Chilling Afrikaans ghost stories in Die Spreeus


Promising paranormal phenomena, South African traditional tales and a team of intrepid detectives, Die Spreeus is not for the faint-hearted.

The fearless detectives of the Spreeus investigation unit, Bas Koorts and Beatrice Mack, investigate the strange and the unexplained, following dark and disturbing clues that lead them beyond the everyday world into the realm of the paranormal.

The series draws on tales from South African culture that have long haunted us, such as the Uniondale ghost, Antjie Somers and the tokoloshe. Die Spreeus is loosely based on the real-life SAPS occult unit, as well as the former unit overseen by Dr Kobus Jonker, known in the 1990s as “Donker Jonker”.

Who’s who

There was a time when the name of former policeman Bas Koorts (Chris Vorster) struck terror into the hearts of criminals and gangsters across The Flats, but beneath his easy-going personality lurks the secret of a terrible tragedy that comes back to haunt him when he’s called in to set up the Spreeus Investigation Unit.

Beatrice Mack (Monique Rockman) studied science and maths, but then joined the force – much to her father’s disappointment. The last thing anyone, including Beatrice herself, is expecting, is that she may have found her calling in the Spreeus Unit.

Watch Die Spreeus express from kykNET on Showmax »

The head of the Spreeus, SAPS Brigadier Rosa Scheffers (Sandi Schultz), has the unenviable task of having to justify the unit’s ongoing existence. When she is diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, she begins to see life – and death – in a different light.

Die Spreeus also boasts a stellar support cast, and we can look forward to appearances from Lea Vivier, Denise Newman, Albert Pretorius, De Klerk Oelofse, Rolanda Marais, Neels van Jaarsveld, Christia Visser, Kim Cloete, Deon Coetzee, Stian Bam, Jacques Bessenger and Crystal Donna Roberts. The show is good hands with director Jaco Bouwer, Director of Photography Jorrie van der Walt, Art Director Rocco Pool and Costume Designer Mariechen Vosloo – the same team that did Dwaalster.

The series kicks off with a two-part homage to C.J. Langenhoven short story “The Ruin at Wilgerdal”. Rosa establishes the Spreeus Unit and Bas and Beatrice investigate their first case, the arrest of a woman named Emmie (Lea Vivier) at a ruin in the middle of the night. At first, it seems she should be seeing a psychologist, but then Bas has a strange encounter…

A chat with Hertzog Prize-winning scriptwriter Tertius Kapp

Where did you get the idea for the show? 
I get a lot of ideas when I’m driving long distances alone. I think this one came to me somewhere between Willowmore and Wolwefontein, it must have been in the winter of 2016.

Where did you find your inspiration?
From people in the countryside, especially the Karoo, much like Langenhoven did in his time. And of course in books, from I.D. du Plessis to more anthropological works. But nothing works as well as taking a walk through the bush in the pitch dark!

Do you believe there’s life in outer space or on other planets?
My favourite quote on this subject is by Arthur C. Clarke: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” I think chances are good that there’s life elsewhere. But “elsewhere”, in terms of space-time, could mean millions of years ago, or in the future.

Would you recommend watching this show before bedtime? 
Depends how you like your dreams…

Watch Die Spreeus on Tuesdays on kykNET (144) at 20:00; episodes are also express on Showmax.