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Sunday, 9 November 1952. It should be remembered as a day of infamy in South Africa’s history but few know of a brutal massacre when police opened fire on people at an ANC Youth League-organised event in Duncan Village in East London.
The official death toll was eight people killed by police gunfire and bayonet and two killed in retaliation, including an Irish nun and medical doctor, Sister Aidan Quinlan, who lived and worked in Duncan Village. Today it is believed that between 80 and 200 died that day, most buried quietly by their families, who feared arrest if they sought help at hospitals. In the cover-ups and long silences that followed, the real facts of this tragedy at the height of the ANC’s Defiance Campaign were almost lost to history.
Bloody Sunday follows the trail of the remarkable Sister Aidan into the heart of a missing chapter in our country’s past – and what was one of the most devastating massacres of the apartheid era.
The inside story of South Africa’s worst military scandal since apartheid
‘A powerful cocktail of searing front-line war reportage, investigative journalism, and history… with echoes of Black Hawk Down, of Rorke’s Drift, and of Heart of Darkness’ – Andrew Harding, BBC foreign correspondent and author
In March 2013, South Africa suffered its worst military defeat since the end of apartheid. After a battle that lasted almost two days, 200 crack troops who engaged 7 000 rebels in the Central African Republic were forced to negotiate a ceasefire at their base. Thirteen South African soldiers died in the battle, with two more later succumbing to their wounds.
The mission was shrouded in mystery from the start. The deployment and the diplomatic machinations that led to it were kept secret from the South African public and Parliament. So, too, were an assortment of shadowy commercial interests held by businessmen, some with close ties to the African National Congress. In an investigation spanning more than seven years, the authors gained exclusive access to the soldiers who fought valiantly against overwhelming odds; travelled to Bangui to obtain documentation and meet the rebel leaders who took part in the battle; interviewed a deposed dictator living in exile in Paris; and spoke to the widows of the fallen soldiers. They also met influential fixers and dealmakers, and unearthed secret files containing bribe agreements to unravel an intricate web of corruption and patronage reaching the highest echelons of power in South Africa and the CAR.
After close to a decade of speculation and rumour, The Battle of Bangui lays bare for the first time both the litany of strategic, tactical and logistical blunders that ended in military disaster, and the secret diplomatic and commercial deals that led to South Africa’s worst foreign misadventure of the democratic era. It’s also a cracking war story filled with heroism, camaraderie, terror, pathos and triumph over adversity.
Why has land reform been such a failure in South Africa? Will expropriation without compensation solve the problem? What can be done to get the land programme back on track?
In his new book, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi tackles these questions, and more. Going back in history, he shows how Africans’ communal land ownership was used by colonial rulers to deny that Africans owned the land at all. He explores the effect of the Land Acts, Bantustans and forced removals. And he considers the ANC’s policies on land throughout the twentieth century, during the negotiations of the 1990s, and in government.
Land Matters unpacks developments in land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform, and makes suggestions for what needs to be done in future. The book also considers the power of chiefs, the tension between communal land ownership and the desire for private title, the failure of the willing-buyer, willing-seller approach, women and land reform, the role of banks, and the debates around amending the Constitution.
Thoughtful and provocative, Land Matters sheds light on one of the most complex questions in South Africa today.
It was one of the most brutal criminal acts of the post-apartheid era, and its consequences devastating.
Thousands of people died between 2011 – 2019 resulting from one senior police officer’s crime: his decision to sell millions of rands’ worth of guns. Colonel Christiaan Prinsloo, former head of the Gauteng firearm license division, and his network of cronies sold guns decommissioned by the SAPS to South Africa’s gang lords. The sale of such weapons led to a killing spree of unprecedented proportions.
Based on interviews with police and the criminal underworld, this book tells the story of this callous crime for the first time. Shaw explores how the illegally sold guns got into the hands of South Africa’s crime bosses. The book describes the bloodbath that ensued and uncovers accounts of rampant corruption within the police and in the gun-licensing system, probing the government failure that has been instrumental in arming the country’s gangsters.
Land reform and the possibility of expropriation without compensation are among the most hotly debated topics in South Africa today, met with trepidation and fervour in equal measure. But these broader issues tend to obscure a more immediate reality: a severe housing crisis and a sharp increase in urban land occupations.
