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Len Kalane, former editor of the newspaper, tells not only the story of City Press, but also a tale of the stories and events that shaped contemporary South Africa.
Kalane traces the birth of City Press in the 1950s and the early days of the newspaper, along with its iconic sister publication, Drum magazine. He details the role that Naspers, who bought the paper in the 1980s, and the erstwhile apartheid communication machinery played behind the scenes in an attempt to reconcile two constituencies – Afrikaner and black nationalist – and to move South Africa out of its political conundrum and towards a negotiated, peaceful settlement.
The book is in memory of author and journalist Percy Qoboza, and also incorporates a selection of his columns.
What is it like to be born dirt-poor in South Africa? Clinton Chauke knows, having been raised alongside his two sisters in a remote village bordering the Kruger National Park and a squatter camp outside Pretoria. Clinton is a young village boy when awareness dawns of how poor his family really is: there’s no theft in the village because there’s absolutely nothing to steal. But fire destroys the family hut, and they decide to move back to the city. There he is forced to confront the rough-and-tumble of urban life as a ‘bumpkin’.
He is Venda, whereas most of his classmates speak Zulu or Tswana and he has to face their ridicule while trying to pick up two or more languages as fast as possible. With great self-awareness, Clinton negotiates the pitfalls and lifelines of a young life: crime and drugs, football, religion, friendship, school, circumcision and, ultimately, becoming a man. Throughout it all, he displays determination as well as a self-deprecating humour that will keep you turning the pages till the end.
Clinton’s story is one that will give you hope that even in a sea of poverty there are those that refuse to give up and, ultimately, succeed.
When the Cradock Four's Fort Calata was murdered by agents of the apartheid state in 1985, his son Lukhanyo was only three years old. Thirty-one years later Lukhanyo, now a journalist, becomes one of the SABC Eight when he defies Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign of censorship at the public broadcaster by writing an open letter that declares: "my father didn't die for this".
Now, with his wife Abigail, Lukhanyo brings to life the father he never knew and investigates the mystery that surrounds his death despite two high-profile inquests.
Join them in a poignant and inspiring journey into the history of a remarkable family that traces the struggle against apartheid beginning with Fort's grandfather, Rivonia trialist and ANC Secretary-General Rev James Calata.
Chris Barnard needed the help of exceptional men and women to stay ahead of the fast-developing science of transplantation. One of these exceptional men were Winston Wicomb, the darker brother of the famous Randall.
He had to be hidden as a child to prevent the Apartheid inspectors from discovering his family’s racial identity. He had to endure the rampant racism that existed in South Africa at school and in the army… Winston, who had to fix cars in the backyard to make ends meet, had a curious encounter with Chris Barnard and got appointed in his research laboratory. Winston had to develop an apparatus with which hearts could be kept alive to enable transport.
This is the story of an unlikely hero; a man who changed transplantation forever, and a South African citizen who never got the recognition he deserved.
It’s a story of perseverance. And hope. Even... love.
Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?
Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students with whom Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out. But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.
Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
From Cabinda in Angola to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, 4 Reconnaissance Regiment conducted numerous clandestine seaborne raids during the Border War. They attacked strategic targets such as oil facilities, transport infrastructure and even Russian ships. All the while 4 Recce’s existence and capability was largely kept secret, even within the South African Defence Force.
With unparalleled access to previously top secret documents, 50 operations undertaken by 4 Recce, other Special Forces units and the South African Navy are described here in Iron Fist From The Sea. The daunting Operation Kerslig (1981), in which an operator died in a raid on a Luanda oil refinery and others were injured, is retold in spine-tingling detail. The book reveals the versatility and effectiveness of this elite unit and also tells of both the successes and failures of its actions. Sometimes missions go wrong, as in Operation Argon (1985) when Captain Wynand Du Toit was captured. This fascinating work will enthrall anyone with an interest in Special Forces operations.
Iron Fist From The Sea takes you right to the raging surf, to the adrenalin and fear that is seaborne raiding.
Drawing on Nelson Mandela's own unfinished memoir, Dare Not Linger is the remarkable story of his presidency told in his own words and those of distinguished South African writer Mandla Langa.
In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa. Five years later, he stood down. In that time, he and his government wrought the most extraordinary transformation, turning a nation riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy in which all South Africa's citizens, black and white, were equal before the law.
Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela's presidential years, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to finish his term of office, but was unable to finish. Now, the acclaimed South African writer, Mandla Langa, has completed the task using Mandela's unfinished draft, detailed notes that Mandela made as events were unfolding and a wealth of previously unseen archival material. With a prologue by Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, the result is a vivid and inspirational account of Mandela's presidency, a country in flux and the creation of a new democracy. It tells the extraordinary story of the transition from decades of apartheid rule and the challenges Mandela overcome to make a reality of his cherished vision for a liberated South Africa.
