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In November 2019 het My Only Story, Deon Wiggett se sensasionele weeklikse podsending, SuidAfrika meegevoer in sy jag op die pedofiel wat hom as skoolseun verkrag het. Nou, in ’n Enkele verhaal, vertel hy vir die eerste keer ’n Afrikaanse storie in Afrikaans – en voltooi hy sy ontmaskering van Willem Breytenbach, die eens briljante onderwyser en latere mediabaas wat ’n donker lewe gelei het.
Deon se missie om ’n monster aan die kaak te stel, neem hom van Breytenbach se hoërskooljare by die landbouskool op Kroonstad na die beroemde Grey Kollege in Bloemfontein en die globale reus Naspers. Maar sy kruistog gaan soveel verder. Namate hy sistemiese tekortkominge by beroemde sowel as obskure skole ondersoek, onthul hy ’n kultuur van aandadigheid wat ’n ernstige gevaar vir ál Suid-Afrika se kinders inhou. In die loop van sy ondersoek na mans wat op kinders jag maak, skep Deon ’n model wat enigiemand kan gebruik om pedofiele in hul midde te identifiseer. In sy eie woorde: “Dit is aangenaam om voor te gee dat mans nie kinders verkrag nie, maar as jy eers aanvaar dat dit gebeur, word dit verrassend maklik om die roofdiere uit te ken. Wanneer jy eers ’n universele patroon met ’n spesifieke man se profiel vergelyk, kan jy die bedrog raaksien voor dit te laat is.”
’n Enkele verhaal is ’n boeiende, deurdagte en verrassend ondeunde storie van een man se vasberadenheid om sy kindertrauma te verwerk, ander te help om hul eie demone in die oë te kyk, en om ’n stukkie skoonheid terug te wen uit die jeug wat hy verloor het.
Those Who Live in Cages captures an astonishingly intimate view of life in Eldorado Park, a coloured township south of Johannesburg, through five women - Bertha, Kaylynn, Laverne, Janice and Raquel.
These unforgettable characters' lives intersect as they attempt to do the most important thing: survive another day in "The Park"
’n Koelbloedige moord by die Kaapse Waterfront. Wat dalk verband hou met geheimsinnige briewe wat geskorste luitenante Bennie Griessel en Vaughn Cupido ontvang het.
Maar eers moet Bennie-hulle op Stellenbosch soek na ’n verdwene student, en die spoor vat van die eiendomsagent wat die kooptransaksie van Donkerdrif, korporatiewe swendelaar Jasper Boonstra se peperduur wynplaas, behartig het.
Stadigaan besef die speurders al hul ondersoeke het ’n gemene deler: die donkerste drif, gierigheid.
All hell breaks loose when Detective Storm van der Merwe’s mom is pushed under a train at Paddington Station. Storm must rush to London, even though she’s in the middle of a murder investigation: leading South African fashion designer Beebee Bukelwa Babu was found dead in a luxury Hermanus hotel.
Drumming up a team to investigate Beebee’s death is proving difficult in a town crippled by protest action and in the grip of a menacing charismatic prophet firing up crowds to hysteria. Storm soon realises that her mom was a deliberate target. And she is one too. Meanwhile Storm’s former colleague, the bumbling Andreas Moerdyk, now a PI, is doing his best to locate a missing and very valuable red diamond.
From the murky streets of London to the diamond bourse in Antwerp, from secluded Port Nolloth to Storm’s beloved Hermanus, Irna van Zyl’s third crime novel unfolds at a heart-stopping pace.
The sun begins to set and twilight falls over the Cape Town suburb of Salt River. The year is 1960, the year of the Sharpeville massacre. Three friends, Ainey, Haroun and Cassius, comrades in arms and merry pranksters, make a discovery that changes their lives. Mired in their troubled families, they valiantly struggle through their childhood. With the help of a mysterious yet powerful woman they confront an awful truth that forever changes their lives…
The prologue of By The Fading Light sets up the story by an unidentified narrator who, it is later discovered, is one of the three main characters, now grown up, reflecting on the past. A young boy, Amin Gabriels, disappears, an event that creates fear and anxiety in the community, especially for his friends, the main characters, who are three eleven-year-old boys, Ainey, Haroun and Cassius.
The boys’ adventures offer a poignant, compelling but also humorous glimpse into the world from their youthful perspectives. Ainey lives with his fussy grandmother and his authoritarian father who blames him for his mother’s death. Haroun lives with his depressed mother and bigamist father. Cassius lives with his sister and snobbish mother who wishes that she were white. Through these and other minor characters, a mysterious yet powerful older woman, a police officer, and a murderer, the reader encounters a spirited and robust community.
