Transcript: 73. The Stander Gang | South Africa


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In the summer of 1983, Trix Style was working as a bank teller at the Trust Bank in Benoni, Johannesburg when something happened that she would never forget. In her own words…


“These two men came in. One came towards me and the other one walked around the office and came into my cashier’s cage and stood behind me. That was McCall. Stander put a big sports bag on the counter, took out a revolver and pointed at me and said: 

‘Don’t push any buttons or anything…’ 

So they must have known exactly how the alarm and security system worked. Strangely enough I wasn’t scared of Stander, who openly pointed the revolver at me. But McCall, who was standing behind me with his hand in his pocket, who I realised probably also had a gun… I was scared of him.”


The men left the bank as calmly as they had entered it. As soon as they left the bank, Trix pressed the alarm button and within minutes the bank was swarming with police. 


Among the bank employees there was an adrenalin-fueled chatter, as the realization dawned on them: they had been hit by the infamous Stander Gang. No one was hurt or even traumatized in the least. If anything, there was a sense of pride that they had been selected to be a part of South African crime history.


Police were questioning witnesses and gathering evidence at the scene. All the while, the gang had moved on to another bank around the corner. By the time police reached the second bank, the audacious bank robbers were already inside the third one. That is three banks within the space of one hour.


What was it about The Stander Gang that made them heroes, almost mythical in a sense, in the eyes of the South African public?


>>Intro Music


André Charles Stander, born on the 22nd of November 1946, was the son of a well-known police officer in the South African Police Force, Major General Frans Stander. 


Growing up, André was always told about the valour of working as a law enforcement officer. He was a rather rebellious teenager – his friends remember him always having a cigarette dangling from his lower lip. He was bright, but not a very diligent student. In fact, he did not even pass his high school graduation exam – this was at a time when everyone passed, so the fact that he failed was a huge shock to his prominent family.


Instead of repeating the year, Stander did his compulsory military service and served in Angola during the South African Border War. By the time he came home from the army, there was a lot of pressure on him to follow in his father’s footsteps. The general feeling was that being a police officer was something in one’s blood – he was one of the fortunate ones to have been born into a family of blue bloods. André complied as there was not much else he could do without a high school qualification. 


And there is no doubt about it, he was a truly gifted policeman. After graduating at the top of his class at the South African Police (or SAP) training college in Pretoria in 1964, he joined the criminal investigations department in Kempton Park.


In 1969 he married his girlfriend, the love of his life, the fiery blonde Leonie (who went by the name Bekkie). But the marriage was rocky from the start and they split after two years. 


Stander became involved with a teacher-in-training, Pat Amos, for a while but when Pat fell pregnant, he left her. When the baby was born, his friends urged him to go to the hospital to meet his son, hoping that he would change his mind about being a part of the boy’s life. Stander reluctantly went to the maternity ward, held his son, gave him back to his mother and left. He never acknowledged that little Ernie was his son. In fact, he told his friends that he looked into the baby’s eyes and felt nothing. Ernie only learnt that Stander was his dad when he was 21.


In 1975 Stander rekindled his relationship with Bekkie and the couple remarried. But their relationship was as volatile as ever and she left for good in 1978. 


Although his private life was a mess, things were going well at work. Besides, it was not uncommon for police officers to have trouble at home, because the long hours and unpredictable nature of their work. From the outside in, it looked like André Stander’s career was paved in gold. At the age of 31, he was appointed Captain in the Crime Investigation Department at Kempton Park – at the time he was the youngest captain in the police force. He was likeable and charismatic, people were drawn to him.


But secretly he did not feel the same about his fellow officers. He told a close friend that he thought they were all incompetent brutes. He did not feel like he fit in and always knew that there was something more exciting out there. By 1977, he had decided to go rogue. 


Having investigated a number of bank robberies, he saw the short comings in bank security systems and knew he would have a good chance of robbing a bank and getting away with it. In the 1970s, South African banks were not very security conscious at all. Tellers sat behind desks with cash in unlocked drawers. There were no glass partitions and apart from basic alarm systems, there wasn’t anything that would deter an opportunistic robber from taking action. 


He went about his first robbery calmly, with a clear plan of how he wanted to execute it. During his lunch hour, he drove to the airport – only ten minutes away from Kempton Park Police Station. From there he took the short flight from Johannesburg to the seaside city of Durban, 400 miles away. When he touched down, he rented a car at the airport, changed into a disguise and drove straight to a bank. Once Stander was inside the bank, he pulled a gun and calmly forced the teller to hand over the money. He walked out of the bank, drove back to the airport and was back in Johannesburg to finish his shift.


