South Africa, 1980. Times are tough for black people in South Africa but Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) has his home, his family and a good job at the Oil Refinery. He wants no part of the anti-Apartheid movement, choosing instead, to lead a simple life. Patrick is absent from work when terrorists attempt to blow up the Oil Refinery. He has taken the day off to watch his football team play the final and to secretly visit the son he fathered with his ex-girlfriend. Nic Vos (Tim Robbins), a white policeman striving to maintain order in the face of increasing unrest, arrests Patrick and two black co-workers. During the interrogation, he presents himself as a saviour from the harsh methods of his fellow cops. To protect his marriage, Patrick hides the alibi that could save him, until his wife Precious is also arrested and beaten. He breaks down and confesses a lie: That he aided the terrorists. Vos sees through his confession and releases him. Patrick returns home a changed man and joins the outlawed African National Congress (ANC). He volunteers to single handily destroy the Secunda Refinery, earning him the code name 'Hotstuff'. When Vos learns of the plan, a manhunt begins. Patrick strikes the plant, sending the surrounding black townships into darkness. Vos closes in on him and captures Patrick who is sentenced to 24 years in the notorious Robben Island prison, which also held such figures as Nelson Mandels.