With its elements of historical fiction, literary realism and absurdist humour, By The Fading Light weaves together themes of troubled families, vibrant Muslim culture, South African politics, the resilience of children, loss of innocence and coming of age.
If only a young boy had not taken the long way home on a cold winter’s day. If only he had gone straight home, things might have been different. But he did not, and events in the tight-knit community of Salt River take a turn that inspire fear…
Land. Race. Murder. Betrayal. The true story of a case that broke a South African town - by BBC Africa Correspondent
At dusk, on a warm evening in 2016, a group of forty men gathered in the corner of a dusty field on a farm outside Parys in the Free State. Some were in fury. Others treated the whole thing as a joke - a game. The events of the next two hours would come to haunt them all. They would rip families apart, prompt suicide attempts, breakdowns, divorce, bankruptcy, threats of violent revenge and acts of unforgivable treachery. These Are Not Gentle People is the story of that night, and of what happened next. It's a murder story, a courtroom drama, a profound exploration of collective guilt and individual justice, and a fast-paced literary thriller.
Award-winning foreign correspondent and author Andrew Harding traces the impact of one moment of collective barbarism on a fragile community - exploding lies, cover-ups, political meddling and betrayals, and revealing the inner lives of those involved with extraordinary clarity. The book is also a mesmerising examination of a small town trying to cope with a trauma that threatens to tear it in two - as such, it is as much a journey into the heart of modern South Africa as it is a gripping tale of crime, punishment and redemption.
When a whole community is on trial, who pays the price?
Accompanied by superb photographs, this ground-breaking book is the first practical field guide to record the Zulu names of bird species commonly found in KwaZulu-Natal. Where one name was previously used to describe a number of birds belonging to the same genus (i.e. ukhozi for most eagles), the need existed to give species specific names.
The authors hope this book will be used to inspire a greater interest, awareness and protection of the avifaunal heritage of KwaZulu-Natal. It is vital for the heritage of all South Africans that these names are recorded and made widely available. Noleen Turner, a passionate birder and honorary research professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in collaboration with Prof Adrian Koopman and Roger Porter, led this seven-year project, together with 18 expert Zulu bird guides from various parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
The recording, derivation and crafting of these names has been a lengthy but fascinating process. Turner notes that the project has included not only the consideration of biodiversity management, but also the pursuit of social ecology, the long neglected but crucial ‘people’s’ aspect of conservation. She said when it came to Zulu names for birds, they had to fill in the gaps, and of the 550 species analysed, some were confirmation of well-known names, such as inkazwi for the fish eagle; some were selected from the most commonly known names such as inkankane for the hadeda ibis. Some names were redirected: for example, the name for the Brown-headed Kingfisher indwazela became the generic name for all kingfishers (ndwaza referring to the motionless position while waiting for prey).
Other new names were coined based on appearance, calls, behaviour and distribution such as isankawu (the bird whose call sounds like a vervet monkey) for the Southern Pochard, or umacutha derived from the Zulu word cutha (meaning to draw the body tense) as the generic name for herons, which perfectly describes the bird’s behaviour before it lunges at its prey.
You can do one night, Jo reminds herself as she follows five women into the Australian bush. Where are they going to sleep? And pee? Jo probably should have let her husband Frank know. Just in case. Because you never know what can happen in the wild.
While on her three-month marriage-and-motherhood sabbatical in the country, Jo bumps into an old friend Fiona who invites her on a ‘sacred’, silent walk to mark her 57th birthday – the first since her husband Ben died. The last thing Jo wants is to share anything about herself – these are Fiona’s friends, not hers. And what’s she going to say? That her young adult children have made life choices she doesn’t understand? That she has no idea who she is anymore? That everything is falling apart - even her happy marriage to Frank?
But the unexpected intrusion of a stranger into their secret location unleashes powerful and conflicting emotions in each woman, provoking conversations and confidences that stray into the shadowlands of motherhood, the mysteries of midlife, the future of monogamy and mother Earth. Under the canopy of the open night sky, around a small, tended fire, the women share wise counsel, spill their secrets and offer up their stories, each exposing corners of truth the others need to hear.
Unbecoming is a funny, heartbreaking and provocative homage to the midlife unravelling as women on the brink of elderhood speak honestly about their lives and wonder what the hell to do with vaginas that are not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.
Durban lawyer Teddy Dickerson has run out of ideas. Cynical, single and middle-aged, he’s the very last of his family to still call South Africa home.