Stander had tasted first blood and he was hungry for more. Robbing banks had become a lucrative hobby and he was so good at making an inconspicuous getaway that on one occasion, the security guard at a bank even held the door as he walked out and wished him a good afternoon. Although they were committed in a different city, Stander and his team of investigators were informed of the robberies and tried to match it up with crimes committed in Johannesburg. Stander was in his element, he revelled in his success and felt that he had done one up on the whole police force.


Between 1977 and 1980 he robbed no less than 30 banks, pocketing close to one hundred thousand rand, which at the time was about the same in US Dollars. The average monthly salary for someone in a middle management position at the time was around 2,000 rand, so Stander was loaded. He even opened a souvenir store in Durban as a front to launder all his cash. His best friend, Cor van Deventer co-owned the souvenir store and was surprised at how successful it was. 


But the excitement of his double life was too much for Stander to keep to himself. He confided in Cor who worked at the Bureau of State Security, or BOSS – he was part of an elite group of spies. Cor recalled his conversation with drunken, boastful Stander, who opened up to him at a party one evening:


“He admitted to me that the first few times were sheer agony. But after that he couldn't stop. He began to enjoy himself. He used to watch the faces of his victims. He was laughing up his sleeve when he committed his robberies. There was an element of sadistic bullying...”


Stander asked Cor if he wanted to join him in the robberies, but Cor refused. Stander realised that he had said too much and back tracked, pretending he was only joking about the whole thing. 


But Cor was not a fool. Stander’s confession placed him in an impossible situation. Eventually he realized that he could no longer turn a blind eye to his friend’s double life and told one of his superiors about Stander’s confession. The two men decided to investigate Stander’s claims by themselves, discreetly, to confirm whether there was any truth to it, before they caused an unnecessary scandal.


Cor Van Deventer found a car at the airport in Johannesburg that matched the description of a car that Stander told him he had stolen. Inside the glove compartment was a face mask, a couple of wigs, a fake beard and moustache. In the trunk was a false number plate. They left all items in place and staked out the car. On the 2nd of May, Stander was seen removing items from the glove compartment and placing it in his carry-on luggage. The next day, another Durban bank was robbed. 


When Stander returned to Johannesburg, police were waiting for him in the arrivals lounge. In his luggage were the items from the car, as well as a firearm and a large amount of cash. His number was up.


Stander was arrested on the spot and on the 6th of May, he was sentenced to 75 years in prison. Well, that is 75 years altogether, but many of the sentences ran concurrently, so in actual fact, he was only facing 17 years behind bars. 


At his trial, there was a lot of speculation about why a police officer with a promising career would choose a life of crime. Stander’s decorated father took the stand and stated that he blamed himself. On record, he said:


“I forced him to become a policeman against his wishes. He should have left the force years ago.”


Stander himself said that he had become disillusioned with the police force after the 1976 Soweto uprising. At that time South Africa was under white minority rule in the system better known as Apartheid. The Soweto uprising was a mass protest, mainly involving black school students, who protested Afrikaans being the imposed language of education in all schools. On the 16th of June, the protest took place. The march started out peacefully, but police had barricaded the planned route. The crowd of close on 10,000 people were diverted and tensions began to rise. When police set a dog on the protesters, it was killed. Police responded by shooting at unarmed school children. 


The violence of that day resulted in hundreds of deaths and is still commemorated in South Africa every year as ‘Youth Day’.


According to Stander, he and his fellow officers shot and killed 22 people that day, something he could not reconcile in his mind… He said that something broke inside of him that day that made him hate his colleagues and the police force as a whole. It was a touching account of someone who came to ethical insight, realizing he did not agree with the regime who employed him. Stander was clearly playing on the emotion of the time, portraying himself as an opponent of white minority rule.


 However, his story was not true. The events occurred, yes. But evidence proved beyond any doubt that Stander was NOT present with the police contingent at the time of that particular shooting. He told the story only to put himself in a better light in the hope of gaining some sympathy.


Old army friends of Stander’s who spent time with him in Angola were not surprised that he had become a bank robber and felt that he did so for the excitement of it all. Not because of political issues or a failing marriage, but simply because he was bored and saw an opportunity to make his life more interesting.


