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.
This season, after the death of Bling (who was the 'Third Man') there is a new search: who is 'The Mighty Man'?
Spook's feelings for Elle are driving him and Lud's alter ego Donnie has a new opponent - Sandra. Lud also gets much closer to the Adler family, and one can only hope he won't get confused between his true identity and his deep cover one.
The big question this season is who will outwit whom...
Vloeksteen is produced by Lion's Head productions. It was written by Hein Eksteen and directed by Regardt van den Bergh. The theme song, Idol, was written by Inge Beckmann of the music group Lark.
Season 2 originally aired on kykNET & kie on Wednesdays at 20h00. From Episode 23 (which aired on 3 October, 2018) the show moved half an hour later to 20h30, to accommodate the soapie Arendsvlei.
Season 2 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
Anrich Herbst ... Willie Stander
Marko van der Colff ... Konrad
Morné Visser ... Louw Stander
Nicola Hanekom ... Henna
Vicky Davis ... Manja Stander
De Klerk Oelofse ... Buks
Deon Lotz ... Generaal Theron
Lee-Ann van Rooi ... Mara Jacobs
Albert Snyman ... Lothar Viljoen
Joseph Mitchell ... Danie Scholtz
Ludwig Binge ... Frans Deysel
Roeline Daneel ... Soena de Vos
Johann Nel ... Hoffie
Marius Botha ... Kluis Kotze
Clayton Evertson ... Duimpie Duvenage
Susan Danford ... Mysi
Viljé Maritz ... Alex
Waldemar Schultz ... Dawid Krog
Andre Weideman ... Rolf Dreyer
Hannes van Wyk ... Lukas van der Spuy
Gamiet Pietersen ... Oom Hondjie
Elsabé Daneel ... Petra Steyn (as Elsabe Daneel)
Francois Potgieter ... Poligravis
Aletta Bezuidenhout ... Ans Malherbe
Nina Swart ... Bella Botha
Martinus van der Berg ... Fritz (as Marthinus Van Der Berg)
Regardt van den Bergh ... Walter
Tertius Meintjes ... Thys de Wet
Eric Nobbs ... Daan Boltman
Jody Abrahams ... Adam Witbooi
Ruan Burger ... Andries
Ray Randall ... Uniform
Clara Joubert ... Clea Smuts
Ivan Abrahams ... Chester Witbooi
Nic de Jager ... Pieter Genis
Stefan Ludik ... Ryk