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On New Year's Eve in 1988, Stompie Moeketsi was beaten to within an inch of his life in Soweto, then stabbed and dumped in the veld. When his body was identified six weeks later, the trail led to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the feared Mandela United Football Club.
Will we ever find out who killed Stompie? Was Madikizela-Mandela above the law? Veteran news correspondent Fred Bridgland reinvestigates.
In 2012 Angy Peter was bringing up her young children with her husband, Isaac Mbadu, in Bardale, Mfuleni, on the Cape Flats.
Angy and Isaac were activists, leading the charge for a commission of inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha. Angy was vocally against vigilante violence and a go-to-person when demanding better services from the police.
But when the commission started its hearings Angy found herself instead on trial for murdering – necklacing – a young neighbourhood troublemaker, Rowan du Preez. The State’s case would centre on the accusation Rowan du Preez allegedly made with his dying breath – that Angy and her husband Isaac set the tyre alight around his neck.
Simone Haysom takes us into the heart of a mystery: was Angy Peter framed by the police for a murder she did not commit? Or was she, as the State argued, ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, who won a young man’s trust then turned against him, in the most brutal way?
Simone Haysom spent four years meticulously researching this case and the result is a court-room drama interwoven with expert opinion and research into crime and the state of policing in the townships of South Africa.
In 1980’s apartheid Cape Town, five-year-old Desiree-Anne is grappling with how she’s going to turn her tar baby doll’s skin into sweet, soft lily-white. What she has learnt is that Whites are better than "everyone else". She doesn’t know how to force her father to stop drinking or gambling or make her mother love her or get the boys and men to stop touching her in secret. She learns how to soothe the pain: through secret masturbation and lying.
As she grows up, she begins to understand the rules of living in her depressed family as well as in her fractured community.
In her teens, laden with the awkwardness of bushy, unruly hair, braces, and a body shorter and rounder than a Womble – and now firmly planted in a 'White School', Desiree-Anne is forced to confront her ‘Coloured identity crisis’. She turns to self-harm, disordered eating, the thrill of petty theft and escapism through books and acting. Although she wins a place to study drama at UCT, sensing her parents cannot afford the tuition, she opts to go to the UK where she gets lost in bars, clubs and pills. On her return to South Africa she embraces the “free love” Ecstasy trance club scene but when she meets Darren, a heroin addict, she turns to needles. Her search for love and acceptance descends into a self-destructive spiral as an intravenous smack addict.
This is a harrowing memoir on the darkness of addiction, but it is also a touching and sometimes humorous account of a little-girl-turned-woman’s deep need and reckless pursuit for love. When Desiree-Anne finally finds recovery years later, she uncovers her real voice to talk and write about things that were previously left unspoken.
Die motiewe agter gesinsmoorde is dikwels vreemder as fiksie. Tergende vrae kan deur psigiaters beantwoord word ... of dalk nie. Deur na verskeie gevalle van gesinsmoord te kyk gooi hierdie boek ’n bietjie lig in 'n baie donker plek. Met onder meer die stories van die Lotters wat gebreinspoel was tot moord op hul ouers en die Van Breda bylmoorde.
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.
Lê hy dood iewers in ’n mynskag? Of het hy die hasepad gekies terwyl aanklagte van bedrog en diefstal teen hom opgehoop het? Dié vrae hang in die lug nadat Ralph Haynes, die “mafiabaas” van die Wes-Rand, op 21 Januarie 2011 spoorloos verdwyn het. Nadat hy op daardie dag in ’n helikopter geklim het, is hy nooit weer gesien nie.
Haynes se vriende, wat berugte karakters soos Ferdi Barnard en Corrie Goosen insluit, onthou hom as ’n vrygewige Robin Hood wat armes van groente en geld voorsien het. Sy slagoffers, daarenteen, onthou hom as die meedoënlose skelm wat hulle uit groot bedrae geld en besittings geswendel het. Vandag wonder sy eksvrou wat met haar sal gebeur as Haynes onverwags sy opwagting sou maak.
Joernalis Izak du Plessis stel ondersoek in na die lewe en verdwyning van dié enigmatiese grootkop van die onderwêreld.
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."
Belly Of Fire is a metaphor for the anxiety and fear that we hold within ourselves; the voices of those who are disempowered by racism, poverty, war and gendered abuse, voices that remain silenced, are housed as fire in our bellies.
Themes of abuse, xenophobia, female genital mutilation, reawakening, are unpacked here in a collection of seven reflective, compelling stories intertwined with no more than thirteen contemporary poems that bring out the essence of the themes developed in the narratives.
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.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
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.
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.
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.
In 1993 South Africa state president F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize ‘for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime’. Yet, while both deserved the plaudits they received for entering the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid, the four years of negotiations preceding the April 1994 elections, known as the transition era, were not ‘peaceful’: they were the bloodiest of the entire apartheid era, with an estimated 14,000 deaths attributed to politically related violence. This book studies, for the fi rst time, the conflicts between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party that took place in South Africa’s industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg. Exploring these events through the perceptions and memories of combatants and non-combatants from war-torn areas, along with security force members, politicians and violence monitors, offers new possibilities for understanding South Africa’s turbulent transition. Challenging the prevailing narrative which attributes the bulk of the violence to a joint state security force and IFP assault against ANC supporters, the author argues for a more expansive approach that incorporates the aggression of ANC militants, the intersection between criminal and political violence, and especially clashes between groups aligned with the ANC.
This is the story of the world’s biggest unprosecuted fraud. A fraud that in today’s terms amounts to R26 billion.
The cast is stellar: top financial institutions, leading bankers, a world where every other player is a lawyer, a world where Brett Kebble was king. This is a world of outright denial and selective amnesia, of complex financial transactions designed to confuse, obfuscate and hide the spoils. This is a world of dirty dealings across the upper strata of the socio-political system.
Barry Sergeant, hard-hitting, bestselling author of Brett Kebble: The Inside Story, now tackles the murky world of shady financial dealings, post the Kebble murder. A frightening world, where whistle-blowers have to watch their backs. A world where so many major players are involved to such an extent that none of them can afford the cost of the truth. This is a major work that relies on painstaking details and many years of preparation. It is ultimately about unravelling one of the world’s biggest cover-ups.
Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that it never dies peacefully. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. The "Four Horsemen" of leveling--mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues--have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future. An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent--and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.
`This book will make you think... it will frighten you, and it will shock you... Frankly I could not read it at night.' - Ann Rule How do you catch a serial killer? Interpreting the calling cards of the serial murderer, Robert Keppel reveals the answers hidden among the grisly evidence, the common threads that link each devastating act of brutal violence. Explore in unflinching detail the monstrous patterns, sadistic compulsions and depraved motives of the killer, and why they kill again and again. Signature Killers is the ultimate insight into the mind of the serial killer. From The Lonely Hearts Killer who haunted the most desperate of women in 1950s America, to the infamous symbols of evil as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and John Gacy, these are the cases- horrifying, graphic and unforgettable- that shed light on the darkest corners of the pathological mind.
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