When his colleagues found out that Stander was the elusive bank robber, the backlash was harsh. They were enraged that the media had built Stander up to be a suave and intelligent, sophisticated thug. Stander was a good uniformed officer, but not a great detective. And working in the shadow of his father’s career didn’t help much either. Most of his co-workers felt that he received special treatment because of his father’s position. According to his colleagues Stander chose to become a crook, because he knew he would never measure up to his father’s legacy. A fellow officer, Chris Swanepoel, said this about Stander:


“Sure he was a captain of the police but was he a brilliant detective? Rubbish, I say! When we were in the force together he couldn't even catch a cold...”


It was at Zonderwater maximum security prison where Stander met two men whose names would be connected with his forever: Allan Heyl and Lee McCall. 


Heyl dropped out of teacher’s training college and began to earn a living robbing banks in his early twenties. He was also a known car thief and fraudster and was serving time for a string of bank robberies in Pretoria. Stander knew who he was, because he had investigated some of his crimes. He also knew how to get to the impressionable Heyl and flattered him. When they met, Stander said:


“I’ve heard all about you. I’m delighted to meet South Africa’s most notorious.”


McCall was a car thief. He was a somewhat antsy and impulsive criminal who could be unpredictable and scary at times. The trio were a criminal match that seemed to have been driven together by destiny. They all hated the apartheid regime and could not stand the stereotypical white male-driven culture of the time.


Typically, doing prison time as an ex-cop is the stuff that nightmares are made of. But not for Stander. He had a way of manipulating people and it didn’t take long before he was liked by all the inmates. He had also built up a rapport with the prison guards who connected with him as somehow still being ‘one of the good guys’. But all of this was part of a calculated plan.


Three and a half years into his sentence, Stander was ready to bust out of jail. He took his opportunity on the 11th of August 1983 when he was escorted out of prison, along with six other inmates, for physiotherapist treatment. Lee McCall was among the others and like Stander, he faked his injury in order to be allowed a physiotherapist visit. Together they managed to overpower the female therapist, then fighting the supervising guards and taking their firearms. They forced the physio to hand over her car keys and escaped using her vehicle. The other convicts chose not to get involved and stayed behind. 


Stander and Heyl drove to a farm where they took a farmer and his son hostage and forced them to call the police. When the lone police arrived at the farm, Stander and McCall overpowered him and bundled him into the back of his own police van. Stander took his uniform and gave the cop his prison garments. The farmer and his son were also locked into the back of the van and they drove off.


Stander took the steering wheel and McCall sat next to him. They pulled to the side of a country road and, dressed as a police officer, signalled for a car to pull over. The female driver did as she was told and got out of her vehicle. She was taken to the back of the police van and locked up with the other hostages while Stander and McCall used her car to make their getaway. The group of hostages eventually managed to break out of the van and called for help. But by that time, the escaped convicts were long gone… 


It was obvious that they had planned most of it and then went on to make the most of each opportunity to make their final escape. Stander and McCall chose to lay low in Johannesburg after their escape, living off money that Stander had hidden somewhere during his bank robbing days. But they weren’t hiding out. Instead they rented a large home in an affluent area, hired servants and drove expensive (mostly stolen) cars. They were hiding in plain sight as no one in 1980s South Africa would have suspected wealthy, white businessmen of being class A crooks.


On the 31st of October, two months after their escape they saw the chance to help their friend Allan Heyl make his escape. It may sound like the script of a cheap action flick, but what follows is exactly how it played out.


Allan Heyl was scheduled to leave Zonderwater prison sit a trade test at Olifantsfontein. Stander and McCall stormed into the testing centre, armed with guns drawn and overpowered five guards. While everyone looked on in stunned silence, Stander famously said:


“C’mon Allan – let’s go.”


Heyl joined them and the three men made their escape in a stolen Ford Cortina. From that moment on, the trio were proud outlaws. They set out to commit a spate of bank robberies, to get a lot of money as quicly as possible. 


They donned outrageously ridiculous disguises during their robberies and their criminal acts became the talk of legend. They wore wigs that wasn’t the same colour as the fake moustaches. They wore elaborate sunglasses and fake beards, making the whole experience more comical than scary.


