nelson Mandela from the death penalty. When Mandela was taken in chains from Pretoria to Robben Island to serve his life sentence, Yutar was lionized in the media as South Africa’s saviour, the defender of civilization against the forces of darkness.  He encouraged this image at every opportunity by stoking white fears of an imminent bloodbath. How much of this he actually believes is open to doubt. Yutar was motivated by deep personal insecurity and an ambition to become South Africa’s first Jewish attorney-general. The trial record however, shows that Yutar settled for sabotage only because he lacked the evidence to support a treason charge.Produced by Clive Morris Productions.

Episode 5 – 28 October 2012

ROAR, YOUNG LIONS ROAR! – This film will tell a story of the young teenage men and women from the dusty, windswept townships of the Cape Flats, who laid down their lives in the 1980s in the struggle for liberation, and those who survived but are today unable to live normal lives, due to their traumatic experiences during detention and torture. Many suffer from “survivor guilt”. This film will be told through personal narratives and intimate portrait of founding members of the Struggle Veterans Action Committee (SVACOM).

These men and women are the forgotten ones – the ones who are now told that they are too young to claim a “special pension” – a compensation the South African government has legislated is due to combatants who played a role in fighting a role in fighting for our freedom.

This film will be a tribute to those young men and women who gave their lives so that we could be free and will attempt to give hope to those who survived.

Episode 6 – 04 November 2012

Project Spear

Spies, Lies & Stolen Billions
A probe into the SA Reserve Bank's affairs by a disgruntled shareholder has led to the discovery of a multi billion rand corrupt deal set up by the former regime that has major repercussions for the current government. Project Spear is an investigative documentary film told from the perspective of journalist Sylvia Vollenhoven. It explores the illegal lifeboats that were given to various business entities, mainly ABSA, by the apartheid government and the Reserve Bank in the old days. In recent times a British consultant, a former MI 6 Spy, has presented the government with an opportunity to recover some of these funds. The government first signed a deal with the consultant but then reneged, refusing to recover the money. The  recovery plan is called 'Project Spear'. In an innovative departure from the documentary norm, Project Spear, uses the "Return to Burn B-Boys" in creative dance sequences to fill the gaps left by secrecy and absence of archive.

Watch “Truth Be Told “6 Part Documentary on SABC 2, Sundays at 21h00

Issued by

Lebo Malete

Publicity Journalist: SABC 2

Tel. (011) 714 7455 / 083 558 9703





SABC on youtube