In Promised Land, Karl Kemp travels the country documenting the fallout of failing land reform, from the under-siege Philippi Horticultural Area deep in the heart of Cape Town’s ganglands to the burning mango groves of Tzaneen, from Johannesburg’s lawless Deep South to rural KwaZulu-Natal, where chiefs own vast tracts of land on behalf of their subjects. He visits farming communities beset by violent crime, and provides gripping, on-the-ground reporting of recent land invasions, with perspectives from all sides, including land activists, property owners and government officials. Kemp also looks at burning issues surrounding the land debate in South Africa – corruption, farm murders, illegal foreign labour, mechanisation and eviction – and reveals the views of those affected.
Touching on the history of land conflict and conquest in each area, as well as detailing the current situation on the ground, Promised Land provides startling insights into the story of land conflict in South Africa.
Future Tense analyses the squandered and corrupted years since Leon’s first award-winning biography.
Leon, with unique access and penetrating insight, presents a portrait of today’s South Africa and prospective future, based on his vast political involvement with key power players. His intimate view of these presidents and their history-making, and his many worldly encounters, reflects on a country and planet in upheaval. Leon also provides an insider view for the first time of the power struggles within the official opposition party, which saw the exit of its first black leader in 2019.
Written during the coronavirus lockdown, Future Tense also examines the surge of both the disease and the response, which has crashed the economy and its future prospects, as well as the rise of a dangerous Julius Malema-led populism, and how this echoes global discontent elsewhere. There is every reason to fear for the future of South Africa, but Leon advocates hope.
1 Recce: Behind Enemy Lines takes the reader into the ‘inner sanctum’ of the Recces. In their own words, Recce operators recount some of the life-threatening operations they conducted under great secrecy in the late 1970s.
Those who were there give first-hand accounts of the tension, anticipation, fear, adrenalin, exhaustion, thirst and grief they experienced, but also of the humorous moments and the close bonds of friendship that were forged in situations of mortal danger.
Provocative, insightful and brilliantly written by Professor Wahbie Long, Nation on the Couch explores life in our beloved country through the lens of psychoanalysis.
By focusing on the idea of a ‘political unconscious’, it argues that there is much to be learnt from excavating the inner life of South Africans, which can illuminate the external problems that beset us from all sides. It will challenge readers to rethink the way we see ourselves, why we do what we do and why we are who we are.
In 1937 a group of young Capetonians, socialist intellectuals from the Workers’ Party of South Africa and the Non-European Unity Movement, embarked on a remarkable public education and cultural project they called the New Era Fellowship (NEF). Through public debates, lectures, study circles and cultural events a new cultural and political project was born in Cape Town. Taking a position of non-collaboration and non-racialism, the NEF played a vital role in challenging society’s responses to events ranging from the problem of taking up arms during the Second World War for an empire intent on stripping people of colour of their human rights, to the Hertzog Bills, which foreshadowed apartheid in all its ruthless effectiveness.
The group included some of the city’s most talented scholar-activists, among them Isaac Tabata, Ben Kies, A C Jordan, Phyllis Ntantala, Mda Mda and members of the famed Gool and Abdurahman families. Their aim was to disrupt and challenge not only prevailing political narratives but the very premises – class and race – on which they were based.
By the 1950s their ideas had spread to a second generation of talented individuals who would disseminate them in the high schools of Cape Town. In time, some would exert their influence on national politics beyond the confines of the Cape. Among these were former minister of justice, Dullah Omar, academic Hosea Jaffe, educationist Neville Alexander and author Richard Rive.
This book is a testament to how the NEF was at the forefront of redefining the discourse of racialism and nationalism in South Africa.
Will South Africa rise from Zuma's lost decade and turn into an influential global economic powerhouse in the 2020s and 2030s? Or will the country and its government continue down the path of state capture, corrupt leadership and economic downturn?
In this incisive book the country's foremost scenario planner and bestselling author analyses where we are at, predicts where we are headed and tells you what steps to take to make sure you and your family are well prepared for South Africa's future.
If a mere seven more MPs had voted with Prime Minister JBM Hertzog in favour of neutrality, South Africa’s history would have been quite different.