When his formidable Aunt Val dies, she leaves him an unusual bequest: her task for Teddy is to post letters to eight of her friends around the world, a job that will take him on a journey into new and unexpected territory. When the replies start flowing in – quirky, unexpected and often hilarious missives from India, Egypt, England, Canada and beyond – Teddy realises there was more to his tough aunt than he’d thought.
Will he take on Aunt Val’s role as confidant and comforter of the lost? Confidant and comforter? Teddy?!
One thing’s for certain: Aunt Val is laughing in her grave.
When Mpisi Mpisani travels to his home village for the burial of his mother and a visit to his first wife, he is anxious to hurry back to Johannesburg. His second wife, waiting in Soweto, will give birth soon. Giyani, his eight year old son, accompanies him.
But when Giyani disappears, Mpisi stays to search for him. He tries to ignore the villagers who blame magic for the boy’s disappearance. Meanwhile Mpisi’s city wife, Ntombazi, bears a boy with a birthmark that seems to be a sign . . .
Ruru’s father, Phaks, joined the anti-apartheid struggle in exile before she was born but never returned, preferring to stay in Tanzania. Years later, though he has passed away, Ruru goes in search of signs of his life in his adopted country.
She finds it in his widow and his ‘pillow books’ – journals he kept, coming to terms with his mortality.
Struck by the parallels with her teenage letters to her late mother, she reads to find answers to her questions: Who was he? Why did he not return?
“You will now be tried in this fifth heaven for five crimes committed in the Herebefore. First, mass murder; second, racism; third, grand theft of Africa’s natural resources and land; fourth, exploitation and enslavement of African workers; and fifth, egotism and a vainglorious quest for immortality.”
Set over five days in an African Hereafter called “After Africa”, this story revolves around the British South African imperialist, Cecil Rhodes, awakening in an After African Limbo after being asleep for 120 years. Guided by Ghanaian writer Efua Sutherland, he is taken on a tour of After Africa’s five heavens, experiencing Africa’s great civilisations, its Nobel laureates, its writers, its musicians and its sporting legends. The novella centres on the grand trial of Cecil Rhodes in the fifth heaven for five crimes committed in the Herebefore.
Two Counsel for Damnation – Olive Schreiner and Stanlake Samkange – face off against two Counsel for Salvation – Nelson Mandela and Harry Oppenheimer. The seven judges from Africa’s five sub-regions and its North American, Caribbean and South American diasporasare also well-known figures: Ruth First, Wangari Maathai, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Patrice Lumumba, Taslim Elias, Maya Angelou and Toussaint l’Ouverture.
Durban men’s hostels are a relic of the apartheid government used as settlements formery for migrant workers. Over the years they have morphed into dangerous territory where killing, extortion and allied crimes thrive. A local research paper by the Germany-based Global Initiative Against Organised Crime suggests that between March 2014 and January 2019, more than 120 people died as a result of violence perpetrated by hitmen based at Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, a former ‘township’ in south Durban. The killings have bled beyond the hostel, throughout KZN and even into neighbouring provinces. This is a staggering statistic for a community of around 22 000 people living in a housing complex that covers less than two square kilometres. The paper further reveals that one of Durban’s largest hostel complexes, Glebelands consists of 71 blocks. Accommodation varies from large, very old, dilapidated blocks, to the much smaller, newer family units. Crime is well-embedded here and it is often reported as fact that police and politicians alike also benefit with contract killers and the abundance of hitmen often hired from the bloody hostel. Hitmen are groomed from an early age especially by those in the taxi industry.
Blood, Blades and Bullets follows the story of Mazwi Nxumalo, a naïve school dropout teenager from rural Nongoma who is unwittingly recruited into the dark world of Glebelands hostel hitmen. Coming from a poverty-stricken family, the odds are stacked against him. He is also running away from a mysterious man and his goons that he busted executing a man in a local forest. After getting in tune with the ways of the Durban taxi ranks and industry, he is soon trained in shooting, surprisingly by rogue cop friends of his handler, Zenzele. He returns one more time to Nongoma where, in a rage, kills his friend, former schoolmate and striking partner in the local football team after learning he had impregnated his high school sweetheart.
Angry at his protégé and fearing that he would soon be out of control, Zenzele decides it’s time for the traditional cleansing and strengthening ceremony, ukuthwala. Mazwi emerges almost invincible from this ritual and rite of passage to become an unstoppable but flawed killing machine. As the bodies pile up, including of those cops investigating his crimes, so is his irrepressible obsession with his doctored bullets and one woman whom his handlers believe will be his Achilles heel.
Elle and Brent Mullen have it all: two delightful children, more than enough money and a perfectly-restored Victorian home in the plush green suburbs of Cape Town. But appearances can be deceiving.
