Professor Kruger was a very smart man, faithful to the Broderbund and the Afrikaner cause to maintain white Afrikaner superiority in the regime while suppressing any ideology designed to undermine their values, customs, traditions and political power in South Africa. His trips to Panama were motivated by an over-arching need to continue to live peacefully and comfortably, spiritually and financially, within the regime. He enjoyed his professorship and status at the University of Stellenbosch for the past twenty-years because of his ability to use the university community as a recruiting ground for generating future intellectuals, entrepreneurs, lawyers and politicians that ultimately supported the Apartheid regime.
De Beers the diamond industry's giant, through the Broderbund, wanted to expand into the United States markets and no doubt, Arthur McLaughlin had fallen victim to the same pattern. And within the context of the university environment that wasn't a bad thing. He just had to protect his sources of influence because ultimately he was fueling a diamond empire that would reward him handsomely, financially.
However, it was Paul Kruger, the primary antagonist of the novel, which uses his influence, throughout the story, to gain power and control within the diamond empire of Arthur McLaughlin. Committed to financing the Apartheid Regime in South Africa through the Panama Scheme, an illegal way of smuggling diamonds into the United States, Professor Kruger would not let anything get in the way of this financial resource even after Arthur's untimely death, including the kidnapping and disappearance of Arthur' daughter, Janette McLaughlin. Although, Arthur's son John had posed the greatest threat to Paul Kruger after he inherited the company.