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Cop Under Cover: My life in the shadows with drug lords, robbers and smugglers

Johann van Loggerenberg

'A powerful book that shows what spying for the public good might look like.’  - Jacob Dlamini, historian and author of The Terrorist Album

In the 1990s deep-cover police agent RS536 took on the Durban underworld as part of a new organised crime intelligence unit. He rubbed shoulders with drug lords, smugglers and corrupt cops, and was instrumental in busting an international drug ring and foiling a bank heist, among many other dangerous engagements.

But then, as the country’s new democracy birthed a struggle between the old and the new guard in the South African Police Service, his identity and his life came under threat. In this action-packed account, Johann van Loggerenberg describes how, as a young policeman, he worked closely with the investigative team of the Goldstone Commission to uncover the ‘third force’ – apartheid security forces that supplied weapons to the Inkatha Freedom Party to destabilise the country.

He also delves into how and why, at the height of state capture at the South African Revenue Service in 2014, he was falsely accused of being an apartheid spy, a lie that persists up to today. Here, finally, is the truth behind deep-cover police agent RS536.


Johann van Loggerenberg is the co-author of the bestseller Rogue (2016), Death and Taxes (2017) and Tobacco Wars (2019). After working as an undercover police agent, he joined SARS in 1998 and resigned as Group Executive: Tax and Customs Enforcement Investigations in 2015. Since then he has been a registered tax practitioner and consultant and researcher to local and international law, auditing and forensic firms, academic institutions and anti-organised crime organisations. He is also regularly called upon by the media to comment on and contribute to content relating to organised commercial crimes. 

Category:  Biography and Memoir
ISBN:  9781868428113
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale:  September 2020
List price:  R275 
Format:  Paperback
eBook ISBN  9781868428120 
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