Cape Town’s police captain Mat Joubert used to be famous for his high crime solution rate. But over a year ago, his wife Lara was murdered and he’s been haunted by memories, self-reproach and yearning for death ever since. Lara had been a police officer herself. She died during an undercover action on a case of international drug trafficking.


The New Year arrives and with it, a new colonel takes charge at the South African Police Service. A representative of “the new South Africa”, he demands full physical and mental self-confidence of the members of his force. He administers the overweight and depressed Joubert a diet. Joubert is given an ultimatum of six months to shape up, or ship out. He agrees reluctantly.


The arrival of the New Year simultaneously marks the beginning of a spectacular series of murders. The victims are always white men. The murder weapon – a Mauser – brings back memories of the time of Apartheid. Could this be about political revenge? The atmosphere is tense, not only where the murders are concerned: Once again, the expropriated land owners claim compensation – this time, from a natural gas company. A German advisor pulls the strings in the background.


But what do the victims have in common? Mat Joubert is in charge of the investigation. He is assigned a new and much younger partner, a graduate of the elite unit HAWKS: Sanctus Snook. Of course, Mat does not know that Snook used to be a colleague of Lara Joubert’s at the HAWKS who now has orders to investigate undercover against Mat who is known to have been jealous.


Apart from the Mauser-murders, investigations also focus on the dead bodies of young European models. The girls suffered severe sexual abuse before they were disposed of. There seems to be an international clientele in Cape Town with a special sexual request for “fresh products” from Europe. All of the girls are failed contestants on model shows who were lured to the Cape of Good Hope with photo shoot offers. What their tormentors don’t know is that they have developed a secret codex that consists of different combinations of emoticons in text messages. Mat Joubert and his partner discover connections, and start deciphering the code. It leads them to a mysterious villa named ENIGMA.


With help from his therapist, Mat Joubert manages to get rid of the ghosts of his past. He establishes a bond of trust with the attractive woman.


Joubert unveils layer by layer, delves deeper and deeper into the past.

He discovers a link between Germany and South Africa and in order to find his wife’s murderer he must go through the pain of facing his own memories.



  • Adaption of the bestselling novel “Dead Before Dying” by Deon Meyer
  • Genre: Crime-Thriller
  • Broadcast: TV
  • Writer (screenplay): Annette Reeker & Mark Needham
  • Director: Peter Ladkani
  • DoP: Florian Schilling
  • Executive Producers: Annette Reeker, Zeljko Karajica, Klaus Zimmermann, Daniel March
  • Producers: Samantha Putter, Adam Friedlander, Boris Kodjoe, Brecht Driesen
  • Cast: Trond Espen Seim, Boris Kodjoe, Arnold Vosloo, Axel Milberg, Marcin Dorociński, Jessica Haines, Isolda Dychauk


With the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union


Produced with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry South Africa, who does not accept any liability for the content and does not necessarily support such content