Brent’s business decisions continue to disappoint, embittered by mistrust and entitlement. Elle - a social worker by choice - is unhappy, trying (and failing) to bridge the divide between two worlds of privilege and poverty. Until she meets her next case, Ethan who, at twelve-years-old, has seen it all. Born into a family of gangsters, life through his eyes reveals a pained struggle to defy his father’s expectatations.
In a city run by gangsters, Elle, Ethan and Brent find themselves drawn into a web of betrayal, where a wicked plot twist reveals how far each will go to get what they want.
Ranna Abramson wants to disappear. But she knows she can’t keep running when a former enemy tracks her down in Mumbai with dire news: her onetime lover, journalist Alex Derksen, has disappeared back home in South Africa.
Torn between her desire for him and fear of a homecoming, Ranna knows she’s the only one who can find him. But only two things in South Africa would welcome her—the inside of a cell or the bottom of a grave. There, to the police she’s the prime suspect in three murders. To the press, she’s the Black Widow serial killer.
Despite her instinct to stay away, Ranna makes the journey. But the key to finding Alex lies in her painful past. And to uncover it, she’ll need to unravel a web of secrets tied to a long-forgotten crime.
Even if she finds Alex before it’s too late, Ranna must answer for past sins…or risk losing him forever.
“Hillbrow, 1967. The New York of Africa. Someone wrote that the place would soon have more people per square kilometre than Tokyo. Everyone quoted that article to everyone. Some even cut it out and kept it folded in their wallets.”
While other boys daydream about racing cars and football, eleven-year-old stutterer Phen sits reading to his father. In number four Duchess Court, Phen’s dad looks like a Spitfire pilot behind his oxygen mask. But real life is different from the daring adventures in the books Phen reads and he is forced to grow up faster than other boys his age. This is until Heb Thirteen Two shows up: in his pinstriped suit pants and tie-dyed psychedelic top, the stranger could be any old bum, or a boy’s special angel come to live among men.
Poignant, witty and wise, John Hunt's "The Boy Who Could Keep a Swan in His Head" is a meditation on being alive and shows us the power of books when we need them the most.
Bastian Bredenkamp is dead. But even the dead have secrets. From the grave, Bastian weaves together the extraordinary tale of his life.
Bastian, the only heir to the Goedleven farm, suffers from a rare condition that allows him to remember everything that has ever happened to him.
When Khadeejathree comes to work for the family, Bastian is introduced to her daughter Rashieda, and a world he’d been sheltered from. But to love Rashieda means telling his secret: he is not who he appears to be.
Eva Mazza's latest page turner is evocative of the Netflix hit series Emily in Paris.
When 24-year old Christine realises that unless she escapes her abusive husband Louis, their marriage vow "till death do we part " might just become her reality. On securing a job as a hair stylist at a salon in an exclusive hotel in Amsterdam, Christine's eyes are opened as she discovers a world of glamour and magical experiences.
And when she meets bad boy Giovanni she encounters unexpected sexual liberation.
In the spring of 1970, a Pretoria schoolboy falls in love with Muhammad Ali. He begins to collect cuttings about his hero from the newspapers, an obsession that grows into a ragged archive of scrapbooks. Forty years later, when Joe has become a writer, these scrapbooks both insist on and obscure a book about his boyhood. He turns to his brother Branko, a sound editor, for help with recovering their shared past. But can a story ever belong equally to two people? Is this a brotherly collaboration or a battle for supremacy?
This is an intricate puzzle of a book by a writer of lyrical power and formal inventiveness. Against a spectacular backdrop, the heyday of the greatest showman of them all, Vladislavić unfolds a small, fragmentary story of family life and the limits of language. Meaning comes into view in the spaces between then and now, growing up and growing old, speaking out and keeping silent.
In London, surgeon Carl Kleinhans faces a moral dilemma.
Should he perform a risky living donor liver transplant on a patient with a history of alcoholism? Especially when this patient is relying on his estranged Trinidadian son to be the donor? And what of Carl’s own dark past that is threatening to sink his relationship? Meanwhile, at Carl’s childhood home in South Africa, young Promise becomes aware of things spoken of in hushed tones.
A sweeping story of betrayal, secrets, hope and healing.
Eighty-five-year-old Alma tracks a stallion through the wild bush. A young woman leaves her corporate job to start a wine farm as her marriage stales. A mother leaves her war-torn home to seek safety for herself and her daughter and a girl begs for survival.
In a series of ten mesmerising stories, Cranswick pulls aside the covers to let us in on the lives and inner lives of women thrown out of their comfort zone. With chilling clarity and a haunting lyricism, Cranswick slows down time, zooms in close, and refuses to look away.
