The first comprehensive investigation into the life of former operative Eugene de Kock. It includes innumerable hours of in-depth conversations with De Kock whilst in prison, is based on his diaries, prison writings and psychological reports.
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Huge sections of De Kock’s diaries and unpublished manuscript are included in the book.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.
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