Maqoma was the most renowned Xhosa chief of South Africa’s 19th century Cape-Xhosa Wars and arguably one of Africa’s greatest resistance leaders of the colonial period. He was a man of considerable intellect and eloquence, striving to maintain traditional social structures and the power of the Xhosa royalty in the face of colonial depredations and dispossession.
When accommodation and diplomacy failed, Maqoma led Xhosa forces in three separate wars against the British-ruled Cape Colony. Evidence suggests that Maqoma made covert attempts to undermine the Nongqawuse Cattle Killing prophecies of 1856-57 which brought devastation on the Xhosa nation. Imprisoned on Robben Island for 12 years, Maqoma was paroled in 1869. When he attempted to resettle on his stolen land, however, he was re-banished to the infamous island prison, where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1873. And yet his name lives on.
In vivid prose the author records the life of a leader of exrtaordinary tenacity, flexibility, political and martial skills, who tragically became the victim of colonial domination.
The remarkable, and often touching, friendship between Winston Churchill and Jan Smuts is a rich study in contrasts.
In youth they occupied very different worlds: Churchill, the rambunctious and thrusting young aristocrat; Smuts, the ascetic, philosophical Cape farm boy who would go on to Cambridge. Brought together first as enemies in the Anglo-Boer War, and later as allies in the First World War, the men forged a friendship which spanned the first half of the twentieth century and endured until Smuts’s death in 1950. Richard Steyn, author of Jan Smuts: Unafraid of Greatness, examines this close friendship through two world wars and the intervening years, drawing on a maze of archival and secondary sources including letters, telegrams and the voluminous books written about both men.
This is a fascinating account of two remarkable men in war and peace: one the leader of the Empire, the other the leader of a small fractious member of that Empire who nevertheless rose to global prominence.
This informal history of the Cape Times, the oldest daily newspaper in South Africa and a much-loved Cape Town institution, is the story of a vigorous tradition of independent journalism.
The infamous Seriti Commission into the arms deal. The Glenister case following the disbanding of the Scorpions. Busting open the bread manufacturers’ cartel.
High drama; high stakes brought to South Africa courtesy of the Accountability Now NGO, and its founder Paul Hoffman.
Join him in his journey from jaded silk to corruption buster – a fly-on-the-wall account of courtroom battles, influential personalities, secrets and lies in the battle to speak truth to power.
“We thank you for the inspiration and strength
That you have given to Madiba,
Enabling him, over so many years, to draw out the best in others,
rousing us always, by word and example,
to seek the highest good for every child of this nation.”
So prayed Archbishop Thabo Makgoba with Nelson Mandela in his home in 2009 at the request of Graca Machel. This marked the start of an unusual relationship between southern Africa’s Anglican leader and Mandela in his quietening years. Join Makgoba in his journey towards faith, from his boyhood in Alex as the son of a ZCC pastor to Bishopscourt and praying with Mandela. He shares his feelings about his pastoral approach to the world icon, and how they influenced his thinking on ministering to church and nation in the current era. What did praying with those nearest and dearest to Mandela mean? What was his spirituality? In trying to answer these questions, Makgoba opens a window on South Africa’s spiritual make-up and life.
#FeesMustFall, the student revolt that began in October 2015, was an uprising against lack of access to, and financial exclusion from, higher education in South Africa. More broadly, it radically questioned the socio-political dispensation resulting from the 1994 social pact between big business, the ruling elite and the liberation movement.
The 2015 revolt links to national and international youth struggles of the recent past and is informed by Black Consciousness politics and social movements of the international Left. Yet, its objectives are more complex than those of earlier struggles. The student movement has challenged the hierarchical, top-down leadership system of university management and it’s ‘double speak’ of professing to act in workers’ and students’ interests yet enforce a regressive system for control and governance. University managements, while one one level amenable to change, have also co-opted students into their ranks to create co-responsibility for the highly bureaucratised university financial aid that stand in the way of their social revolution.
This book maps the contours of student discontent a year after the start of the #FeesMustFall revolt. Student voices dissect coloniality, improper compromises by the founders of democratic South Africa, feminism, worker rights and meaningful education. In-depth assessments by prominent scholars reflect on the complexities of student activism, its impact on national and university governance, and offer provocative analyses of the power of the revolt.
The late Dr Ambrosini was an ltalian-American Constitutional Lawyer who arrived in South Africa on the cusp of South Africa’s Political Transition. He found himself drawn into the thick of constitutional negotiations, on behalf of the lFP, enabling him to play a significant role in shaping the country’s constitutional democracy.
