Cop on the edge
Honest detective Mondli’s frustration with the system drives him to dangerous extremes.
Mondli (Thembinkosi Thwala) has worked for months to build enough evidence to put ATM bomber and career criminal Nkunzi Mhlongo (Masoja Msiza) behind bars on Monday 19 June. But Nkunzi escaped custody twice – on Wednesday 28 June he broke out of jail. The second time, on Thursday 3 August, the authorities just opened the door and waved him off with their blessing. And as the final, mind-boggling humiliation, on Thursday 17 August, Mondli’s boss Captain Mthimkhulu (Sfiso Simamane) orders him to apologise and thank Nkunzi for doing Mondli’s job for him. “It drives him mad!” says Thembinkosi. “He has all this evidence but there is nothing that he can do because of his superiors. People with money can do whatever they want. That makes him feel like he is working for nothing.”
I WORK ALONE
With the community grumbling about “useless” cops and a system that seems to be working against him, Mondli is isolated. His partner, who should have his back, is stabbing Mondli in it instead. “Qhabanga (Siyabonga Shibe) is Nkunzi’s brother and now Qhabanga is dating Mondli’s ex- girlfriend Nosipho (Nompilo Maphumulo),” laments Thembinkosi. Stoic and professional Mondli is crumbling and Thembinkosi adds that “Mondli isn’t the type who shows his emotions easily. He’s a smart person and respects people. He doesn’t want to embarrass people and embarrass himself, but he’s frustrated. Mondli is always fighting with Qhabanga now”.
Mondli’s frustration and desperation to prove himself lead to a dangerous rigidity in his approach to the community that becomes clear in his handling of GC (Khaya Dladla) on Tuesday 22 August. “Mondli knows GC, he’s a good person. But he sees GC with a gun and his emotions and his frustrations spill over,” says Thembinkosi. Mondli crosses the line on Wednesday 23 August when he deliberately endangers GC, putting him in a cell with men he knows will target and torment GC for being gay, in an effort to get him to talk. “Mondli doesn’t think of it, he doesn’t care that much,” explains Thembinkosi. “Now he makes sure if you’re breaking the law, he’s putting you behind bars, whether you’re smart or you’re good guy.” But no matter what he does, Mondli feels there is “something missing in the law”.