A brand-new season of Binnelanders kicks off this week so prepare for drama, intrigue, heartache and countless moments of joy with our favourite characters. Trudie is avoiding Magnus and dodging Okkie and Ilse’s questions, René is caught off guard when a good friendship faces stormy waters. Bianca has strong opinions about Elana and Steve, and as a darkness envelops Elana Bester, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.

5 reasons we love to hate the awesomely awful At Koster in Binnelanders

Veteran actor Hans Strydom’s iconic character is the proverbial JR Ewing of our favourite Afrikaans weekday soapie – underestimate him at your peril.

He never gets caught

If a cat has nine lives, At Koster has … an unlimited number. The head of the hospital has been involved in too many nefarious dealings, dastardly plots, shocking conspiracies and evil coverups to count, but he always manages to avoid being implicated and extract himself from the mess.

He loves people – in his own way

There is nothing that At wouldn’t do for family. He loves his remaining son Conrad, his grandchildren, and those who are loyal to him … in his own weird and special way. Although he’s been involved with many women over decades, the one true love of his life was Ivanka Gouws – or was it Jana du Preez, who ended up in a mental institution?

But people around him seem to die – a lot

Don’t stand too near At Koster. Sooner or later those closest to him tend to perish. Quite a few people who’ve entered his orbit over the years have died – business associates, wives, two of his kids … even his best friend. There are numerous graves on his game farm and only At literally knows where all the bodies are buried.

It’s no laughing matter

Since he’s seen everything and done everything, At Koster is not amused … by anything. Although At is often seen out and about, his character looks down on everyone and everything that doesn’t measure up to his impossibly high standards – basically, the entire world. The curmudgeonly At always has the last say and (hilariously) deflates people’s happiness and optimism with his dry, cutting and sarcastic remarks.

Hello, henchmen?

What phone directory is At using? While ordinary mortals like us are struggling to just find a decent plumber, At Koster has a rolling and seemingly endless list of evil henchmen (and women!) on-call to do his dirty work. Where on earth does he keep finding these people? No task is too wicked, difficult or nefarious for At to dial up just the right evildoer to spy, abduct, threaten or mislead people, as the situation requires. Then of course ,when At is done with them, he gets rid of them … usually in a way that even they didn’t see coming.

Binnelanders is broadcast on kykNET on DStv on channel 144 on weekdays at 19:31

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