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Heist is an in-depth look at 10 of South Africa’s most audacious heists.
From the 1996 ‘burning man’ case, where four security guards were burnt alive in their armoured vehicle after a ferocious fight-back against highly trained mercenaries, to the 2016 robbery of a cash centre in Witbank, where a gang made off with almost R107 million after impersonating police officers, this is an impeccably researched reconstruction of an endemic crime phenomenon that some analysts warn could bring South Africa to its knees. Using the information gleaned from thousands of pages of court documents and press reports, as well as interviews with scores of police officers, crime-intelligence agents, prosecutors, defence lawyers, researchers, journalists, security guards and the criminals themselves, Heist gives unprecedented insight into a type of crime that increased by a staggering 49 per cent in the first eight months of 2017 alone.
As informative and thought-provoking as it is distressing, this is a book by an investigative journalist at the top of her game.
Vaya the film is based on the lives of four young men from the Homeless Writer’s Project: David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli and Tshabalira Lebakeng, and rooted in their experiences of coming to Johannesburg. Vaya the book brings you the people and stories that inspired the award-winning film.
The book provides a rare lens into life on the margins of Johannesburg. The stories are intimate and hard hitting, funny and heartbreaking, full of courage and humanity in a world that is both capricious and unforgiving. Stories of living on the street, of finding family and friendship in unusual places, and coming to the city full of hope and promise only to be betrayed by the very people one trusts most.
Mark Lewis’s haunting photographs bring into sharp focus life in the underbelly of the city.
In 2016 South African film audiences were mesmerised by the film Noem My Skollie, which was written by - and based on the life of - John W. Fredericks. In this book Fredericks tells the full story on which the film was based.
Growing up in a dusty township on the Cape Flats, Fredericks formed a gang with his friends, and at the age of seventeen he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to two years in Pollsmoor prison. There the number gangs vied to initiate him into their ranks, but he resisted their advances, offering instead to help them push their time by telling stories. And so he became the prison ‘cinema’, drawing on his storytelling abilities and cementing his ambition to become a writer.
Life after prison became a nightmare when he was arrested for a murder he hadn’t committed, his childhood friends were sentenced to die on the gallows, and a gang boss tried to kill him. Slowly he turned his life around, getting a job and building a family, but society kept judging him as a gangster. Struggling to deal with his past, he turned to storytelling again, and painstakingly learnt the art of scriptwriting. The result was Noem My Skollie, which was watched by almost 90 000 people and won numerous awards.
Written in a powerful and authentic voice, Skollie is a gripping memoir of life on the Cape Flats, of prison and gangs, and of one man’s struggle to survive all this by telling stories.
Brutally dragged 780 metres beneath a taxi – a young woman’s inspiring story of survival, courage, and the will to live.
13 September 2011. The story would shock thousands and be remembered by many for years to come. It would be plastered all over the papers and continue to attract interest well after the shock factor of what happened had passed. Reports and articles would be written, and “facts”, as given to reporters by some of those involved and willing to be interviewed, would be recounted and repeated in all forms of public media over the months and even years that followed. And although these versions would generate widespread outrage, none was entirely accurate.
"The stories were about me. I was there. I am Kim McCusker - the girl who was dragged by a taxi. This, as I experienced it, is the true version of events."
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.
These `interventions' are spurred by what in South Africa today is a buzz-phrase: social cohesion. The term, or concept, is bandied about with little reflection by leaders or spokespeople in politics, business, labour, education, sport, entertainment and the media. Yet, who would not wish to live in a socially cohesive society? How, then, do we apply the ideal in the daily round when diversity of language, religion, culture, race and the economy too often supersedes our commitment to a common citizenry? How do we live together rather than live apart? Such questions provoke the purpose of these interventions. The interventions - essays, which are short, incisive, at times provocative - tackle issues that are pertinent to both living together and living apart: equality/inequality, public pronouncement, xenophobia, safety, chieftaincy in modernity, gender-based abuse, healing, the law, education, identity, sport, new `national' projects, the role of the arts, South Africa in the world. In focusing on such issues, the essays point towards the making of a future, in which a critical citizenry is key to a healthy society. Contributors include leading academics and public figures in South Africa today: Christopher Ballantine, Ahmed Bawa, Michael Chapman, Jacob Dlamini, Jackie Dugard, Kira Erwin, Nicole Fritz, Michael Gardiner, Gerhard Mare, Monique Marks, Rajend Mesthrie, Bonita Meyersfeld, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Kathryn Pillay, Faye Reagon, Brenda Schmahmann, Himla Soodyall, David Spurrett and Thuto Thipe.
