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'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
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.
When South Africa’s golden girl of broadcasting, Tracy Going’s battered face was splashed across the media back in the late 1990s, the nation was shocked. South Africans had become accustomed to seeing Going, glamorous and groomed on television or hearing her resonant voice on Radio Metro and Kaya FM. Sensational headlines of a whirlwind love relationship turned horrendously violent threw the “perfect” life of the household star into disarray.
What had started off as a fairy-tale romance with a man who appeared to be everything that Going was looking for – charming, handsome and successful – had quickly descended into a violent, abusive relationship.
“As I stood before him all I could see were the lies, the disappearing for days without warning, the screaming, the threats, the terror, the hostage-holding, the keeping me up all night, the dragging me through the house by my hair, the choking, the doors locked around me, the phones disconnected, the isolation, the fear and the uncertainty.”
The rosy love cloud burst just five months after meeting her “Prince Charming” when she staggered into the local police station, bruised and battered. A short relationship became a two-and-a-half-year legal ordeal played out in the public eye. In mesmerising detail, Going takes us through the harrowing court process – a system seeped in injustice – her decline into depression, the immediate collapse of her career due to the highly public nature of her assault and the decades-long journey to undo the psychological damages in the search for safety and the reclaiming of self. The roots of violence form the backdrop of the book, tracing Going’s childhood on a plot in Brits, laced with the unpredictable violence of an alcoholic father who regularly terrorised the family with his fists of rage.
“I was ashamed of my father, the drunk. If he wasn’t throwing back the liquid in the lounge then he’d be finding comfort and consort in his cans at the golf club. With that came the uncertainty as I lay in my bed and waited for him to return. I would lie there holding my curtain tight in my small hand. I would pull the fabric down, almost straight, forming a strained sliver and I would peer into the blackness, unblinking. It seemed I was always watching and waiting. Sometimes I searched for satellites between the twinkles of light, but mostly the fear in my tummy distracted me.”
Brilliantly penned, this highly skilled debut memoir, is ultimately uplifting in the realisation that healing is a lengthy and often arduous process and that self-forgiveness and acceptance is essential in order to fully embrace life.
A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
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.
She was confident, beautiful and financially secure. When she arrived in London with her daughter the future looked bright and she was hoping for a lasting, mature relationship. But within days, things started to go wrong. Was he manipulating her? Maybe it was all in her head? She started a diary, evidence to reassure herself that she wasn’t going mad. This is the true story of a strong, independent woman's descent into abuse, and how she eventually escaped.
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men's perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she'll never be herself again. She's now "the girl who was raped." This book is Michelle's fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It's Michelle's brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.
The book which inspired Spotlight, 2016 winner of the Best Picture award at the Oscars!
This is the true story of how a small group of courageous journalists uncovered child abuse on a vast scale - and held the Catholic Church to account. Betrayal is the ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize-winning work of investigative journalism, now brought brilliantly to life on the screen.
On 31 January 2002, the Boston Globe published a report that sent shockwaves around the world. Their findings, based on a six-month campaign by the 'Spotlight' investigative team, showed that hundreds of children in Boston had been abused by Catholic priests, and that this horrific pattern of behaviour had been known - and ignored - by the Catholic Church. Instead of protecting the community it was meant to serve, the Church exploited its powerful influence to protect itself from scandal - and innocent children paid the price. This is the story from beginning to end: the predatory men who exploited the vulnerable, the cabal of senior Church officials who covered up their crimes, the 'hush money' used to buy the victims' silence, the survivors who found the strength to tell their story, and the Catholics across the world who were left shocked, angry, and betrayed. This is the story, too, of how they took power back, confronted their Church and called for sweeping change.
Updated for the release of the Oscar-winning film, this is a devastating and important exposure of the abuse of power at the highest levels in society.
Jenny-May Hudson grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, the third child of an Afrikaner father and a British mother. Her childhood was horribly marred by her domineering father, who beat her mother, showered blows and insults on his children, and micro-managed the household with weapons, mind-games, and violence. Ironically, his tactics would come back to haunt him. The years of pain would leave Jenny-May with grim memories. Yet through the power of Christ a transformation was in store.