Dr Ambrosini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (The President of the INKATHA Freedom Party and Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation) formed an unexpectedly close friendship. He was a young foreign national with no experience of Zulu culture or African politics. Yet he became champion and adviser to a Zulu Prince; a descendent of King Mpande (brother to King Shaka), Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Nation, and political leader to some two million South Africans.
Ambrosini made South Africa his home, as he provided legal, policy and institutional advice to Prince Buthelezi, supporting him in his roles as Minister of Home Affairs, Acting President of South Africa, Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, and traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation. Ambrosini’s extraordinary ability won him friends, and enemies, in very high places. Over the years he attracted numerous epithets, both in the media and intelligence reports; but in 2009 his adopted country embraced him fully, as he became a Member of the South African Parliament.
Tragically, it was from this position that he waged his final war. Ambrosini was diagnosed with final stage, inoperable lung cancer in April 2013.
Once an enemy of the apartheid police, Andrew Brown has worked as a police reservist for almost twenty years. In this book he takes the reader on patrol with him – into the ganglands of the Cape Flats, the townships of Masiphumelele and Nyanga, and the high-walled Southern Suburbs.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is a personal account of the perilous and often conflicting work of a SAPS officer. Brown describes being shot at, arresting suspects in a drug bust, chasing down leads in a homicide investigation and keeping the peace during the UCT student protests. Brown illustrates how difficult the job of the police is, and how easy it is to react with undue force. Yet he argues passionately that the role of the police is to be a service to communities and not a force to suppress social discontent.
Gripping and thought-provoking, this is a fascinating insight into the social fabric of current South Africa.
Too much of South Africa’s history has been lost and suppressed, leaving a void for many South Africans. Sylvia Vollenhoven brings together her life and that of a long-ago ancestor, Kabbo, a respected Khoisan storyteller.
She writes of her experience as being “too black” for her coloured schoolmates, working as one of the early female journalists in the misogynistic environment of the 70s, and of the constant impact on her life of her background – including her ancestors.
The fifty years, 1880-1930, saw momentous changes in the economy and social life of Cape Town, the Mother City.
Growth and physical expansion altered the previous character of the city, but this was accompanied by social and cultural developments springing from the opinions and interests of the citizens.
A.B. Reid, in his career as a Master Builder and subsequently as leader in the public life of Cape Town, not only contributed to the changes that took place but also influenced their direction.
In South Africa, two unmistakable features describe post-Apartheid politics. The first is the formal framework of liberal democracy, including regular elections, multiple political parties and a range of progressive social rights. The second is the politics of the ‘extraordinary’, which includes a political discourse that relies on threats and the use of violence, the crude re-racialization of numerous conflicts, and protests over various popular grievances. In this highly original work, Thiven Reddy shows how conventional approaches to understanding democratization have failed to capture the complexities of South Africa’s post-Apartheid transition. Rather, as a product of imperial expansion, the South African state, capitalism and citizen identities have been uniquely shaped by a particular mode of domination, namely settler colonialism. South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy is an important work that sheds light on the nature of modernity, democracy and the complex politics of contemporary South Africa.
Jan Christian Smuts was soldier, statesman and intellectual, one of South Africa’s greatest leaders. Yet little is said about him today, even as we appear to live in a leadership vacuum.
Unafraid of Greatness is a re-examination of the life and thoughts of Jan Smuts. It is intended to remind a contemporary readership of the remarkable achievements of this impressive soldier-statesman. The author argues that there is a need to bring Smuts back into the present, that Smuts’ legacy still has much to instruct. He draws several parallels between Smuts and President Thabo Mbeki, both intellectuals much lionised abroad and yet often distrusted at home. This book is a highly readable account of Smuts’ life. It also examines a number of overarching themes: his relationships with women, spiritual life, intellectual life and his role as advisor to world leaders. Politics and international affairs receive the lion’s share, but Smuts’ unique contributions to other fields – for example, botany – are not neglected.
Unafraid of Greatness does not shy away from the contradictions of its subject. Smuts was one of the architects of the United Nations, and a great champion of human rights, yet he could not see the need to reform the condition of the African majority in his own country.
This is the untold story of how James Logan was instrumental in developing the game of cricket in South Africa at a time when the country was heading towards war with the British Empire.
Illustrated throughout with photographs and documents, Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a unique social and political history of the workings of the British Empire in South Africa during the late 19th century; a well-researched and fascinating biography of the man who gave us Matjiesfontein; and an entertaining and at times unbelievable story of cricket’s origins in South Africa.
