Jonathan Ancer, journalist and author

South Africa’s history is full of betrayal and treachery. Through a series of case studies, this course examines some of this country’s spies, including Jan Taillard, who infiltrated a group of Nazi sympathisers and spoiled its plan to assassinate Jan Smuts; the ‘honey trap’ from Kimberley who spied for Cuba; the Simon’s Town commodore who rubbed shoulders with PW Botha while passing highly confidential, top secret information to the Russians as well as some of the Special Branch’s spies who infiltrated the anti-apartheid movement. It explores their motives, tracing how they were able to lead double lives, form genuine friendships with people and, at the same time, betray them.



1. Spies, lies and the search for Pink Rabbit

2. Who’s who in the espionage zoo

3. Betrayal and forgiveness


 Recommended reading

Ancer, J. 2017. Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson. Johannesburg: Jacana Media.

Hilton-Barber, B. 2016. Student. Comrade. Prisoner. Spy. Johannesburg: Penguin Books. 

Forsyth, O. 2015. Agent 407: A South African Spy Breaks Her Silence. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball.



Date: Monday 7 – Wednesday  9 January 
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R330,00  Staff and Students R165,00
Venue: LT1 Kramer Law Building UCT