Today Jenny-May is whole and happy. She and her husband Elmore, and their three children, have relocated to Perth, Australia. Jenny-May has developed a considerable speaking ministry, and her journey - from abuse to self-acceptance and joy - has become a source of inspiration to thousands.
This book demonstrates that nothing can hold you captive without your consent.
’n Omnibus met Dis ek, Anna en Die staat teen Anna Bruwer in om met die film gebaseer op die boeke saam te val. Die omnibus bevat albei boeke.
Sy het haarself Stom Anna genoem. Omdat sy aan niemand kon vertel van dit wat tussen haar en haar stiefpa plaasgevind het nie.
Hierdie is die verhaal oor hoe sy uiteindelik die stilte verbreek het en haar verhaal aan die węreld en ook in die hof gaan vertel het. Dis ek, Anna is gebaseer op ’n ware verhaal.
Sixteen-year-old Engela flees to Bloemfontein because the leader of the Satanic Group 13 wishes to kill her. Her path crosses with Pieter, a friend of her brother’s, who turns her over to the owner of a brothel in return for money he owes him.
After a desperate and impoverished childhood Engela, as a rebellious teenager, becomes mixed up with Satanism, alcohol and drugs and is eventually kept as a sex slave. Her only wish is to escape, but how? Every night the club’s doors are shuttered. Her final shot at freedom is the young student Jacques who works in the club’s reception area. But then he also disappears from the scene following a mysterious accident in the Drakensberg . . .
In the second part of the book Elanie shares with the reader her awful experiences. She relates how she learned to cope with her feelings of despair, loneliness, pain and humiliation from a Christian perspective. She reaches out to other former victims of sex trafficking and encourages them to open their hearts in order to achieve emotional healing. She talks about the power of forgiveness and acceptance, and also offers essential practical advice for parents and their children.
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.
"Things Even Gonzalez Can't Fix" is the shockingly brilliant debut memoir of a 24-year-old Greek South African girl, Christy Chilimigras. It is nothing like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Although there are old women in black plucking stray hairs from their chins, the nuts in the baklava appear by way of a dash of crack cocaine, a sneaky brand of sexual abuse and cereal Tupperwares, packed to the brim with dagga. It is also very funny.
It is the story of a young girl growing up in Johannesburg in a space of pure chaos, raised by two addict parents. In reality Christy, otherwise known as Mouse, is raised by Tiger, her older sister. Their childhood is strange, made up of crack excursions to Hillbrow on second weekends at 3am, courtesy of their father, and a dope-smoking mother, Old Lass, who raises the two young girls single-handedly while starting her own business. Tiger and Mouse’s worlds are overturned when Old Lass proceeds to marry an alcoholic control freak under an unsuspecting tree, only to get arrested following an invasion by the Hawks.
“Children of addicts are curious things. We are deathly serious. We tinker on the edge of the worst case scenario. We are manic in our joy. We mean to dip our toes, but rather dive head first into extremes. We despise drugs … and people who do drugs. So what then does it say about me when at 16 I fall desperately in love with a boy who perpetually has a joint dangling from his lips?”
"Things Even Gonzalez Can't Fix" is also a disturbingly brutal story about two sisters, raised by a father who has been sexualising them since they were toddlers.
“We are desperate for answers and the knowledge of where to place our discomfort. If it feels like abuse and hurts like abuse, but it doesn’t look like the abuse we read about in magazines, does it even count?”
At 16 Christy falls in love with Olive Oil, a dopehead addict, then, at 22, with a much older sado masochist, The Italian, who introduces her to a world of dangerously rough sex.
“The book is my attempt at reclaiming my sanity and sexuality, which was colonised a long time ago. It involved countless bowls of pasta, glasses of wine (which best you believe I overthought) and a compulsion to be honest; very honest. Like oh sweet Jesus it hurts to spill your guts. It hurts to be this honest.”
