Interview: The stars and producer of Projek Dina Season 2

By TVPlus15 February 2023

Interview: The stars and producer of Projek Dina Season 2

Investigating missing persons cases, lost children, human trafficking, and gender-based violence is soul crushing work but victims need a voice, and they need hope that someone out there won’t give up until they find them. That’s what the task force in the Afrikaans action series Projek Dina does: they save the defenceless and turn the tables on their captors, locking the real criminals in small rooms. Crack open your personal case files as the new season begins, because creative producer Roberta Durrant and the show’s stars have some clues to drop …


At the end of Projek Dina Season 1 (also available on Showmax), warrant officer Ronel Oosthuizen (Chanelle de Jager, Linda in the drama series Alles Malan) and her team finally arrived in Mozambique, expecting to find Ronel’s twin sister Dina (the task force’s namesake, who was kidnapped years back). “They found the mission school where Dina had been staying all these years, but when they got there, she disappeared,” says Roberta Durrant. “Ronel was distraught and discouraged because she was so close to Dina, and to seeing her again. But Ronel had to leave things there because the task force was disbanded shortly after the disappointing mission.”

Ripped from reality

“We want to raise awareness about human trafficking, gender-based violence, and violence against children,” says Roberta. “Each of the 10 episodes in Season 2 is inspired by true stories, such as a syndicate that is becoming more and more prominent, a missing persons case that is already 25 years old, and even an incident in which Captain Deon Visagie’s (Tim Theron, col. Bob Nortier in action series Die Byl) love interest Karen (Jana Kruger, Julia Cilliers in the drama series Afgrond), goes missing” reveals Roberta, adding, “And then, of course, viewers can also look forward to clues that led Ronel to Dina.”

Actress Kay Smith (Debra Mortlock in the telenovela Arendsvlei), who plays ex-hacker Charlene “Charlie” Botha – an official member of the rebanded Projek Dina taskforce in Season 2 – shares Roberta’s awareness about spotlighting cases involving missing persons, human trafficking, and gender-based violence.

“We need to move beyond just raising awareness of the serious events. A stronger stance needs to be taken, especially by our government. Every day women and children are killed, kidnapped, and sexually abused. Action must be taken to stop these things. There must be no more negotiations. It must be cut off at the root,” insists Kay.

The Dina dream team

Season 2 picks up two years after Season 1, with Ronel living a new life as a stay-at-home wife and mother. “The events of the last episode in season 1 led to Ronel experiencing an emotional breakdown,” explains Chanel. “She almost tracked down Dina, but Dina slipped through her fingers. Now she is a mother to her children, a wife to her husband, and she keeps herself busy by baking cookies and getting lunch boxes ready.”

Ronel puts on a brave front and plays the happy homemaker, but inside she’s wrestling with frustration about being away from the field. So when Sergeant Lux Dladla (Chumani Pan) approaches her for help with a new missing person case, Ronel’s passion for her work, as well as her drive to find her sister, is reignited and she quickly finds herself part of the task force again.

Meanwhile, as the team’s newest member, Charlie is eager to prove herself, but she soon finds herself a little distracted by romantic drama. “Charlie is in a relationship with Rodrigo (played by Ruben Engel, Karim in the thriller Die Spreeus), a man with a lot of money and a flashy lifestyle. Someone Lux doesn’t really like, and so Charlie’s relationship puts a lot of pressure on her friendship with Lux,” says Kay.

Finally, Captain Deon Visagie is also back. “Deon is relieved the task force is back together, but he doesn’t preach,” says Tim. “His major storyline has to do with how he is torn in two with his wife Jana (Nicole Hanekom, Sanel in the drama series Sara Se Geheim), who lives in a mental institution, and the feelings he develops for Karen (Jana Strydom Kruger), an economics lecturer, as he helps her with a research paper.”

The line-up

Roberta promises an intriguing array of guest stars and fresh characters this season. “We picked a few that viewers should keep an eye on. Antoinette Louw (Karen in the drama series Swartwater) returns as Alexandra Steyn. Viewers will remember (in Season 1) she was also kidnapped as a child and then later started working for a syndicate,” hints Roberta.

“Louw Venter (Stefan in the drama series Fynskrif) plays Stanley van Tonder (in episode 6), the father of Mischa Roux (Marguerite van Eeden, Hannelie in the drama series Afgrond). They are both part of the case that has been dragging on for 25 years. And Sandra Vaughn (Renate in the Afrikaans soapy Binnelanders) plays Cecile (in episode 4) whose husband is missing. It’s a case in which three men with similar facial features are missing,” adds Roberta.

Detectives, are you ready? Let’s get watching…

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