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Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
Die gesprek oor Afrikaans en die bruin mense wat die skrywers in hierdie boek aanroer, is tydig in die opsig dat ná al die ambivalensie oor die Afrikaans van ons hart en die onverkwiklike manier waarop ons in hierdie taal verdruk en misken is, ons ons vry heid gekry het – wat ook verantwoordelikheid meebring om minstens onder mekaar klaarheid te vind oor wat nou vorentoe met ons taal moet gebeur.
Dit is onomstootlik so dat ons as bruin mense die aard van die Khoisan en swart African met ons saamdra. Dit is net so waar dat ons ook Europees in die Anglosaksiese sin van die woord is. Ons is tewens ook trots bewus van ons Asiatiese herkoms. Afrikaans is ook die taal van ons slawevoorouers.
Ons moet al hierdie tradisies vir onsself toe-eien.
Ever since 1503 when an off-course seafarer climbed Table Mountain to find out where on Earth he was, visitors to the Cape have toiled, scrambled, ridden on horseback, climbed or run to the top ... and written about it afterwards.
Taken together, these reports provide a fascinating biography of the mountain. Looked at separately, they are thrilling reads, penned by larger-than-life voyagers and, often unlikely, adventurers. The life-stories of 27 visitors are told with flair and humour. Together with the accounts of the ascents, they provide a riveting read.
This is the first time that the English translations of these reports, written in various languages, including Russian and Swedish, have been collected in one volume.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van wêreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
Patriots & Parasites, completed just days before Smuts’s unexpected death in 2016, is her account of the momentous period known as the Transition Era, through the lens of her 25-year career as a key opposition MP and a respected legislator.
With ambitious breadth and rare insight, she examines:
As uitgesproke kommenatator wat voor en na 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wereldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met die van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.
When Jacob Zuma retires to Nkandla, what will be left behind?
South Africa has been in the grip of the “Zunami” since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened. But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. Whether he leaves the presidency after the ANC’s national conference in 2017, stays on until 2019, or is forced to retire much sooner, the question is: what impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how?
Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zumaʼs leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.
When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of.
Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.
Blood On Their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…
The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy.
Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions.
At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.
Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they’re distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of ‘stealing’ a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma’s spaza shop a National Key Point?
In #ZuptasMustFall, And Other Rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy. Covering a wide range of topics, including politics, history, current events and celebrity gossip, this compilation of recent and new writings contains Khumalo’s trademark blend of humour and shrewd analysis, as well as his treatment of everyday issues from a uniquely South African perspective.
This is an entertaining collection of thoughts from one of the country’s most seasoned journalists, offering many questions, and tongue-in-cheek answers, on who we are as a nation, where we are going, and how we compare to the rest of the world.
Wilfrid Cooper was a rare man during the dark days of apartheid: an advocate whose career coincided almost perfectly with the rise and fall of the Nationalist government, intersecting eerily with that of its “architect” HF Verwoerd, and yet a man whose enlightened principles and liberal thinking saw him regularly defending those less fortunate.
His storied legal career saw him embroiled in numerous political affairs throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. He represented, among others, Verwoerd’s assassin Dimitri Tsafendas; the SWAPO Six in Swakopmund; the families of Imam Abdullah Haron, Mapetla Mohapi and Hoossen Haffajee and others who died “jumping down stairwells while in detention” or hanged by their own jeans in their cells; and Steven Biko and other activists who were arrested by the security police in the dead of night. There were also the highprofile criminal cases, including the original Kebble-style “assisted suicide” of Baron Dieter van Schauroth and the scandalous case of the Scissors Murderess Marlene Lehnberg.
Wilfrid Cooper reached the peak of his considerable legal prowess in a time when South Africans led a parallel existence, the majority downtrodden while white privilege reigned serenely in the suburbs – a time that could have easily provided him a less controversial career had he desired. And yet even as he and his gregarious wife Gertrude enjoyed wonderful and very sociable years in their Newlands home in Cape Town – an area that was itself remodelled under the Group Areas Act – he chose to walk the path less taken in the shadow of Devil’s Peak. This is his story.
The Soweto Student Uprising of 1976 was a decisive moment in the struggle against apartheid. It marked the expansion of political activism to a new generation of young activists, but beyond that it inscribed the role that young people of subsequent generations could play in their country's future.
Since that momentous time, students have held a special place in the collective imaginary of South African history. Drawing on research and writing by leading scholars and prominent activists, Students Must Rise takes Soweto '76 as its pivot point, but looks at student and youth activism in South Africa more broadly by considering what happened before and beyond the Soweto moment. Early chapters assess the impact of the anti-pass campaigns of the 1950s, of political ideologies like Black Consciousness as well as of religion and culture in fostering political consciousness and organisation among youth and students in townships and rural areas. Later chapters explore the wide-reaching impact of June 16th itself for student organisation over the next two decades across the country. Two final chapters consider contemporary student-based political movements, including #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall, and historically root these in the long and rich tradition of student activism in South Africa.
2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1976 June 16th uprisings. This book rethinks the conventional narrative of youth and student activism in South Africa by placing that most famous of moments - the 1976 students' uprising in Soweto - in a deeper historical and geographic context.
