Sjoe! What a ride it has been! There was intrigue, suspense and questions galore surrounding the mystery of Adri van Tonder’s (Jane de Wet’s) kidnapping as a baby and the murder of her parents, Herman and Susan Steyn (Arno Marais and Eloise Clasen), on their Northern Cape farm, Steynhof.
If you’ve been waiting ’til the end of the series to binge the mystery all at once, all eight episodes are available now on Catch-Up. But if you’re just trying to fill in the gaps in how we got to last night’s episode, read on as we wrap up what happened in Spoorloos: Steynhof S3
Spoorloos: Spoiler alert!
Over the eight episodes of the anthology series Spoorloos: Steynhof S3, viewers tried desperately to figure out whodunnit – and more importantly, whydunnit? And in the final episode all the pieces finally fell in place to create the macabre picture of a dysfunctional family and a woman who would’ve literally committed murder to rise above her background.
Even though it was revealed that Herman murdered his wife, Susan, in a drunken rage in front of his brother, Daniel (Stiaan Smith), and Daniel, in turn, killed Herman, the mastermind behind it all was Daniel’s wife, Joey (Diaan Lawrenson).
From the beginning
The season started with a flashback scene showing Liena April (Annebell Kohl), the babysitter, running for her life from the farm clutching little baby Rochelle (later named Adri in the series) after two chilling shots were fired, killing the baby’s parents, Herman and Susan.
Later it was revealed that Susan ran to Liena and handed her the baby, begging Liena to save her, “Please, look after her. I’m scared he will kill her.” When Liena went running to the main house to pick up more baby supplies, she stopped cold in her tracks when she saw Daniel with a gun, and she assumed that Daniel killed both Herman and Susan. But she only had one piece of the puzzle.
Liena went to her brother, the farm manager Simon (Wayne van Rooyen), for help, and he told her to run. He made Liena believe that she would be the main suspect if the police found her with the murder victim’s baby.
Scared, cold, alone and with only R200 in her pocket, Liena tried to make her way to Cape Town, but she ended destitute on the side of the road. There she was rescued by suicidal, recently widowed Therese van Tonder (Franci Swanepoel), who stood in need of a little rescuing herself. Therese, yearning for a child herself, took them in, and instantly bonded with the baby. She gave Liena R50,000 to start a new life, renamed baby Rochelle as Adri, and pretended to be her birth mother.
The twisted truth
Fast forward quite a few years. Adri, now 15 years old, was yet again having to find her feet in a new school. She and mom Therese had lived a hard life with a number of factors at play including Therese’s addiction and the fact that they’d had to move around a lot, partly because Therese was never able to provide a school with Adri’s birth certificate.
At her new school, Adri made friends with fellow student Xander (Brent Vermeulen), who was on the autism spectrum and extremely intelligent. He quickly became obsessed with Adri, and realised that Therese never had Adri’s birth certificate. Putting two and two together, Xander guessed that Adri could perhaps have been baby Rochelle, the child kidnapped from the murdered Steyn couple. Once that was in the open, all hell broke loose: Therese was arrested, Adri was sent back to her family on Steynhof, and she finally met her uncle and aunt, Daniel and Joey.
Further trouble came knocking when a rumour spread that Adri, Steynhof’s rightful heir, wanted to sell the farm. That angered the workers who had shares in the farm (something that Daniel was for, but Herman was firmly against). They tried to kill Adri, but she escaped…
In the final episode, it was revealed that Herman went crazy on the day of his murder after he found out that he was sterile, so he couldn’t possibly be baby Rochelle’s biological father. Herman, an alcoholic with PTSD due to his stint in the SA defence force, lost all perspective. He phoned his brother – the man he suspected of being the baby’s father – and demanded Daniel return to the farm, then lay waiting for him with a loaded gun (Arno Marais’s portrayal of Herman gave incredible depth to a haunted character).
Even though manipulative, vindictive Joey never got blood on her hands, it turned out that she was the mastermind behind everything. She didn’t know her husband was her sister-in-law’s babydaddy, but she had actually already organised a hit on Herman and Susan through the farm manager, Simon. One way or another, Joey was going to make sure that Steynhof became hers and Daniel’s – aside from those shares for the farm workers. She was having an affair with Simon, too. And Simon wasn’t the only person under her spell.
The rest of the story unfolds here...
Spoorloos S4 is already in the works and viewers can look forward to its release in 2022. But for now, you can binge view S3 on Catch Up.
If you’re in the mood for more Spoorloos mystery, each season tells a separate story. S1 and S2 are available right now on Showmax.
We look back on the season after Spoorloos: Steynhof S3 comes to a dramatic end
Stiaan Smith talks about his role in Spoorloos: Steynhof, now on DStv
Spoorloos: Steynhof’s headwriter and director, Christo Davids, and young performers Jane de Wet and Brent Vermeulen, take us inside this season’s mystery.