Alibi is an award-winning, South African true crime podcast. The first series is about a man who may have been wrongfully convicted for 17 years. Anthony De Vries was convicted for double murder and robbery under apartheid. But he might be innocent.

When we first meet Anthony, he has already served 17 years for his crimes. We investigate if the claim of his innocence is right. Has a man been locked-up wrongfully for most of his life? And is it somehow linked to the cops who put him inside?

Shoot-outs, a cash-in-transit robbery, car chases and deception form the backdrop of an intriguing series of South African encounters with apartheid cops, remorseful lovers and bank robbing brothers.

We begin in 1994 (outside a DVD store) and end in the present day, with Anthony still holding on to the desperate hope that somehow, justice will be served. 


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Press and Awards for Alibi – Season 1

  • Winner at The Vodacom Journalist of The Year Awards 2017
    Best Radio Feature.
  • Memeburn rated us one of the top South African podcasts.
  • The Irish Times we made the list for the best new crime podcasts internationally here.
  • We were featured on the Talk Central podcast (around the 45 minute mark)
  • We were featured on Corruption Busters on Chai FM for a full hour.

Radio syndication

Alibi Season 1 was broadcast at 2.30pm every Sunday from the 5th of March to the 23rd of April 2017 – on SAFM (104-107 FM).


Here you can find all the news about Alibi.

How Alibi started… and won a national award

The groundbreaking hit radio series and podcast won Best Radio Feature at the national Vodacom Journalist of The Year Awards. Here’s how the show came about…

Written by Paul McNally

The power of narrative radio is best emphasized when exploring a mystery. And few things are more devastating to a journalist than to discover a man in jail who could have spent the last 17 years of his life inside for a crime he didn’t commit. This is the premise that pulled me into the story of Anthony De Vries and became “Alibi”. What kept me there and allowed me to expand the story into an eight-part radio series was the sheer depth of deception and discrimination I uncovered by those in power.

Alibi: South African Podcasting At Its Best

When This American Life launched its groundbreaking show Serial in 2015, they chiseled into the medium all sorts of legitimacy and validation as both a storytelling and journalistic medium. Since then, we’ve watched the floodgates open and podcasters compete to fill the feeds with spoken word, interviews, music, theatre, book readings and inspired messages on …

The story so far…

The story starts with Paul bringing to Freddy what he thinks could be a wrongful conviction case. It is about a man called Anthony De Vries and he has been in jail for 17 years.

Read the article for episode 1 on The Daily Maverick.

In the second episode we have a panga fight, find masses of brotherly love and uncover an important deception that could sabotage the whole series…

Read more about episode 2 here.

For episode 3 we visit the crime scene in Vereeniging. The crime, an early morning cash-in-transit robbery at a Checkers supermarket, resulted in the murder of two security guards.

The shoot-out happened in front of the video store, piercing the glass beside posters for Sylvester Stallone’s dodgy mid-nineties movie Cliffhanger. The clerk working that day at Video Check had to duck down behind the counter as the shots were fired. The owner, for years afterwards, used posters for each month’s new releases to cover up the bullet holes so they were concealed from customers.

The changes and similarities of South Africa then and now become incredibly apparent in this episode.

Read about episode 3 on the Daily Maverick here.

For episode 4 we spend a morning in a Wimpy eating bacon and eggs, witness a man shoot an AK-47 from a moving car back at the cops and find a second set of statements, ones that never made it to trial, that give us a completely different picture of the case.

Read about episode 4 on the Daily Maverick here.

The fifth episode takes a deep look how a man was tortured… to figure out if he was innocent of murder. To do this we meet Rebiki Joyphus Moremi. He lives in Davyton, an East Joburg township.

Moremi now offers his time as a private investigator, but used to be an internal investigator for the police, so he spent his time looking at the crimes of other cops. He is a man who can reveal information to us about certain police atrocities he worked on during the nineties and specifically the case of Anthony De Vries.

Read about episode 5 on the Daily Maverick here.

In the sixth episode we go to court and finally get to see Anthony face-to-face. We are also put into a spiral as we try to understand an injury he suffered over twenty years ago. What we discover reframes the extent that evidence can be manipulated… and how paperwork, even from doctors, can lie.

Read about episode 6 on the Daily Maverick here.

In episode 7 we finally track down where Anthony’s co-accused have been all these years… and what we discover makes it more astounding that he was ever convicted.

The names of his co-accused were Steven Mkwanazi and Calvin Collins. Since the start of the investigation, Anthony has said he only met his co-accused on the day of the arrest. This was specifically on a patch of field beside a car crash where the police collected and photographed their suspects. Though there is no blood on Steven and Calvin – they look like they are in their mid-twenties and are standing on a grass bank on a beautiful, sunny March afternoon.

Read about episode 7 on The Daily Maverick here.

In episode 8, the finale, we conclude with finding a lawyer to help, a cop to tell Anthony’s story and a prison warder to argue for our guy’s innocence.

Read about episode 8 and our summary on how we feel about the case in general on The Daily Maverick here.


Alibi is produced by Paul McNally for SAFM in conjunction with Wits Radio Academy, Wits Justice Project and as part of Citizen Justice Network.

Presented by: Freddy Mabitsela & Paul McNally
Additional production and music composed by: John Bartmann
Mixed by: Kutlwano Serame
Additional scripting by: Elna Schutz
Editorial help by: Tom McNally, Gavin Haynes and Kyla Herrmannsen
Editorial oversight by: Franz Kruger & Nooshin Erfani

Paul McNally wrote, investigated and produced Alibi. He is a British-born journalist living in Johannesburg. He was a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow in 2016 at Harvard University. He is the author of the non-fiction book The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers and is the Director of Citizen Justice Network, a project that trains community paralegals to be radio journalists.

Freddy Mabitsela is the host of Alibi. He is a software developer, actor, voice over artists and radio host, a former campus radio breakfast host brings his youthful energy and view to the show. He is currently the station voice of VOW FM.

John Bartmann composed the original music and assisted with production for Alibi. He has produced original music for SABC TV and radio, podcasts, location-aware audio, corporate videos, advertisements, games, theatre and film. In 2016, his production album “Fantasy and Fairytales” (co-composed with Nic Paton) was signed to German library Minds and Music, and in 2017 he received a license deal with Paris label Wagram Music. He currently works as a freelance music copywriter and performs live with his electronic jazz band PRAVDA.

Kutlwano Serame, mixed Alibi. He was born and raised in Soweto, Rockville. Attended secondary school at Azara Secondary School, and (having) attended tertiary at The Academy of Sound Engineering (studied radio broadcasting as his elective). Works for VOW FM (Voice of Wits) and Wits Radio Academy as a Technical Producer. Lover of good food, music and has a history of damaging his mother’s televisions sets.

Months of investigation

Alibi is a long-form piece of investigative journalism that exposes cracks in the criminal justice system.

You will meet the characters, explore the crime scenes and go through the endless bunches of documents as we decide the guilt or innocence of one man.

Please contact Paul on for interviews or if you want to feature parts of the show on your platform. And email us your thoughts on the case…