Parliament’s narrow decision to go to war in 1939 led to a seismic upheaval throughout the 1940s: black people streamed in their thousands from rural areas to the cities in search of jobs; volunteers of all races answered the call to go ‘up north’ to fight; and opponents of the Smuts government actively hindered the war effort by attacking soldiers and committing acts of sabotage. World War Two upended South Africa’s politics, ruining attempts to forge white unity and galvanising opposition to segregation among African, Indian and coloured communities. It also sparked debates among nationalists, socialists, liberals and communists such as the country had never previously experienced.
As Richard Steyn recounts so compellingly in 7 Votes, the war’s unforeseen consequence was the boost it gave to nationalism, both Afrikaner and African, that went on to transform the country in the second half of the 20th century. The book brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters, including wartime leader Jan Smuts, DF Malan and his National Party colleagues, African nationalists from Anton Lembede and AB Xuma to Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, the influential Indian activists Yusuf Dadoo and Monty Naicker, and many others.
The future of mining in South Africa is hotly contested. Wide-ranging views from multiple quarters rarely seem to intersect, placing emphasis on different questions without engaging in holistic debate.
This book aims to catalyse change by gathering together fragmented views into unifying conversations. It highlights the importance of debating the future of mining in South Africa and for reaching consensus in other countries across the mineral-dependent globe.
It covers issues such as the potential of platinum to spur industrialisation, land and dispossession on the platinum belt, the roles of the state and capital in mineral development, mining in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the experiences of women in and affected by mining since the late 19th century and mine worker organising: history and lessons and how post-mine rehabilitation can be tackled.
It was inspired not only by an appreciation of South Africa’s extensive mineral endowments, but also by a realisation that, while the South African mining industry performs relatively well on many technical indicators, its management of broader social issues leaves much to be desired. It needs to be deliberated whether the mining industry can play as critical a role going forward as it did in the evolution of the country’s economy.
It’s been one helluva year – again. We’ve seen Zuma resign as president, the DA go after its own people, Trump exercise his megalomania, the rise of racial tensions (as well as the petrol price) and tempers being flared. All while the Guptas fled the Saxonwold Shebeen.
Who better to make sense of this than Zapiro, political analyst, cartoonist and agent provocateur. He has the ability to knock the air out of us, to rock us back in our seats, to force us bolt upright with a 1000-watt jolt of electrifying shock. He makes us angry, he makes us laugh and he makes us think. He shines a light on the elephant in the room, presents the emperor in all his naked glory. Impossible to brush off, he is determined to provoke a response.
When all around is crumbling, when fake news and zipped lips conceal the truth, Zapiro comes to the rescue. With the dissecting eye of a surgeon, the rapier-like point of his pen exposes flimflam, and reveals with a single line what lies behind the action.
Maggie is a remarkable firsthand account of a teenage girl’s experiences during the AngloBoer War.
Margaretha (Maggie) Jooste was only 13 years old when the AngloBoer War broke out and her life was irrevocably changed. After months of house arrest in their Heidelberg (Transvaal) home, she, her mother and younger siblings were sent away to concentration camps in Natal. There they experienced hunger, deprivation and loss, but also surprising acts of kindness from British guards.
This very personal account is a story of hardships, but also one of humanity and friendships over enemy lines. A golden threat is the close bond between the Jooste family and the Englishspeaking Russells who lived as neighbours and friends before the war broke out. While the British soldiers and Boer commandos fought the war, the Russells secretly provided food to the Joostes to help them survive, and supported them after the war.
A poignant and deeply moving, but also heartbreaking, true story.
Twenty-five years have passed since South Africans were being shot, hacked or burned to death in political conflict. The memory of the trauma has faded where some 20 500 people were killed between 1984 and 1994. Conventional wisdom claims that they died at the hands of a state-backed Third Force. The more accurate explanation is that they died as a result of the people’s war the ANC unleashed.