In fact, it became a novelty to be able to say your bank was hit by the gang – better yet if you were an eyewitness or a bank teller. Allan Heyl later said that he thought their secret weapon was the fact that they downplayed the drama of the robberies. He explained how it was executed:


“We pulled up in front of a bank one day in Braamfontein and there was a policeman with a shotgun slung over his shoulder. And he was there looking for us, but looking for us in terms of what is portrayed in the movies – screeching of tyres, slamming of breaks, skidding – so he literally saw right past the blue Cortina, and right in front of him, under his very nose, we both got out of the car, walked into the bank, walked out and took our leave.”


They knew exactly how the bank security systems worked: each teller had a panic button below their desks. When holding up the tellers, Stander, Heyl and McCall insisted they kept their hands away from the desks, until they had cleared out of the building. 


The hold-ups were executed so smoothly, it usually took less than five minutes to enter, obtain the money and leave. Heyl usually stood guard at the door while Stander and McCall would go to the counter and demand money.


As soon as the alarm was sounded, police rushed to the scene. With all attention on the first bank, the gang would hit a second one, knowing exactly where police were. Stander knew which route police would take to get to the banks and choose the second bank closeby, on a route police would NOT typically take. This would go on and on, as police never suspected that they would be so brazen as to carry on robbing banks on the same day. But they were. They hit one bank after the other, sometimes as many as four banks on one day, spending money as soon as they got their hands on it.


At first police thought they were dealing with multiple gangs. But when witness descriptions of all the robberies were similar, they had to consider the possibility that there was only one gang. One extremely well-organised gang.


The media got a wind of the ex-cop-turned bank robber and called them the Hopper Gang, because of the way they hopped from one bank to the next. But once they were dubbed ‘The Stander Gang’, the name caught on like wildfire. The Stander Gang was anti-establishment to the degree that they reached cult status.


The public cheered them on as they made police look like fumbling idiots chasing their tails. Witnesses remarked how well-mannered the robbers were, always thanking them for handing over the money. 


When the gang robbed a gun shop in Johannesburg of multiple weapons and an arsenal of ammunition, they left the shopkeeper alive but injured with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. It was unusual for the gang to harm anyone. Up to that point, not one shot had been fired in any of the robberies. Police were concerned that they were ready to step up the violence and more resources were made available to catch Stander and his men.


General Frans Stander, Andre’s dad made a public statement, saying that he trusted that his son would not kill anyone. But he conceded:


“I know my son. If he has his back up against a wall, he would not give up without violence…” 


The General admitted that if that is what it would come to, he understood that officers might have to shoot his son. 

During his time on the run, a darker shade of Stander surfaced. He posed as a professional photographer and lured a teenage girl to a hotel room, assuring her that he would only take photos of her fully clothed. Which is what he did and in doing so, he gained her trust. That is, before he sexually assaulted her. Only once the manhunt was on for the bank robberies did the girl recognize him and reported the incident to police. She said that he had threatened to kill her and cut her up in pieces if she told anyone about the rape. A second girl also came forward with a similar account, saying that Stander was the man who had lured her into a hotel room, promising a modelling job and then raped her.


However, the media were loving the Stander Gang and newspapers and magazines were selling like never before. They knew if the story of the sexual assaults were published, the public’s view of Stander would change and as a result, his story would become less interesting. So nothing was ever mentioned about it. Instead, the headlines focussed on the charming racketeers and their cat and mouse game with the police.


But investigators were closing in on them. They had obtained some good photographs from one of the banks’ security cameras and were able to publish recent images of the gang. Because of this, Stander and his men experienced many close encounters. One night, for instance, Stander was recognised by someone dining at the same restaurant as him. He managed to get away before police arrived, but only in the nick of time. 


They decided that the only way to evade arrest was to leave the country. Initially, they had aimed to make a truck load of money in a short amount of time, after which they would all go their separate ways and live off the loot. It was time to end the spree. They decided that the best way to get out of South Africa, would be to purchase a luxury yacht and sail it halfway around the world to Florida. The perfect vessel was found when they visited Cape Town. Her name was Lily Rose and the price tag a whopping 219,000 rand, but they felt that it was worth it. By that time, they had stolen in excess of 500,000 rand and could afford it.


Police received various tip-offs and information from call girls who were contracted by the gang. The information was somewhat confusing, with different people giving different addresses for the Stander hide-outs. It took them a while to figure out what it all meant.


