Barry Gilder’s novel 'The List' optioned by Known Associates Entertainment

“It has all the elements of a great thriller with nail biting twists and turns, fascinating, recognisable characters from our immediate past and present, and an explosive ending.”

13 June 2019 - 15:02
'The List' follows ANC veterans and their nemeses through the struggle years, exile, the MK camps and into the years of democracy and hope, disillusion and hope again.
'The List' follows ANC veterans and their nemeses through the struggle years, exile, the MK camps and into the years of democracy and hope, disillusion and hope again.
Image: Jacana Media

Local author Barry Gilder’s novel The List has been optioned by Known Associates Entertainment for development as a film series.

The book was published in September last year by Jacana Media.

Rumours have abounded since the early days of South Africa’s democracy that Nelson Mandela had in his possession a list of double agents who permeated the upper echelons of the ANC during the struggle years, bent on destroying the newly elected democratic order.

The List tells the story of three intelligence agents steeped in the struggle for a free South Africa, bound by a common past.

Together they are forced to confront those in their ranks as a potentially devastating infiltration by former apartheid agents threatens to derail the reforms of the newly elected president.

The List is in keeping with KAE’s mandate to turn strong literary properties into movies and/or TV series.

“It has all the elements of a great thriller with nail-biting twists and turns, fascinating, recognisable characters from our immediate past and present, and an explosive ending.

“We look forward to adapting it into a great property,” says Joel Phiri, chairman of KAE.

The List will be produced by Dan Jawitz and Vanessa Jansen, development producer at KAE. Tshepiso Sello and Joel Phiri will serve as the executive producers.

Author Barry Gilder has extensive experience of government and intelligence.

He went into exile in 1976, joined the ANC and MK, underwent intelligence training in the then Soviet Union, served in the ANC underground leadership in Botswana in the 1980s and returned to South Africa in 1991.

Gilder furthermore served as deputy director-general of the South African Secret Service, deputy director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, as director-general of the Department of Home Affairs and as South Africa’s Coordinator for Intelligence, and retired from government in 2007.