After the people’s war began in September 1984, intimidation and political killings rapidly accelerated. At the same time, a remarkably effective propaganda campaign put the blame for violence on the National Party government and its alleged Inkatha surrogate. Sympathy for the ANC soared, while its rivals suffered crippling losses in credibility and support. By 1993 the ANC was able to dominate the negotiating process, as well as to control the militarily undefeated police and army and bend them to its will. By May 1994 it had trounced its rivals and taken over government. Many books have been written on South Africa's political transition, but none deals adequately with the people's war. This book does. It shows the extraordinary success of the people’s war in giving the ANC a virtual monopoly on power, as well as the great cost at which this was done. Apart from the terror and killings it sparked, the people’s war set in motion forces that cannot easily be tamed. Contemporary South Africa and the problems it confronts cannot be fully understood without a knowledge of the scars and damaging legacy of the people’s war.
For this new edition of her seminal work, Anthea Jeffery has revised and abridged her book. She has also included a brief overview of the ANC’s National Democratic Revolution, for which the people’s war was intended to prepare the way. Since 1994, the NDR has incrementally been implemented in many different spheres. It is also now being speeded up in its current and more ‘radical’ phase.
In September 2007, Ellen Pakkies, a working mother from Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, strangled her son to death. The judge in the subsequent trial sentenced her to community service for her crime. What drove Ellen to commit this horrific deed, and why the ostensibly light sentence for such a heinous crime?
The story of what happened over ten years ago has continued to grip public interest, putting a spotlight on the dire and desperate situation faced by many parents of addicted children. A highly successful play was produced in theatres around South Africa in 2011/12, and a full-length movie has recently been made of this story, which will reach the big screen in September 2018.
When Dealing in Death was first published in 2009, the scourge of drug addiction was sweeping across South Africa, affecting every level of society. Little, if anything, has changed since then, as this new edition reveals. The use of tik, particularly in the Western Cape, has skyrocketed, and it was Abie Pakkies’s addiction to this drug, and the horrendous impact it had on his and his family’s lives, that drove Ellen to murder. Her trial exposed the dark underbelly of a community crippled by drug and alcohol abuse, and focused attention on the plight of those who live in poverty and do not have recourse to drug-rehabilitation centres and other measures effective in the treatment of addicts.
Dealing in Death looks at the global and local drugs culture, the predicament of Ellen Pakkies and other mothers like her, and an impoverished community and the apartheid laws that gave birth to it.
How did Einstein help create Eskom? Why can an Indonesian volcano explain the Great Trek? What do King Zwelithini and Charlemagne have in common?
These are some of the questions Johan Fourie explores in this entertaining, accessible economic history spanning everything from the human migration out of Africa 100 000 years ago to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom is an engaging guide to complex debates about the roots and reasons for prosperity, the march of opportunity versus the crushing boot of exploitation, and why the builders of societies – rather than the burglars ¬– ultimately win out.
Join the author on this enriching journey through an African-centred history and the story of our long walk towards a brighter future.
Imagine learning from South Africa’s best of the best in their respective fields – be it business, sport, politics, entertainment or philanthropy – and having access to decades of experience in strategic planning, business and change management, human resources development, and the nitty-gritty of building a personal brand that extends to your business and everyone you employ. Look no further than the 200 pages of WIN! Inspiring Interviews with SA’s Top 20 Leaders by Jeremy Maggs.
With 30 years’ experience in journalism, marketing and public speaking, Maggs chooses the best of the best he has interviewed over the years, and succinctly captures their winning ways, business challenges, some spectacular failures and secrets of their trade to reach their ultimate goals – being winners! The book looks at attaining all brands of success – whether it be how one leader runs a multi-billion-dollar company; how another inspires masses of people to follow a trend, or how an idea can spark the innovation of a product so basic yet so integral to a community’s prosperity.
As you read the book, you will realise there are no hard and fast rules to reaching the top rung of the success ladder – there are unique twists and turns, which enrich each leader’s experience; they are faced with make-or-break split-second decisions; some get a lucky break, while others work, fail and work harder to become the cream of the crop. There is a method for each and every business owner, entrepreneur, manager or franchise owner to make their business bigger, better and a bold example of winning success.
For most of its existence, the ANC Youth League has played a
powerful role in the politics of the ANC, and therefore of South
Africa. This book tells the history of the ANC Youth League, from
its formation in 1944 to the present day.
This timely collection of essays analyses the crisis of journalism in contemporary South Africa at a period when the media and their role are frequently at the centre of public debate.
