THE LIFE AND DEATH OF DULCIE SEPTEMBER, SOUTH AFRICAN ANTI APARTHEID STRUGGLE ICON
Dulcie September was assassinated in the heart of Paris on 29 March 1988 as she unlocked the ANC’s offices at 28, Rue des Petites-Ecuries where she served as ANC head representative for Luxembourg, Switzerland and France. September, who was 52 at the time, was shot five times with a .22 calibre silenced rifle. Why was this principled cadre and former schoolteacher murdered? Who were the killers and did she uncover a shadowy international arms-dealing matrix.
30 years on and no-one has been charged with Dulcie September’s murder. The French investigation into her death was closed after 10 years and in South Africa, The Truth and Reconciliation Committee (“TRC”) findings were inconclusive.
Documentary filmmaker, Enver Michael Samuel of “Indians Can’t Fly” acclaim, goes in search of answers and pays homage to Dulcie September in his documentary film “Why Dulcie?”.
“Dulcie September wasn’t only murdered but there was an attempt to erase her existence. There was an attempt to remove her from the centre of a very powerful network of players that were supporting the Apartheid government. It was done in a manner that after 30 years we still don’t know who killed Dulcie September”. Hennie van Vuuren – author Apartheid Guns and Money
September’s work in Paris included the everyday tasks of an ANC representative, organising trips for the ANC leadership and attempts to build alliances with local anti-apartheid groups. Her personal handwritten notes, however, reveal that she had gone far beyond these duties and was secretly investigating the clandestine arms trade between France and the South Africa apartheid regime. On the fateful day, a misty spring morning, Dulcie had just visited the post office to collect the ANC’s offices mail. She would have been completely unaware as she pressed the lift button to take her to the fourth floor that an assassin was lurking in the shadows. She was found lying crumpled at the door of the ANC office … an old trusty handbag, orphaned lying next to the wall, her cold legs in nylon stockings, sensible shoes still on her lifeless feet. The mail laying in her congealed blood …
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The making of “Why Dulcie?” is sanctioned by September’s family, and is a personal undertaking by Samuel to share the story of a determined woman of great integrity, who’s perseverance led to her assassination in Paris in 1988. At the heart of his film is the quest to know who Dulcie was and to understand what made her able to stand fast in the face of death. The project is currently self-funded and financial support is being sought through crowdfunding at https://gofundmesa.co.za/why-dulce-goal-r100-000/.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
Enver Michael Samuel is a producer/director whose career has spanned over 25 years in the South African broadcasting community. He studied both practical and theoretical aspects of Film and Television locally and abroad, in England, Australia and Germany. Enver has worked on numerous television productions including high profile corporate videos for clients like the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Coca-Cola, Kaiser Family Foundation, Primedia, Dischem Foundation etc. combining this with lecturing in Television Journalism/Production at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ). In addition to being a member of the Film and Publication Board (FPB) from 1998 – 2014, Enver currently serves on The National Film & Video Foundation’s (NFVF) training and bursary committee. Since 2012, he has also been a South African Film & Television Award Judge (SAFTA).
Enver has worked on various productions that were SAFTA nominated, including a SAFTA win for Solving It, SABC 3. He produced and directed the documentary Indians Can’t Fly for SABC3 Docuville that was an official selection for the Durban International Film Festival and The Toronto South African Film Festival. Indians Can’t Fly was nominated for three South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTA’s), best director, best documentary, best editor for documentary short, winning best achievement in directing and best documentary short.
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