A book that simply pulsates with edgy originality, that unleashes a Millennial’s unapologetic perspective of our world, Christy Chilimigras is a new voice that demands to be read. Not since Kopano Matlwa’s "Coconut" has a book promised to shake perspectives and overturn the way we see things.
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.
A collection of essays from bestselling author and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates. '
Stylist Laura Bates, pioneering feminist, activist and bestselling author, has given voice to hundreds of thousands of women through her international Everyday Sexism Project. Drawing attention to both hidden and blatant sexist acts and attitudes, Laura has exposed the startling truth behind misogyny in our society: systemic, ingrained and ignored. From Weinstein to Westminster, a torrent of allegations of sexual harassment and assault have left us reeling. One hundred years since some women were first given the right to vote, we are still struggling to get to grips with the true extent of gender inequality that continues to flourish in our society. In this collection of essays, originally published in the Guardian, Laura Bates uncovers the sexism that exists in our relationships, our workplaces, our media, in our homes and on our streets, but which is also firmly rooted in our lifelong assumptions and in the actions and attitudes we explain away, defend and accept. Often dismissed as one-offs, veiled as 'banter' or described as 'isolated incidents', Misogynation joins the dots to reveal the true scale of discrimination and prejudice women face.
A bold, witty and incisive analysis of current events, Misogynation makes a passionate argument for stepping back, opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to see the bigger picture.
A Sunday Times Book of the Year
'Passionate and courageous, insightful and humane, funny and moving, this is a wonderful book' David Nicholls, author of One Day
Graham Caveney was born in 1964 in Accrington: a town in the north of England, formerly known for its cotton mills, now mainly for its football team. Armed with his generic Northern accent and a record collection including the likes of the Buzzcocks and Joy Division, Caveney spent a portion of his youth pretending he was from Manchester. That is, until confronted by someone from Manchester (or anyone who had been to Manchester or anyone who knew anything at all about Manchester) at which point he would give up and admit the truth.
In The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness, Caveney describes growing up as a member of the 'Respectable Working Class'. From aspiring altar boy to Kafka-quoting adolescent, his is the story of a teenage boy's obsession with music, a love affair with books, and how he eventually used them to plot his way out of his home town. But this is also a story of abuse.
For his parents, education was a golden ticket: a way for their son to go to university, to do better than they did, but for Graham, this awakening came with a very significant condition attached. For years Graham's headteacher, a Catholic priest, was his greatest mentor, but he was also his abuser.
As an adult, Graham Caveney is still struggling to understand what happened to him, and he writes about the experience - all of it - and its painful aftermath with a raw, unflinching honesty. By turns, angry, despairing, insightful, always acutely written and often shockingly funny, The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness is an astonishing memoir, startling in its originality.
`They took me because I would not be missed' This is the shocking true story of how an ordinary young girl was kidnapped off the street as she walked home and turned into a slave - before fighting for her freedom and finding the courage to help the police in one of the UK's most shocking modern-day slavery trials. Anna was an innocent student when she was kidnapped, beaten and forced into the sex slave industry. Threatened and tormented by her pimps, she was made to sleep with thousands of men. But she would not allow them to break her. On learning that she would be trafficked from Ireland to Dubai, she found the courage to trick her captors and flee. Later, she would also find that same resilience to help the police bring down her abductors in what has now become one of our biggest windows into the worldwide sex trafficking trade. For the first time, the girl at the centre of the storm reveals the heart-breaking truth.
'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN 'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH No other society sends its young boys and girls away to school to prepare them for a role in the ruling class. Beating, bullying, fagging, cold baths, vile food and paedophile teachers are just some of the features of this elite education, and, while some children loved boarding school, others now admit to suffering life-altering psychological damage. Stiff Upper Lip exposes the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that are key to understanding the scandals over abuse and neglect in institutions all over the world. Award-winning investigative journalist Alex Renton went to three traditional boarding schools. Drawing on those experiences, and the vivid testimony of hundreds of former pupils, he has put together a compelling history, important to anyone wondering what shaped the people who run Britain in the twenty-first century.
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