This acclaimed book by Steven Pinker argues that, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less violent over millenia and decades. Can violence really have declined?
The images of conflict we see daily on our screens from around the world suggest this is an almost obscene claim to be making. Extraordinarily, however, Steven Pinker shows violence within and between societies - both murder and warfare - really has declined from prehistory to today. We are much less likely to die at someone else's hands than ever before. Even the horrific carnage of the last century, when compared to the dangers of pre-state societies, is part of this trend.
Debunking both the idea of the 'noble savage' and an over-simplistic Hobbesian notion of a 'nasty, brutish and short' life, Steven Pinker argues that modernity and its cultural institutions are actually making us better people.
In 2003, Thabo Jijana's father was gunned down in a scrap between rival taxi associations who had been forced to operate from a single rank. A decade later, Thabo faces up to South Africa's most violent industry to try to figure out how and why his father was murdered.
In this searing first-person investigation, Thabo puts a face behind a recurrent tragedy that plagues South African working class communities. By speaking to the people who knew his father best he tries to fill in the blanks that are the years that have followed his father's death.
He begins by trying to reconstruct the night the murder took place, but what he uncovers about the ongoing strife that has plagued government's consistent attempts to formalise this multi-million rand industry comes with more baggage than he expected.
When Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and heir apparent to Nelson Mandela, was brutally slain in his driveway in April 1993, he left a shocked and grieving South Africa on the precipice of civil war. But to 12-year-old Lindiwe, it was the love of her life, her daddy, who had been shockingly ripped from her life. In this intimate and brutally honest memoir, 36-year-old Lindiwe remembers the years she shared with her loving father, and the toll that his untimely death took on the Hani family. She lays family skeletons bare and brings to the fore her own downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction, a desperate attempt to avoid the pain of his brutal parting.
While the nation continued to revere and honour her father’s legacy, for Lindiwe, being Chris Hani’s daughter became an increasingly heavy burden to bear.
"For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more".
In a stunning turnaround, she faces her demons, not just those that haunted her through her addiction, but, with the courage that comes with sobriety, she comes face to face with her father’s two killers – Janus Walus, still incarcerated, and Clive Derby Lewis, released in 2015 on medical parole. In a breathtaking twist of humanity, while searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit.
From two students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School comes a declaration for our times, and an in-depth look at the making of the #NeverAgain movement that arose after the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday. That day, of course, the world changed. By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America. It's a leadership position they did not seek, and did not want--but events gave them no choice.
The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: "We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done."
This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America--with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed. With moral force and clarity, a new generation has made it clear that problems previously deemed unsolvable due to powerful lobbies and political cowardice will be theirs to solve. Born just after Columbine and raised amid seemingly endless war and routine active shooter drills, this generation now says, "Enough!". This book is their statement of purpose, and the story of their lives. It is the essential guide to the #NeverAgain movement.
The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels Of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.
Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.
With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
`Stay with me, Rhys,' I kept saying over and over again. `Please stay with me. I love you.' There was still no expression in his eyes. I was talking and talking to him, desperate to let him know I was there, but there was no flicker in his face. In hindsight, it was like he'd already gone. It's a Wednesday evening in Liverpool in the summer holidays, and Melanie is expecting her Everton-mad eleven-year-old son back from football practice very soon. She turns on Coronation Street and sets about stripping the wallpaper off the walls in the lounge, which is long-overdue a makeover. Suddenly she receives a frantic knock at the door. Rhys has been shot on his way home. From that fateful day when Melanie cradled her child as he lay dying, repeating to him `Stay with Me, Rhys', to the day in court when his killers were finally sent down, this is a story of a family in trauma, of a community united behind them and of how a notorious local gang who terrorised the neighbourhood was brought to justice. In 2017, more than 7 million people watched the drama unfold in the highly-acclaimed ITV series Little Boy Blue. And now Melanie Jones tells the family's unbelievable story for the first time. Melanie, her husband Steve and Rhys's brother Owen have been through unimaginable pain. The grief doesn't go away, but the strength they've found within it is an inspiration.
Dubbed the "Marikana Massacre," the Marikana miners' strike was the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since the end of apartheid; those killed were mineworkers in pursuit of a pay raise.