Meanwhile, Stander was the first to leave the country for the States. Heyl dropped him at the airport in Johannesburg, where he used a fake passport and disguise to get through customs. When Heyl returned from the airport, he was tipped off by a servant at Stander’s house who said that the police had called, asking if three men lived there. Heyl wasted no time and left Johannesburg for Durban. He called McCall and warned him that police were onto them, but McCall didn’t take him seriously. 


The situation came to a boiling point when the police cornered McCall at their hide-out in the exclusive neighbourhood of Houghton Estate in Johannesburg in the pre-dawn hours of  30 January 1984. Police threw a smoke grenade into a window, but McCall immediately threw it back outside. He was not going down without a fight. 


A shoot-out ensued with a naked McCall darting from room to room and shooting at police. In the end, the gun fight resulted in the death of Lee McCall. Police found his body in a linen cupboard in the hallway of the home. An inquest concluded that he had shot himself in the head.


They uncovered two additional rented properties, one as opulent as the next, with many stolen goods inside. One of the houses had a number of stolen luxury vehicles, including a yellow Porche Targa, a car Stander loved driving around Johannesburg. 


But police were stumped yet again: Stander and Heyl were nowhere to be found.


Heyl was a safe distance away in Durban where he plotted his departure. He shaved his head to make it appear partially bald, wore a false moustache and used contact lenses to change the colour of his eyes. His fake passport was that of a German national, so he had practiced a German accent in the time leading up to his escape. He managed to make it through customs undetected and took a flight from Durban to Greece.


Heyl lived on the island of Hydra for a while, then England before spending some time in Spain. When he returned to England, he lived under the assumed name of ‘Philip John Ball’. He met up with another robber and they planned to commit one robbery before returning to Greece to open a restaurant. But Heyl was caught, tried, and sentenced to nine years in prison for the robbery and a related firearms charge. Once he was released, British law enforcement agreed to extradite Heyl to South Africa, despite the fact that there was no extradition treaty in place between the countries. Back on home soil, Heyl received an additional 33-year sentence. He was released in 2005.


By the time police had descended on the home at Houghton Estate, Stander was already home-free in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He went there to prepare for the arrival of his partners in crime. The gang had hired an experienced yachtsman to sail the Lily Rose to Miami, taking Heyl and McCall along for the ride. They would be together in Florida and divide all their takings before going their separate ways and live off the loot for life.

 

Stander acquired a fake ID presented himself as Peter Harris, an Australian author. He was unaware of the fact that the game was up and police were hot on his trail. In fact, he felt like he could breathe for the first time in years and let his guard down. 


Back in Johannesburg police realised that the conflicting information from before wasn’t conflicting at all. The gang had multiple safe houses: two in Houghton and one to the south of the city in Linmeyer. 


Police confiscated items in the various ‘safe houses’ rented by the gang. They found photographs of one of Stander’s teenage rape victims, confirming everything she had told them. Investigators also pieced together the plot to escape with the Lily Rose and confiscated the yacht before it could leave Cape Town. The hired crewman was able to tell police that the intended destination was Florida – and that Stander would be there, waiting for their arrival. Police wasted no time and issued an international warrant for his arrest. But Stander, master of disguise, was not an easy man to find. Besides circulating his information to Interpol, South African police contacted newspapers in Florida, asking them to publish photos of Stander and requesting public assistance in tracking him down.


Stander was blissfully unaware of the fact that the walls were closing in on him. In Florida, he rented an apartment and enjoyed the sunshine and the beach. 


Always someone who loved cars, it wasn’t long before he purchased a Ford Mustang. He didn’t steal a car this time, it was actually done in a legitimate transaction. But this would be his undoing.


On the 10th of February 1984, André Stander was pulled over for driving the Mustang that had not been registered. As is customary, the officer asked for his ID and immediately noticed that it was a fake. However, he did not realise that there was a warrant out for Stander’s arrest. He didn’t question the fact that Stander was ‘Peter Harris’, he thought the ID was fake because of an immigration issue. Stander was allowed to go, but his Mustang was taken to the police impound.


That same night, Stander broke into the impound to steal his Mustang back. The next morning, he took the car to the dealership where he had purchased it from and asked the salesman, Anthony Tomasello to change the colour of the car. 