South Africa’s social landscape is disfigured by poverty, inequality and mass unemployment. Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present argues that it is impossible to think coherently or constructively about poverty, and the challenge it poses, without a clear understanding of its origins, its long-term development, and it’s changing character over time. This historical overview seeks to show how poverty in the past has shaped poverty in the present. Colin Bundy traces the lasting scars left on the face of South African poverty by colonial dispossession, coerced labour and segregation; and by a capitalist system distinctive for its reliance on cheap, right-less black labour. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. He shows that the ‘solution’ to the ‘poor white question’ in the 1920s and ’30s had profound and lasting implications for black poverty. After an analysis of urban and rural poverty prior to 1948, he describes the impact of apartheid policies and social engineering on poverty. Over four decades, apartheid reshaped the geography and demography of poverty. This pocket history concludes with two chapters that assess the policies and thinking of the ANC government in its responses to poverty. One describes the remarkable story of the social security programme developed by the ANC in government since 1994, and finds that cash transfers – pensions and grants – have been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC, even though the party remains edgy and anxious about a ‘culture of entitlement’. A final chapter reviews the distribution and dimensions of contemporary poverty, inequality and unemployment, and considers available policy options – and their shortcomings.
When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, "I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption".
Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.
In his introduction to the book, Paul Joseph, ex-treason trialist, South African Communist Party member and MK recruiter, writes: ”What happened to them and to the others in that chaotic and confused time is both sad and tragic. But his honestly told story is essential for us to have a fuller picture of our history, if only to ensure, perhaps, that future generations will learn from our mistakes.’
In 1973 the trade union movement was both racially and regionally divided. It virtually excluded African workers, and in many cases unions were led by cautious and paternalistic leaders, long schooled in avoiding confrontation with either the state or employers. Then widespread strikes erupted in Durban where hundreds of thousands of workers downed tools in support of wage demands. It was a militant explosion unprecedented since the apartheid government had crushed and outlawed mass demonstrations against segregation and 'whites-only' rule. And it provided the impetus for the next decade and a half of trade union organisation, which succeeded in uniting workers on a largely non-racial basis, dominated by the slogan 'one industry one union'.
Maverick Insider is an anecdotal, insider's account of the transformation during this period in the textile, clothing and leather worker sectors. It focuses on the outlooks of leadership groups in different parts of that industry and their efforts to influence the nature of the amalgamation of six unions to form the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU), one of the three largest unions of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). It traces the interaction between union leadership and both political parties and community organisations dedicated to making the country ungovernable, as well as those who were determined to stamp out such calls. It details struggles to unite workers across political divides in the same union organisation and to assert an independent working-class point of view in a period of growing African nationalism. It details the traumatic events on the road to the so-called peaceful miracle that created a rainbow nation but left 22 000 South Africans dead in the process.
And it is the story of a team of people who set out to change the world and formed an unshakeable bond in the process.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Hendrik Verwoerd by Dimitri Tsafendas. Originally released in 1980, Henry Kenney’s incisive study of the architect of apartheid and paragon of Afrikaner nationalism will be republished in 2016 to coincide with this significant moment in South Africa’s modern history.
In Verwoerd: Architect of Apartheid, Kenney interprets Verwoerd in the context of the Prime Minister’s times and his own present, explaining the man and assessing his role in shaping South Africa’s history. He examines the rationale behind the policy of apartheid and, after more than a decade since Verwoerd’s assassination, he is able to distance himself from his subject and offer a balanced and objective insight into the workings of the apartheid system. What results is a fascinating study of a man who identified obsessively with the Afrikaner people, while aware that his foreign birth set him apart.
The new edition contains an introduction by David Welsh, Emeritus Professor at Stellenbosch University, bringing it into the 21st century and updating it for a new generation. This republication will satisfy an enduring interest in, and fascination with, the man responsible for decades of tyranny and oppression.
The congress of the people – where the freedom charter was formally approved by several thousand delegates – was held over the weekend of 25–26 June 1955 in an open field in Kliptown, south of Johannesburg. It was a colourful and dramatic affair. For Ellen Lambert the CoP was seen as “the day of liberation like Martin Luther’s meeting where he gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech. The official report of the National action council that coordinated the entire campaign stated that there were 2 844 delegates representing all the most important urban centres, with approximately 300 delegates from Natal, 250 from the Eastern and Western Cape, 50 from the OFS and the rest came from the Transvaal, mainly from Johannesburg. The CoP opened under the chairmanship of Dr W Conco with a prayer by Reverend Gawe and a speech delivered on behalf of Chief Albert Luthuli, who could not attend because of his banning order. This was followed by the presentation of the Isitwalandwe – an honour of a bird feather conferred on distinguished sons of the Xhosa people – to Chief Albert Luthuli, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Father Trevor Huddleston “in recognition of their work to build a better life in our country, founded upon democracy and equality”. After this each clause of the Freedom Charter was motivated by various speakers as listed below; limited discussion and comments were elicited from the delegates, and the clause was adopted by a show of hands: Preamble of the Freedom Charter – Alfred Hutchinson; The people shall govern – NT Naicker; All national groups shall have equal rights – Dr Letele; The people shall share in the country’s wealth – Ben Turok; The land shall be shared amongst those who work it – TE Tshunungwa; All shall be equal before the law – Dr A Sader; All shall enjoy equal human rights – Sonya Bunting; There shall be work and security – Leslie Masina; The doors of learning and culture shall be opened – Es’kia Mphahlele.