Through a series of interviews conducted with workers who survived the attack, this account documents and examines the controversial shootings in great detail. In addition, it includes a narrative of the preceding events as well as of the violence itself written from the perspective of the strikers.
Unique and revealing, his book tells of police murders, sadness, bravery, and pride.
A renowned philosopher challenges long-held views on just wars, ethical conduct during war, why wars occur, how they alter people and societies, and more For residents of the twenty-first century, a vision of a future without warfare is almost inconceivable. Though wars are terrible and destructive, they also seem unavoidable. In this original and deeply considered book, A. C. Grayling examines, tests, and challenges the concept of war. He proposes that a deeper, more accurate understanding of war may enable us to reduce its frequency, mitigate its horrors, and lessen the burden of its consequences. Grayling explores the long, tragic history of war and how warfare has changed in response to technological advances. He probes much-debated theories concerning the causes of war and considers positive changes that may result from war. How might these results be achieved without violence? In a profoundly wise conclusion, the author envisions "just war theory" in new moral terms, taking into account the lessons of World War II and the Holocaust and laying down ethical principles for going to war and for conduct during war.
After a century that has been described as the most violent in the history of humanity, Professor Richard Bessel has written an intelligent and fascinating book on the history of our violent world and how we have become obsessed about violence. He critiques the great themes of modern history from revolutionary upheavals around the globe, to the two world wars and the murder of the European Jews, to the great purges and, more recently, terrorism. Violence, it seems, is on everyone's mind. It constantly is in the news; it has given rise to an enormous historical, sociological, and philosophical literature; it occupies a prominent place in popular entertainment; and it is regarded as one of the fundamental problems affecting social, political and interpersonal relations. Bessel sheds light on this phenomenon and how our sensitivity towards violence has grown and has affected the ways in which we understand the world around us - in terms of religious faith, politics, military confrontation, the role of the state, as well as of interpersonal and intimate relations. He critiques our modern day relationship with violence and how despite its continuing and inevitable nature, we have become more committed to limiting and suppressing it. Both historically questioning and intensely evocative of the most vicious and brutal violence enacted by mankind, this book shows how the place of violence in the modern world presents a number of paradoxes and how it is an inescapable theme in human history.
Few things get our compassion flowing like the sight of suffering. But our response to suffering is often shaped by our ability to empathize with others. Some people respond to the suffering of only humans, and may relate to one person's suffering more than another's. Others react more strongly to the suffering of an animal than to human suffering. These facts can be troubling--but they are also a reminder that trauma and suffering are endured by all beings, and we can learn lessons about their aftermath, even across species. With Phoenix Zones, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian shows us how. Ferdowsian has spent years traveling the world to work with people and animals who have endured trauma--war, abuse, displacement. Here, she combines compelling stories of survivors with the latest science on resilience to help us understand the link between violence against people and animals and the biological foundations of recovery, peace, and hope. Taking us to the sanctuaries that give the book its title, she shows us how the injured can heal and thrive if we attend to key principles: respect for liberty and sovereignty, a commitment to love and tolerance, the promotion of justice, and a fundamental belief that each individual possesses dignity. Courageous tales show us how: stories of combat veterans and wolves recovering together at a California refuge, Congolese women thriving in one of the most dangerous places on earth, abused chimpanzees finding peace in a Washington sanctuary, and refugees seeking care at Ferdowsian's own clinic. These are not easy stories. Suffering is real, and recovery is hard. But resilience is real, too, and Phoenix Zones shows how we can foster it. It reveals the importance of considering people and animals both as individuals deserving of a chance to live up to their full potential--and how such a view could inspire solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.
A highly original history of the least understood and most intractable form of organised human aggression, from ancient Rome to our present conflict-ridden world We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and isn't, have a long and contested history. Defining the term is acutely political, for ideas about what makes a war "civil" often depend on whether one is ruler or rebel, victor or vanquished, sufferer or outsider; it can also shape a conflict's outcome, determining whether external powers are involved or stand aside. From the American Revolution to the Iraq war, pivotal decisions have hung on such shifts of perspective. The West's age of civil war may be over, but elsewhere it has exploded - from the Balkans to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Sri Lanka and, most recently, Syria. And the language of civil war has burgeoned as democratic politics has become more violently fought. This book's unique perspective on the roots, dynamics and shaping force of civil war will be essential to our ongoing struggles with this seemingly interminable problem.
