Major General Jeremy Vearey, exMK cadre and bodyguard to Nelson Mandela, was until recently deputy provincial commissioner of the Western Cape SAPS (a role we hope and trust he will return to soon). He starts his ‘police memoir’ where the old apartheid police and fighters from the liberation movement meet, distrusting each other deeply, but having to merge into a single police service. The action ranges from Operation Saladin to antigang policing and the recovery of the sale of confiscated weapons to gangsters and the hunt for the killer Mowers. Underworld figures and gangsters loom large, as does the constant fear of death.
While Into Dark Water presents a wideangle portrait of policing, politics and criminality in the Western Cape, it is also a more intimate account of what it has meant to reach the highest ranks of policing and go from being a revolutionary to a senior actor in state security, law and order. The submerged narrative or ‘dark stream’ that runs beneath the text is the price that the author has paid for following his calling.