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Inxeba cast members moved to safe house amidst security threats

08 February 2018 - 08:36 By Athena O'reilly
Cast members from 'Inxeba' (The Wound) have been moved to a safe house as threats against the film continue.
Cast members from 'Inxeba' (The Wound) have been moved to a safe house as threats against the film continue.
Image: Supplied

As local film Inxeba (The Wound) continues to court controversy and protest, some of the film's cast and crew have been moved to a 'refugee camp’ to protect them from threats.

According to HeraldLIVE, under-siege actors have been given a “place of refuge” after threats and harassment left them scared for their safety.

“We created a refugee camp to keep everyone out of trouble – it is a difficult situation. We are seriously concerned about our personal safety across the board,” the film's Elias Ribeiro said.

Producer Cait Pansegrouw confirmed the threats against the crew, but did not want to provide further details later for fear for their safety.

“We need to be sensitive to the fact that these threats are real and impact on the actors’ lives. My team and I have been receiving death threats constantly since we released the trailer over a year ago. It got to a point where [one of the actors] had to cancel shooting a project in the Eastern Cape because it was not safe for him.”

One of the film’s writers, Malusi Bengu said while he could not speak on behalf of all the actors, he was incredibly proud of them for taking up the roles.

“From the interactions I have had with the cast on a personal level [following the backlash], I commend them for being brave. This has taken a very real toll on their personal lives. It was not an easy thing for them to deal with, and some of our cast members live in the Eastern Cape and have received threats which left them feeling unsafe.”

Inxeba (The Wound)  tells the story of a gay factory worker who travels to the rural Eastern Cape to oversee the Xhosa initiation process of ukwaluka, only to have his secret discovered by one defiant initiate.

Many members of the team behind the award-winning movie – which has stirred fierce reaction and protests in the Eastern Cape, resulting in the premiere being shut down last week – have received threats.

But producers have defended the film, saying that while they are concerned about the safety of the cast and crew, they will not be deterred by the threats because stories like this one need to be told.

They have lodged an official complaint with the SAHRC after screenings of the movie were cancelled threats of violence.

Read more on this story in The Herald.