The killing of thirty-four miners by police at Marikana in August 2012 was the largest massacre of civilians in South Africa since Sharpeville. The events have been covered in newspaper articles, on TV news and in a commission of inquiry, but there is still confusion about what happened on that fateful day.
In Murder At Small Koppie, renowned photojournalist Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre. He investigates the shootings near Wonderkop hill, which happened in view of the media, as well as the killings that happened beyond the view of cameras at a nondescript collection of boulders known as Small Koppie, some 300 metres away. Many of the men killed here were shot in cold blood at close range. Drawing on his own meticulous research, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, Marinovich accurately reconstructs that fateful day as well as the events leading up to the strike, and looks at the subsequent denials, obfuscation and buck-passing by Lonmin, the SAPS and the government.
This is the definitive account of the Marikana massacre from the journalist whose award-winning investigation into the tragedy has been called the most important piece of South African journalism since apartheid.
So is dit nou is ’n nuwe versameling aangrypende humoristiese stories oor die hede en verlede deur die deurwinterde joernalis en topverkoper-skrywer Johan van Wyk. Die versameling dokumenteer ’n tyd van Padkafees, Pepsi floats en koue skaapnek uit ’n saalsak. Maar dit gaan nie net oor Sondagmiddae met skaapboud, geelrys en rosyntjies nie. In die bundel word die verlede onthou en meesterlik verweef met die hedendaagse Suid-Afrika waar Jacob Zuma en Julius Malema die septer swaai.
Some thirty-five years after its original publication, Year of Fire, Year of Ash still stands as one of the leading accounts of the 1976-77 Soweto Revolt, one of the most significant acts of resistance in the history of the anti-apartheid movement.
Authored by a South African activist and scholar who was intimately involved in the movement, the book provides an unparalleled insight into the origins and events of the uprising, from its antecedents in the early 1970s to its role in galvanizing the global struggle against apartheid. Crucially, the book overturned much of the conventional logic around the uprising, by showing that it was not simply a student protest, but a revolt by the wider black working class.
As South Africa experiences a new wave of popular revolt, and as new forms of black consciousness come to the fore in movements around the world, Hirson's book provides a timely reminder of the continued significance of the Soweto revolt to struggles against oppression today.
Africa is falling. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on earth. Africa is squandering its bountiful resources. Africa is a roadmap for global development. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.
All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year roadtrip through the paradoxical continent they call home. From pillaged mines in Zimbabwe to the creation of an economic marketplace in Ethiopia; from Namibia’s middle class to the technological challenges facing Nollywood in the 21st Century; from China’s investment in Botswana to the rush for resources in the Congo; and from the birth of Africa’s newest country, South Sudan, to the worsening conflict in CAR, here are eight adventures on the trail of a new Africa.
Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental Shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.
Allister Sparks joined his first newspaper at age 17 and was pitched headlong into the vortex of South Africa’s stormy politics. The Sword And The Pen is the story of how as a journalist he observed, chronicled and participated in his country’s unfolding drama for more than 66 years, covering events from the premiership of DF Malan to the presidency of Jacob Zuma, witnessing at close range the rise and fall of apartheid and the rise and crisis of the new South Africa.
In trenchant prose, Sparks has written a remarkable account of both a life lived to its full as well as the surrounding narrative of South Africa from the birth of apartheid, the rise of political opposition, the dawn of democracy, right through to the crisis we are experiencing today.
Nelson Mandela said nothing about his personal religious beliefs in his writings or in his public pronouncements. But those who were close to him know that he held Christian views, and, at his request, the final part of his funeral followed the Methodist service rather than a traditional Xhosa ceremony. This book traces the spiritual aspect of Mandela’s life, from his youth in a traditional Thembu village, to his education at Wesleyan and Methodist mission schools, to his time as an activist, his period on Robben Island and the years thereafter.
It explores the way that he balanced Christianity with traditional African beliefs and with his political views, and how he reconciled his own beliefs with the fact that religion had been used as a tool to oppress his people.
Based on interviews with some of Mandela’s close colleagues, such as Ahmed Kathrada, as well as priests and other religious figures with whom he interacted, this book unearths an unknown dimension of recent history’s most famous man.
Ferial Haffajee is highly respected as one of South Africa's thought leaders and commentators. She effectively uses her media platform to raise and discuss issues pertinent to the state of the nation. In What If There Were No Whites In South Africa?, Haffajee examines our history and our present in the light of a provocative question that yields some thought-provoking analysis for the country.
From roundtable discussions with influential as well as ordinary South Africans, to research, personal thoughts and powerful anecdotes, Haffajee takes the reader through the rocky terrain of race relations in our country and grapples towards a possible way forward in terms of what it means to be South African in 2015.
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