*Chosen as a Book of the Year by The Times, History Today and the Sunday Telegraph* `Wonderfully entertaining, comprehensive and astute.' The Times `Genuinely hard to put down.' BBC History Magazine From murder to duelling, highway robbery to mugging: the darker side of English life explored. Spanning some seven centuries, A Fiery & Furious People traces the subtle shifts that have taken place both in the nature of violence and in people's attitudes to it. How could football be regarded at one moment as a raucous pastime that should be banned, and the next as a respectable sport that should be encouraged? When did the serial killer first make an appearance? What gave rise to particular types of violent criminal - medieval outlaws, Victorian garrotters - and what made them dwindle and then vanish? Above all, Professor James Sharpe hones in on a single, fascinating question: has the country that has experienced so much turmoil naturally prone to violence or are we, in fact, becoming a gentler nation? `Wonderful . . . A fascinating and rare example of a beautifully crafted scholarly work.' Times Higher Education `Sweeping and ambitious . . . A humane and clear-eyed guide to a series of intractable and timely questions.' Observer `Deeply researched, thoughtfully considered and vividly written . . . Read it.' History Today `Magisterial . . . The outlaw's song has surely never been better rendered.' Times Literary Supplement
Surviving Kidnappers is a detailed guide from conflict expert Olav Ofstad which takes readers through the process of kidnap survival, guiding them through the critical steps from assault through captivity to freedom. Key selling points: There is limited literature on how to survive kidnap; step-by-step guide through different phases of kidnap; author has experience training for kidnapping survival. What would you do if you were kidnapped? Starting with the assault, this book explains the mindset required to stay calm and make intelligent decisions. Moving on to the often gruelling transportation phase, advice is offered on how to brave it and pick up on crucial information. For the phase of captivity this book offers practical advice as well as mental activities that can reduce the risk of being traumatised. The author identifies closely with you as the reader, explaining in simple terms the practical application of social psychology, influencing the captor to your advantage and relating to angry and violent kidnappers. Protection tools and how to apply `diplomacy' if violence occurs are presented.
Why we need to think more like economists to successfully combat terrorism If we are to correctly assess the root causes of terrorism and successfully address the threat, we must think more like economists do. This is the argument of Alan Krueger's What Makes a Terrorist, a book that explains why our tactics in the fight against terrorism must be based on more than anecdote, intuition, and speculation. Many popular ideas about terrorists and why they seek to harm us are fueled by falsehoods, misinformation, and fearmongering. Many believe that poverty and lack of education breed terrorism, despite the wealth of evidence showing that most terrorists come from middle-class, and often college-educated, backgrounds. Krueger closely examines the factors that motivate individuals to participate in terrorism, drawing inferences from terrorists' own backgrounds and the economic, social, religious, and political environments in the societies from which they come. He describes which countries are the most likely breeding grounds for terrorists, and which ones are most likely to be their targets. Krueger addresses the economic and psychological consequences of terrorism and puts the threat squarely into perspective, revealing how our nation's sizable economy is diverse and resilient enough to withstand the comparatively limited effects of most terrorist strikes. He also calls on the media to be more responsible in reporting on terrorism. Bringing needed clarity to one of the greatest challenges of our generation, this 10th anniversary edition of What Makes a Terrorist features a new introduction by the author that discusses the lessons learned in the past decade from the rise of ISIS and events like the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida.
Armed with three decades of feminism, men and women are coming to college with different ideas and expectations about sexual freedom and violence than did their parents. Since the early 1980's, a student movement has emerged from the belief that sexual violence is neither inherent nor inevitable. Just Sex: Students Rewrite the Rules on Sex, Violence, Equality and Activism chronicles the move to end to all forms of sexual violence and to mold a new sexual paradigm where explicitly consensual sex and sexual autonomy are the norm. Based on ten years of collaborative research and national organizing, Gold and Villari have compiled the writings of leading student activists and young scholars wrestling with complex issues of power inequities, free speech, and societal constructions of gender and sexuality in accessible and mainstream dialogues. Authors also examine the generationally specific style of student activism which emphasizes peer education and institutional collaboration. Just Sex the first ever gathering of primary documents including university policies, personal testimonies, position papers and scholarly essays offers a glimpse of the "working papers" of a student movement which has altered the sexual landscape of our campuses and communities forever. This valuable volume will be of interest to student activists, administrators, and anyone interested in ending violence on and off of campus.
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