In an unbelievable twist of fate, Tomasello had read about the Stander Gang in the newspaper the night before. He thought that he looked like his customer ‘Peter Harris’, but wasn’t one hundred percent sure. But with the man standing in front of him again, he knew that ‘Peter Harris’ was in fact André Stander. He managed to keep up appearances and assured his customer he would have the job done as soon as possible. He asked ‘Mr Harris’ for his details and said he’d call as soon as the car was ready. 


Once Stander had left, Tomasello called his lawyer and told him that he knew where one of the world’s most wanted men were. His lawyer advised him to call his local police station.


A police tactical unit surrounded Stander’s apartment block at 10:30pm, but he wasn’t home. He had purchased a bicycle to get around while his car was in the shop. Officer Michael von Stetina spotted Stander who was cycling home and ordered him to stop. Stander realized what was going on and decided to make a run for it. He threw his bike aside and started sprinting away. Officer Stetina chased after him. Stander tripped and fell down. After a minute he got up again, hands raised, saying:


“Okay. I give up.”


Von Stetina ordered him to get down on the ground and went closer to handcuff him. At that moment Stander turned on Von Stetina and wrestled his shotgun off him, pointing it at the officer. With his back to a fence, staring down the barrel of his own shotgun, Von Stetina drew his handgun and shot Stander four times. 


Stander collapsed on the driveway to his apartment and Von Stetina called for medical assistance before administering first aid. But it was too late… Before the ambulance arrived Stander was dead. 


Sadly, it all ended exactly like his dad had thought it would. Stander wouldn’t go down without violence and police were forced to shoot him.


Stander, Heyl and McCall became a part of South African folklore in the way they outwitted police and almost got away with their crimes. Crime author Rob Marsh included the Stander story in his book ‘Of Criminal Intent’. He said:


 “They took on the forces of law and order, they were successful; for a time they were the most wanted people in South Africa. They were in all the newspapers. I mean it was big news and they were doing things that, in one sense, some of us like to think that we’d like to do – in other words, get one over on authority.”


In 2002, Marlene Henn came forward with an interesting theory. She was the shop assistant who was shot by the gang when they robbed a shooting range in 1973. According to Marlene, André Stander was never killed by police in Florida. She claims to have seen him with Allan Heyl after Heyl’s release and believed he made a living by running a cheque fraud scheme. Marlene believed it was all a cover-up, an agreement between cops, that he would not be prosecuted. She stated:


"He never even went [to Fort Lauderdale]. The first set of fingerprints sent back from there, coincidentally went 'missing'. The second set was his. And only his ashes were sent back, not a body."


Nobody bought into this theory and the fact that the article reporting Marlene’s story was published in the first week of April, made many people believe it was an April fool’s joke. Stander is dead and that is the end of it.


The story of The Stander Gang inspired the 2003 film, simply called Stander, starring Thomas Jane. Allan Heyl said that he disagreed with the filmmakers’ angle about the fact that Stander turned rogue because he wanted to make amends after the Soweto uprisings. Heyl made it clear that they were not anti-Apartheid activists, they were bank robbers – and that was all there was to it.


There are many songs written about the gang, including a track called ‘Fort Lauderdale – Ballad of André Stander’ by South African metal band, Jack Hammer. We’ll play the track at the end of this episode. 


On his release in 2004, Allan Heyl also wrote a book, Bank Robber – My Time With André Stander, in which he talks about his time as one of South Africa’s most wanted men. In a television interview, Heyl talked about his experience. 


“It was a game of cat and mouse – a death wish, the ultimate act of defiance. What you are doing is so fundamentally anti-everything that society stands for – it’s a feeling of such brazen cheek. Obviously there was fear, a little bit of anxiety, but with time it almost started becoming like a game, and we were playing with people’s lives. And notwithstanding the fact that we never, ever intended to kill anybody, we should have been at all times aware of what possibly could have gone wrong.”


Allan Heyl is now an author and motivational speaker. In the past he has described Stander as being emotionless, calculating and cold. In an interview he said:


“There was no Stander Gang. It is a myth. Journalists neglected to report the truth about us. We weren’t heroes, we were criminals.”


And that is exactly what they were: hardened criminals. The men of the Stander Gang were villains who robbed banks, stole vehicles, raped girls and cheated people out of money. They lived reckless and ruthless lives designed for their own thrills and pleasure. But despite living it up in grand houses, driving sportscars, eating and drinking like royalty, they were always looking over their shoulders. In the end, each in their own way, paid the dear price for their dalliance with the wrong side of the law.


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