The transition to digital news has been messy, random and unpredictable. The spread of news via social media platforms has given rise to political propaganda and fake news. Yet media companies oust experienced journalists in favour of 'content producers'. Against this backdrop, Daniels points out the contribution of investigative journalists to exposing corruption and sees new opportunities to forge a model for the future of non-profit, public-funded journalism. She argues for the power of public interest journalism and the reflection of a diversity of voices and positions in the news.
The book addresses the gains and losses from decolonial and feminist perspectives and advocates for a radical shift in the way power is constituted by the media in the South African postcolony. With her years of experience as a newspaper journalist, Daniels writes with authority and illuminates complex issues about newsroom politics. A semi-autobiographical lens and interviews with alienated media professionals add a personal element that will appeal to a range of readers interested in the workings of the media.
This book celebrates the rich, varied and untold history of investigative journalism in southern Africa and the crucial role it has played in shaping the region over the last 300 years.
It tells of the escapades of those who exposed atrocities of the British colonial rulers, the seizure of land from black owners, apartheid death squads, prison conditions, farm labour, government and corporate corruption, environmental travesty and health issues. Young journalists who have previously studied the likes of the Watergate scandal will have access to African journalists who faced huge risks to expose the abuse of power, ranging from the undercover exploits of the legendary ‘Mr Drum’, through to the recent #Guptaleaks exposé, of which it was said, ‘Seldom have journalists played such a crucial role in bringing a country back from the brink.’ The book highlights the long record of accountability journalism in countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and the recent surge of such work in others such as Botswana and Malawi.
It breaks new ground in stretching the history of this type of journalism decades further back than previously recorded, including largely ignored work such as John Dube’s coverage of the Zulu Bambatha Rebellion and Richard Msimang’s documentation of the impact of land confiscation in the early 20th century.
The book includes an introduction by Anton Harber, editor and professor, and each case study is written up by an expert in the area.
South Africa’s distorted distribution of wealth is one of the biggest challenges facing the country’s economy, with unemployment sitting at an unsustainable 27.7%. In terms of wealth, the top percentile households hold 70.9% while the bottom 60% holds a mere 7%. 76% of South Africans face an imminent threat of falling below the poverty line. With such statistics, the inequality crisis in this country is at a desperate level and strategies to remedy this challenge seem shallow and lack urgency.
In this context, the Institute for African Alternatives has brought together a series of papers written by eminent South African academics and policymakers to serve as a catalyst to finally confront and resolve inequality. With papers from former Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela, Ben Turok and former President Kgalema Motlanthe, this book provides a guide to how the nation can confront and resolve the inequality plaguing the country. The nation is headed to the polls later this year and books such as this are vital for providing a strong guide on how those in power can address South Africa’s biggest economic crisis.
A great contribution to the current political discourse, the book both confronts the issue and provides strategies on how to remedy inequality.
The Steinhoff crash wiped more than R200bn off the JSE, erased half the wealth of tycoon Christo Wiese and knocked the pension funds of millions of people.
When it was exposed as a house of cards, tales of fraudulent accounting, lavish spending and ructions in the ‘Stellenbosch mafia’ made the headlines. As regulators tally up the cost, Financial Mail editor Rob Rose reveals the real inside story behind Steinhoff. Based on interviews with key players in South Africa, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands – and documents not yet public – Steinheist reveals:
This collection brims with the imaginative, informative and comic personal narratives of Hedley Twidle. Twidle brings a sense of lightness, play and comedy to subjects that are often dealt with in predictable or self-righteous ways.
It chronicles South Africa during the ‘second transition’ – one in which the foundations of the post-apartheid settlement are being shaken and questioned in all kinds of ways.
A secret torment for some, a proud responsibility for others, ‘black tax’ is a daily reality for thousands of black South Africans. In this thought-provoking and moving anthology, a provocative range of voices share their deeply personal stories.
With the majority of black South Africans still living in poverty today, many black middle-class households are connected to working-class or jobless homes. Some believe supporting family members is an undeniable part of African culture and question whether it should even be labelled as a kind of tax. Others point to the financial pressure it places on black students and professionals, who, as a consequence, struggle to build their own wealth. Many feel they are taking over what is essentially a government responsibility. The contributions also investigate the historical roots of black tax, the concept of the black family and the black middle class.
In giving voice to so many different perspectives, Black Tax hopes to start a dialogue on this widespread social phenomenon.
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