Ellen Pakkies

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A number of documentary and dramatic works have been written about the real-life character Ellen Pakkies

Ellen Pakkies the character

An ordinary woman living in the notoriously violent area named Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, Cape Town, she and her circumstances came to public attention when she murdered her beloved son Adam, (or "Abie" as she called him), on September 12, 2007, as he had turned into an increasingly abusive crystal metaphetatimine (tik) addict.

The story created an international stir in 2007 and 2008 and continued to do so for years afterwards. As well as two international doctorates written about her, there have been a documentary film, a stage play and a feature film

The Ellen Pakkies Story - the documentary film (2010)

Shown on DStv's The Crime Investigation Network on Wednesday at 8.35pm 2010, the documentary won the filmmaker, Michael Duffett (1956-2021), a South African Journalism Award.

My Naam/My Name is Ellen Pakkies - the bilingual play (2011-2012)

The original text

My Naam/My Name is Ellen Pakkies is a bilingual (English/Afrikaans) play written by Lizz Meiring (1961-) after seeing Mike Duffets's documentary on C&I, DStv one evening.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2011: Performed at Klein Karoo National Arts Festival from 4 to 8 April, then in the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 13 April to 7 May, at the Cederberg Arts Festival on 1 May and at the Aardklop Festival in 2011. Directed by Lizz Meiring with Vinette Ebrahim and Christo Davids.

2012: Performed at the Joburg Promusica Theatre on 4 and 5 May, at the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees on 30 June, at Die Boer theatre in Durbanville, Cape Town, from July 4 to 8.

2020: A filmed Afrikaans version of a student production of the piece (the script wrongly ascribed to Karen Meiring) was placed on YouTube[1] on 18 November. Directed by Chante Louw and featuring Chante Louw, Theodore Distele, Nasiphi Nkumbesi and Kabelo Sibanyoni. The video credits include: Camera by Dineo, sound by Kabelo Sibanyoni and make-up by Nasiphi Nkumbesi.

Ellen: Die Ellen Pakkies Storie - the film (2018)

An Afrikaans film by Daryne Joshua.

The film

Based on a sensational true story set on the Cape Flats, it is a film about Ellen Pakkies, the desperate mother who killed her drug crazed son, and the court case that followed.

The film script was written by Amy Jephta and the film directed by Daryne Joshua with Jill Levenburg, Jarrid Geduld, Elton Landrew, Clint Brink and Ilse Klink in the leading roles. Also features St John Alexandre, Anray Aminsure, Abbi Crail, Amrain Ismail-Essop, Hurman Louw, Carmen Maarman, Gershwin Mias, Russel Savadier, Grant Swanby and Liande Valentyn.

Produced by Paulo Areal and Schalk Willem Burger, music by Quinn Lubbe, cinematography by Zenn van Zyl and film editing by C.A. van Aswegen.

Translations, adaptations, sequels, etc



Beeld, 26 September 2011.








Leon van Nierop. 2018. "Waarheid oof Vlakte slaan 'n harde hou". Rapport Beleef. 9 September: p. 11.

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