How to Steal a Country

When a group of investigative journalists discovered far-reaching corruption involving Jacob Zuma, then President of South Africa, a pernicious disinformation campaign was mounted against the integrity of the newsroom. Then one day, two young men working in an IT company found the evidence that laid bare the entire modus operandi behind the capture of the South African state by private individuals with the help of politicians.

Thanks to their good friend Zuma, members of the Indian Gupta family were able to use the proceeds of an entire nation for their own gain, acquiring holdings in coal mines, media and IT companies, and even government positions. When finally a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is installed, Zuma also comes to testify. His defense: it’s all lies and fake news.In interviews, investigative journalists express their concerns about the global drift towards ever-increasing entanglement between business and government, and the polarization it brings: presidents and multinationals live unassailably in their own bubble. As a journalist, all you can do is make life in the bubble a little less comfortable. Is there still room for justice in South Africa’s hard-won fledgling democracy?



Country of Production
South Africa

Year of Production


58 / 93 min

Rehad Desai, co-director Mark Kaplan

Uhuru Productions in co-production with Filmproduktion, Hummelfilm, Storyhouse and Faction North in association with Grey Matter Media in cooperation with EOdocs, ZDF/ARTE, DR TV, MNET and SVT

Original Language
English, Zulu


Festivals / Awards

IDFA 2019
Doc Edge 2020
Sydney SA Film Festival 2020
Encounters IDF 2020
Durban International Film Festival 2020