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Arende ("Eagles") is the main title of a highly regarded and popular bilingual (Afrikaans and English) television mini-series of three seasons, broadcast between 1989 and 1994, The series was written by Paul C. Venter, produced and directed by Dirk de Villiers (1924-2009) for C-Films

Arende is also the full title of a subsequent film (1994).

In 2009 a novel, based on the story of the character "Sloet Steenkamp", was also published, though not using the title Arende.

Arende, the TV series (1989-1994)

Set in the prisoner of war camp on the island of St Helena, it deals with the Second Anglo-Boer War as seen through the eyes of two fictional characters: "Sloet Steenkamp", a rebellious Boer farmer, and "James Kerwin", a Captain with the British Army.

Two more seasons followed the success of the first season, simply known as Arende (first broadcast on 27 April 1989 on the SABC TV1., the original season, namely Arende II: Moordenaars Karoo ("Eagles II: Murderer's Karoo", 10 episodes, the first broadcast on 13 February 1992) and Arende III: Dorsland ("Eagles II: Thirstland", 13 episodes, the first broadcast air on 28 October 1993).

The whole TV series of ‎3 seasons (33 episodes) ran from 27 April 1989 to 20 January 1994.

Though best known in South Africa as Arende, the whole series is also known (and specifically syndicated abroad) in English as Cape Rebel.

Cast and crew

Over the course of the three series numerous South African actors appeared in the productions, including Ian Roberts, Libby Daniels, Susanne Beyers, Brian O'Shaugnessy, Gavin van den Berg, Isabella Mostert, Jana Cilliers, Elma van Wijk, Emile Aucamp, Johan Esterhuizen

Nic de Jager was the narrator and Org Potgieter the director.

Airing of the series

The first episode of the first season of 10 episodes was broadcast under the title Arende on 27 April 1989 on the SABC TV1.

The second season, Arende II: Moordenaars Karoo, aired on and the third season, Arende III: Dorsland on

Arende, the film

The plot

In 1994 a film version of Arende was released, directed by Dirk de Villiers and once more featuring Ian Roberts and Gavin van den Berg, in a sense telling the pre-history of the series, relating "Sloet Steenkamp"'s fight against the British invasion and his subsequent capture and imprisonment on the island of St. Helena.

Die Rebellie van Sloet Steenkamp - the novel

In 2009, Paul C. Venter wrote a novel that he refers to as the new Arende, the fourth installment of the series. Called Die Rebellie van Sloet Steenkamp ("The rebellion of Sloet Steenkamp") it was published by Lapa publishers and was Venter's first new novel in 26 years.


Beeld Kalender, 6 February 1992.

Ronel Nel. 2009. "Arendsvlug" In: Beeld By, 17 October, 2009: p. 6.

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