Toe Pamina Vermaak by die werk uitfreak, sit sy skielik sonder inkomste. Boonop verloor sy haar kêrel, haar woonstel in Tamboerskloof, asook die laaste flenters toekomsideale wat sy naarstig aan ’t vasklou was – alles in een dag. Sy is gedwing om druipstert terug te keer na haar ouerhuis op die klein Weskusdorp Witwaterbaai. ’n Plek wat sy gesweer het haar nooit weer sal sien nie.
Intussen basuin die voorblaaie van poniekoerante dit uit dat rockster Wolf de Jager se verlowing met aktrise Daniella du Toit verbreek is en krioel dit op sosiale media van steelfoto’s waar sy hom verneuk. Hy moet weg uit die Kaap en ’n lukrake seleksie op Google Maps bring hom tot op Witwaterbaai, waar sy swart leerbaadjie harder as sy Fender Stratocaster skreeu teen die gehekelde doilies in Ant Leentjie se gastehuis.
Sal Pamina en Wolf op hierdie slakkepas-dorp van bokkoms droog en stoepsit hul probleme kan ontduik? Of lê daar net nog meer komplikasies voor?
In a tiny Italian village, life in the 1950s is a daily pageant of small human dramas. There are lippy signoras and earthy farmworkers. There is a coffin-maker, a silkworm farmer and those who catch frogs for the town’s local delicacy: frog risotto. And then there’s Pistola, a teenage boy in love with his second cousin Teresa, a girl who is sadly destined to marry the village thug.
To escape his heartache, young Pistola accepts the offer of a lifetime: to travel to South Africa to work on the trains. In lively Johannesburg, he and a group of compatriots are trained as stewards and taught to speak English – and Afrikaans. It’s not all work, mind you. The Italians set up home in Hillbrow and go partying in Sophiatown with the likes of Miriam Makeba. When Pistola falls for the spunky Malikah, a political activist, the apartheid police watch every breath of their passionate, illicit relationship.
Flash forward a few years, when Pistola, no longer the gauche village boy, must return home to make a decision that will define his future.
Witty, affectionate and vivid, this coming-of-age novel pays homage to the 110 young Italian men who were recruited to work on the South African Railways and introduced Italian cuisine to the nation.
From the moment 26-year-old Tristan Hansen steps out of the shower and onto the roof garden of his Maboneng loft, Toyboy pulsates with eroticism. The air is hot and humid, and there’s a Joburg thunderstorm brewing on the horizon. The first flashes of lightning illuminates Tristan’s spectacular flat and the riches it contains: gifts of thanks from his many clients, tokens of their appreciation. Because Tristan is an angel of pleasure, an exclusive escort to Johannesburg’s rich and powerful women. And he is one of a kind.
At how the enigmatic Tristan were trained in the art of lovemaking his clients can only guess. He seldom speaks of those who helped him shake off the strictures of his conservative mother who had to raise him on her own when his father committed suicide. Christina, his first love, and their story set far off in a small Italian village, he also keeps to himself.
But how did Tristan end up here? Who were those women who taught him all he knows? And who is the mystery caller who keeps on phoning and whose calls are filled with menacing silence?
Twenty years ago, Leon van Nierop published his Afrikaans bestseller Plesierengel. Toyboy, published in Afrikaans and English, is its prequel.
Imelda Grys – sakevrou, kunskenner en miljoenêr – val na haar dood op die aand van ’n eksklusiewe Nuwejaarsete. Iemand het met haar stoelhysbak gepeuter, die hyser wat haar 24 meter en teen ’n helling van 33 grade tot by haar voordeur hoog teen die steiltes van een van Kaapstad se rykmansbuurte moes besorg.
Privaat speurder Vos moet die moordenaar vastrek. Sy en haar tweelingbroer, Deventer, was ’n gedugte span toe hulle destyds in die polisie was. Deventer verkies egter deesdae om gesond te eet en sy dae om te mediteer ... Maar sy suster weet wat hy na die ondersoek kan bring en watse knoppies om te druk.
Die moordenaar moes iemand in Imelda se binnekring gewees het, ’n gas dié aand toe sy vir oulaas met swier onthaal het. Was dit miskien een van haar twee kinders, Dennis en Sandra? Dennis se vrou, Fikile, of Sandra se metgesel, James? Wat het die Shanghaise sakevrou Jane Zhang aan tafel gemaak, en Jakkie Brits, die radiojoernalis? En hoe kom dit dat ’n eks-kollega van Vos en Deventer, Bradley Moynahan, ook daar was? Die lys verdagtes is kort, maar met nog lewens in gevaar is Vos en Deventer se tyd selfs korter.
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