• Publication date: April 2, 2009

A Good Cop. A Great Criminal One Man's Struggle Against The System

Andr� Stander [1946 � 13 February 1984] was a police officer with the CID branch of the Kempton Park Police Station in South Africa . Heading the homicide/robbery division in an Apartheid-torn country, he was a successful officer till he killed an unarmed protester in a rally in '76. Following that he suffered a nervous breakdown and his tortured conscience decided on fighting the establishment in a unique way - he started robbing banks .

Andr� Stander [1946 � 13 February 1984] was a police officer with the CID branch of the Kempton Park Police Station in South Africa. Heading the homicide/robbery division in an Apartheid-torn country, he was a successful officer till he killed an unarmed protestor in a rally in '76. Following that he suffered a nervous breakdown and his tortured conscience decided on fighting the establishment in a unique way- he started robbing banks.

Andr� Stander would rob banks on his lunch-hour, at times even returning to the scene of the crime as the chief investigating officer. He got away with robbing 36 banks before his colleagues caught on and apprehended him. In 1980 he was condemned to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Inside prison Stander met Allan Heyl and Lee McCall, and in August '83 Stander and Lee escaped, to return in October to bust out Allan. Together the media called them 'The Stander Gang'. They became an icon of defying the establishment's Apartheid system and corruption through their bank heists and successfully pulled of another 20 jobs after their escape. Stander died months later in the US state of Florida.

Based on the life-story of South African police captain Andr� Stander, who would become one of the most notorious criminals in South Africa, comes director Bronwen Hughes 2003 feature film "Stander". This true-life action drama was penned by Bima Stagg and stars Thomas Jane as Andr� Stander, Dexter Fletcher as Lee McCall, David O'Hara as Allan Heyl, Deborah Kara Unger as Stander's wife Bekkie, and Marius Weyers as General Stander, a general in the South African Department of Correctional Services as well as his father. The film takes great liberties with the events leading up to Stander's death, but has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Genie Award for best directing. Rated R for violence, language, some sexuality and nudity, "Stander" runs for a riveting 116 minutes.