Monday, June 22, 2015

Veteran Afrikaans TV director and writer Jan Scholtz dead at 76; remembered for beloved SABC TV dramas Sonkring, Sterretjie, Skoppensboer.

The veteran Afrikaans TV director, writer and producer Jan Scholtz has died. He was 76.

Jan Scholtz died on Saturday night due to complications from pneumonia.

The veteran South African writer of TV and film started his media career at the SABC in 1967 as a radio journalist.

He went on to later write and direct a massive number of Afrikaans TV shows like Sterretjie, Gazette, Cul-de-SacSkoppensboer, Sonkring, Binnekring, Die Vierde Kabinet, ArsenaalTriptiek and Die Laksman - all hugely beloved TV series which all saw multiple rebroadcasts on the SABC's then TV1 and later SABC2 and SABC3, and now again on SABC Encore (DStv 156) on DStv.

When Afrikaans pay-TV started in South Africa Jan Scholtz continued writing Afrikaans drama series, like the well-liked Song vir Katryn, the first Afrikaans drama series for M-Net's kykNET (DStv 144) TV channel on DStv, which also saw multiple rebroadcasts.

Besides writing TV series, the prolific Jan Scholtz also wrote several radio plays as well as films and is seen as one of the most successful South African scriptwriters, directors and producers who came to prominence in South Africa's TV and film industry.

Jan Scholtz was one of the first drama directors at the SABC and wrote SABC television's first Afrikaans TV drama, Keertyd. He also wrote several made-for-TV movies, dramas like Jopie Fourie, Die Genesis Kontrak and Die Vrede van Vereeniging.

He created Kasteel Films in 1974 and started his own film production company, Scholtz Films, in 1978.