In the 21 years since its inception, South Africa’s Constitution has acquired an almost mythical status, both at home and abroad. Yet, crucially, its primary impact has been on the nuts and bolts of people’s lives.
It means that the death penalty is no longer a sentencing option, and gays and lesbians can get married and adopt. It affects directly the types of contracts and commercial arrangements the courts will countenance and on people’s rights to land. This collection of essays explores what the Constitution means for South Africans and for the world – both through its definition of legal rights and through the seepage into the real world of those rights, and the culture that has arisen around them.
The contributors range from former Constitutional Court judges to activists, writers and philosophers, who look soberly at what has been achieved and what still needs to be done.
The SASO/BPC trial which took place from October 1974 until December 21st 1974 played an intrinsic role in the surge of Black Consciousness thought. An ideology founded by Stephen Bantu Biko, which wished to relay the unspoken strength and spirit of the African people.
It was seen to be a way of thought developed for the African people to reclaim confidence within their skin tone. As the trail commenced in the year 1974, little was known about the ideology’s founder – Steve Biko, aside from his colleagues and followers of the movement, as his whereabouts and communication had been limited as the Apartheid government had ordered a ban on Biko; thereby restricting his movements and communication with individuals.
When Steve entered the Pretoria courtroom in Pretoria as a star witness to deliver his testimony on Black Consciousness, in the three-month trial; those who had heard of the myth of the man named Biko, got to witness him in court. This, gave traction and new-found understanding to the teachings of Black Consciousness. This book focuses solely on his testimony, as said in his words. The spoken words that ignited the momentum of resistance that could not be stopped.
Gedurende die Grensoorlog het die Spesiale Magte se 4 Verkenningsregiment tientalle klandestiene seewaartse operasies saam met die SA Vloot uitgevoer. Van Cabinda in Angola tot Dar es Salaam in Tanzanië het hulle strategiese teikens soos oliedepots, vervoerinfrastruktuur en selfs Russiese skepe aangeval. Die bestaan van 4 Recce is grootliks geheim gehou, ook in die SAW.
Ystervuis uit die see beskryf 50 operasies deur 4 Recce, ander Spesmagte-eenhede en die SA Vloot. Daaronder tel Operasie Kerslig (1981), waartydens ’n operateur dood en ander beseer is in ’n aanval op ’n olieraffinadery in Luanda, en Operasie Argon (1985) toe kaptein Wynand du Toit in Angola gevange geneem is.
Die skrywers, wat self aan etlike van die operasies deelgeneem het, het ook toegang gekry tot uiters geheime dokumente wat intussen gedeklassifiseer is. Hul dramatiese vertellings wys hoe veelsydig en doeltreffend hierdie elite-eenheid was.
Die omvattende boek is ’n moet vir enigeen met ’n belangstelling in die Spesmagte. Dit neem jou na die hart van die aksie, die adrenalien en vrees van seewaartse operasies.
Ordinary women in 1920s America. All they wanted was the chance to shine. Be careful what you wish for. 'The first thing we asked was, "Does this stuff hurt you?" And they said, "No." The company said that it wasn't dangerous, that we didn't need to be afraid.' 1917. As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous - the girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. They were the radium girls. As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. The very thing that had made them feel alive - their work - was in fact slowly killing them: they had been poisoned by the radium paint. Yet their employers denied all responsibility. And so, in the face of unimaginable suffering - in the face of death - these courageous women refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice. Drawing on previously unpublished sources - including diaries, letters and court transcripts, as well as original interviews with the women's relatives - The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative account of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar.
Skepelinge is ’n impressionistiese betragting van die vroeë koloniale tydperk in die Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis, gebaseer op Schoeman se kennis van die VOC- tyd en meer spesifiek die skeepvaart. Self het die skrywer dit beskryf as ’n ‘hibriede skepping . . . wat in laaste instansie beoordeel moet word as produk van die skeppende verbeelding eerder as van navorsing’.
Tydens die boekstawing van die duisende skepelinge wat oor die eeue heen na die Kaap van Storms gereis en onderweg ook omgekom het, verweef Schoeman literêre stemme soos dié van Eliot, Auden, Eybers en Melville in Moby Dick met dokumente uit die oorspronklike dagboeke van die 1600’s en 1700’s, soos Van Riebeeck se Dagregister, Peter Kolb se noukeurige beskrywings van die Kaap en ander reisjoernale en geskiedkundige werke van die era.
Dit is geskiedskrywing soos geen ander Suid-Afrikaanse skrywer dit nog kon vermag nie. Skepelinge is ’n unieke nalatenskap – veral waar ‘oorsprong’ nou meer as ooit vantevore ondersoek word.
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