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The first comprehensive investigation into the life of former operative Eugene de Kock. The book, which includes innumerable hours of in-depth conversations with De Kock whilst in prison, is based on his diaries, prison writings and psychological reports.

The writer, Anemari Jansen was unexpectedly introduced to De Kock in 2011 at Pretoria Central. She was immediately fascinated by “the man with the soft voice and well-groomed hands”, well aware that those were the very hands that had murdered several people.

Jansen wanted to know how this intelligent, well-read individual could be the “monster” from the Vlakplaas death squad, the man the media dubbed Prime Evil. For the next three years she researched De Kock’s story intensely. She won his trust, paying him visits in prison Sunday after Sunday. She also had exclusive access to his family and friends, as well as old Koevoet and Vlakplaas colleagues. 

Her quest for answers took her to all the corners of South Africa and changed her life irrevocably. Jansen, who has been apolitical for most of her life, was forced in this process to confront the horrors of apartheid and to reassess her own identity as an Afrikaner.

Huge sections of De Kock’s diaries and unpublished manuscript are included in the book. De Kock is blatantly honest, not just only about the Vlakplaas atrocities, but also about his experience in the Border War as a member of Koevoet. In this book he discloses the names of his superiors who gave him his orders, many of whom have escaped sanction.

The book not only illuminates the complexities of De Kock as person and the choices he had to make, but also exposes South Africa’s recent history in an open and sometimes shocking manner.

Other interesting points:

  • The book was written with De Kock’s full cooperation and approval.

  • Jansen was sometimes forced to make notes on her inner arm, as taking paper into prison is prohibited.

  • The book contains a myriad of unpublished personal photographs.

  • De Kock exposes corruption at Koevoet.

  • The book contains honest confessions about De Kock’s life in prison.

  • A moving parallel story of an Afrikaans woman struggling to understand the past.

Also available in Afrikaans

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Richard Rademan
Great insight into the man; "apartheids crusader".

Once a golden "boy" then the black sheep. This is not so much about the reason why de Kock went to prison but more a human story about a man who went to prison for serving his “masters”and country. Yet, only to be abandoned by those who approved and generousley acknowledged and decorated him for his bravery and services. Had the new dispensation (apartheids dismantling) not taken place as it did, Eugene de Kock may have still served his country. The question to ask, is; where are all the others who also equally contributed to this same cause as de Kock? Saluut!

M R.
Unravels the mythes around the police

A book you have got to read. A superb follow up to Eugene de ****'s book,


Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews Write a review
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