Eight episodes in eight weeks

Alibi follows a story involving cash-in-transit robberies, car chases and apartheid cops over eight weeks. We start in 1994 and track the case to the present day.

The first series of Alibi is complete.

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

Find podcasts for all the episodes here.

Praise for Alibi – Season 1

On memeburn we made the list of top SA podcasts to listen to here.

In 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.

Podcast / Latest episode

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Here is the latest and final installment in the first series: Episode 8

Past episodes:

Listen on youtube here.

Quality radio

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 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. Currently the station voice of VOW FM and Alibi host.

John Bartmann composed the original music 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, the production album “Fantasy and Fairytales” (co-composed with Nic Paton) was signed to German library Minds and Music. He currently works in PR for globally recognized musicians and performs live around the country 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.

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.

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 paul@mcnally.co.za for interviews or if you want to feature parts of the show on your platform. And email us your thoughts on the case…