Vloeksteen is a South African, Afrikaans-language television drama series which follows a group of deep cover agents and their handlers as they fight against the illegal diamond trade on South Africa's west coast.
The series was inspired by the true experiences of Ludwig Oberholzer (a farmer from Ficksburg who appeared on the kykNET reality series Boer Soek 'n Vrou) as a deep cover agent during his participation in the clandestine 'Operation Steenbras'.
During this highly secret mission, 1,177 unpolished diamonds with a street value of approximately R1-million were traded on the black market. A total of 53 suspects were arrested for charges of illegal trade in diamonds.
The "vloeksteen" of the title refers to unpolished diamonds that are illegally acquired and sold on the black market.
Vloeksteen deals with the experiences of a group of highly educated and purposeful deep cover agents and their handlers, associated with the South African Police Service's Organised Crimes Unit.
A large part of the series takes place in the organised crime branch of a fictional coastal village somewhere along the diamond coast of South Africa. Establishing shots for the series were shot on the shores of the coast from Alexander Bay to the Strand.
The concept of the series is based on the lonely life that deep undercover agents lead. This life is dangerous and nerve-racking, because the agents run the risk of losing their own personal identity in the "legends" (an agent's fake life created by the Organised Crimes Unit, in which he has a false personality and fake emotions).
They constantly run the risk of being unmasked by those who are prepared to dig deeper...
The style of the series allows viewers to become part of the action, because as the deep cover agents interact with the diamond smugglers, their actions are captured by a multitude of hidden cameras which are beamed directly to the control room where the handlers issue realtime instructions to their agents.
These micro cameras are hidden in the agents' caps, bags, briefcases and the like.
The series also focuses on the frequently tempestuous interpersonal relationships between the agents and their handlers, brought on by the separation of friends and family and the constant stress of exposure.
It also addresses the close friendships developed between agents and smugglers, because the agents must win the smugglers' trust in order to convince them to sell the diamonds). There is also the confusion brought on by living a dual life; and the rivalry between the agents to be the best detective.
The organised crime unit consists of:
Spook de Koning (André Jacobs)
The handler responsible for the deep cover agents.
Elle Fourie (Erica Wessels)
Spook's assistant and co-handler of the deep cover agents.
Zander Loods (Albert Maritz)
A deep cover agent. His legend is Kaalgat-Kallie Gagiano, the junk shop owner.
Sandra Cilliers (Dorette Potgieter)
A deep cover agent pretending to be a freelance diamond diver who is constantly looking for work.
Jantjie Links (Marvin-Lee Beukes)
The receptionist at Spook's Organised Crimes Unit.
Lud Swart (Neels van Jaarsveld)
Sergeant Lud Swart, known as Donny Basson, the music shop owner, who is the latest loose cannon addition to the team.
The family intertwined in the diamond smuggling network is:
Koert Adler (Marius Weyers)
On the surface a well off diamond miner, a pillar of the community and a local leader.
Rita Adler (Joanie Combrink)
Koert's wife who is completely unaware of what is going on in her family's business.
Rommel Adler (Quentin Krog)
Koert and Rita's son.
Ayla Adler (Trude Gunther)
Koert and Rita's beautiful daughter.
Other characters in the first season include:
Bling Links (Oscar Petersen)
Jantjie's charming brother, but a man with a dark side.
Henna (Nicola Hanekom)
A lady of the night - but one with a loose mouth.
General Theron (Deon Lotz)
The head of the organised crime unit.
Ann-Marie (Deirdre Wolhuter)
A woman from Spook's past, who is only too happy to help him when Donny needs an "aunty".
Konrad (Marko van der Colff)
Lud's wheelchair-bound father who is ha retired policeman.
Vloeksteen is an M-Net Original Production produced by Waterfront Television for kykNET by executive producer Herman Binge. It was written by Hein Eksteen and directed by Regardt van den Bergh. Elmarie Botha is a producer and the supervising producer for kykNET is Marida Swanepoel.
The theme song, Idol, was written by Inge Beckmann of the music group Lark.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
André Jacobs ... Spook de Koning
Erica Wessels ... Elle Fourie
Neels van Jaarsveld ... Lud Swart
Dorette Potgieter ... Sandra Cilliers
Albert Maritz ... Zander Loods
Marius Weyers ... Koert Adler
Recurring / Guests
Joanie Combrink ... Rita Adler
Marvin-Lee Beukes ... Jantjie Links
Oscar Petersen ... Bling Links
Quentin Krog ... Rommel Adler
Trude Gunther ... Ayla Adler
Charlton George ... Floors
Deon Lotz ... Generaal Theron
Eben Genis ... Jasper
Marko van der Colff ... Konrad Swart
Anton Treurnich ... JP
Flip Theron ... Oom Apie du Preez
Johann Nel ... Hoffie
Rufus Swart ... Yster
De Klerk Oelofse ... Buks
Stefan Ludik ... Ryk
Stian Bam ... Kas Cilliers
Chris van Niekerk ... Japie De Lange
Deirdre Wolhuter ... Ann-Marie
Hélène Truter ... Nellie (as Helene Truter)
Leon Kruger ... Denver
Nicola Hanekom ... Henna
Andre Roothman ... Tom Mentz
Hannah Borthwick ... Yvette Mentz
Pieter Beyers ... Dirk Fourie
Tilla Diedericks ... Japie de Lange se Vrou
Altan Ungerer ... Hans Dekker
Brian Robson ... Jakes de Wet
Hugo Theart ... Polisie Tegnikus Joe
Gys de Villiers ... Kolonel Gys Breytenbach
Albert Pretorius ... Dawie
Jonathan Pienaar ... Dick van Veen
Tinarie van Wyk-Loots ... Karla (as Tinarie van Wyk Loots)
Francois Potgieter ... Poligravis
Ira Blanckenberg ... Nelia
Schalk van der Merwe ... Danie Malan
Wessel Pretorius ... Nico Botha
Hannes van Wyk ... Lukas
Susan Danford ... Mysi
Viljé Maritz ... Alex
Cedwyn Joel ... Pastoor Strauss
Crystal-Donna Roberts ... Ina Uys
Dean Slater ... Gert Wessels
Jan-Hendrik Opperman ... Niek
Bart Fouche ... Albert Kotzee
Porteus Xandau ... Pik Prins
Tertius Meintjes ... Thys de Wet
Tim Theron ... Ruan Maritz
Clara Joubert ... Clea Smuts
Corien Pelt ... Matronet
Frieda Kruger ... Santa Kruger
Louw Venter ... Abri Wessels
Margot Luyt ... Mollie Malherbe
Neels Coetzee ... Koenie Human