By then Mr. Dutton was one thing of a celeb in South Africa. He usually drew comparisons with a protracted record of crime fighters, actual and fictional: Eliot Ness for his unimpeachability, Frank Serpico for his willingness to tackle crooked cops and the tv detective Columbo for his informal, generally raveled demeanor that put witnesses relaxed and threw adversaries off their sport.

“He was seen as one of many few trustworthy cops with braveness and dedication to justice and getting the job finished,” Mr. Varney, who as a human rights lawyer labored carefully with Mr. Dutton, stated. “So far as I’m involved, he’s the best detective that this nation has ever produced.”

The South African authorities agreed. In 2012 he and Mr. Magadla, who had died in 2011, acquired the Order of the Baobab in Gold, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Frank Kennan Dutton was born on Might 20, 1949, in Bela-Bela, a city about two hours north of Johannesburg, the son of Terry and Dorothy Dutton.

He’s survived by his spouse, Vanessa; his brothers Tub and Robin and his sister, Polly; his youngsters Sally Ackerman, Paul and Brian; and 7 grandchildren.

He attended Boys’ City, a faculty for troubled youth, in Magaliesburg, on the western outskirts of Johannesburg, and joined South Africa’s nationwide police power in 1966. After a yr of police faculty in Pretoria, he was deployed to Natal Province (recognized at the moment as KwaZulu Natal).

Early on he developed a popularity as an assiduous cop unafraid to butt heads with an insular, self-protective management. He additionally stood out for his willingness to associate with Black officers, even within the face of overt discrimination — when he and Mr. Magadla went out of city on task, they might usually sleep in a jail cell, for lack of a lodge that may accommodate each of them.