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South Africa’s story is often presented as a triumph of new over old, but while formal apartheid was abolished decades ago, stark and distressing similarities persist.
Dr Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh explores the edifice of systemic racial oppression — the new apartheid — that continues to thrive, despite or even because of our democratic system.
Cadre deployment means that the ANC and the state are inextricably intertwined. In KwaZulu-Natal, which has long been the powder keg of South Africa, it’s a monster that means people of competing patronage networks are killing each other for a place at the trough – for jobs and tenders – and the taxi industry provides the hitmen, guns and the transport.
Travel with journalist Greg Ardé across KwaZulu-Natal into the dark heart of South Africa and the ANC’s ‘culture of blood’.
Cops and Robbers: we think we know how to tell the good guys from the bad, but when it comes to Cape Town’s crime scene, things are anything but clear cut. Controlled by gangs, fuelled by drugs and policed by cops that, all too often, get caught on the wrong side of the action.
Among the Cape Town cops who have consistently claimed that colleagues are trying to pin crimes on them are Major General Andre Lincoln (former head of a national police unit mandated by Nelson Mandela), Major General Jeremy Vearey (known as SA’s top gang buster) and Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear (who was investigating some of the country's most brutal underworld crimes when he was assassinated in September 2020). Colleagues and suspects alike pointed to all three as colluding with criminals. Who is telling the truth?
Journalist Caryn Dolley has tracked this tangled trail, following the corruption breadcrumbs, sifting through court documents, laying fact upon fact and exposing the depths and breadth of systemic corruption that was set in place during apartheid and has only become more entrenched during the first decades of our democracy. She has traced the rot from cops to underworld to politicians and back, exposing duplicitous networks that have for decades ensnared South Africa in an expanding cycle of organised crime and cop claim crossfire. At the centre of this crisis is the mounting collateral: the victims of Cape Town’s manufactured killing fields.
To The Wolves tells the true life story of how South Africa’s underworld came to be, what continues to fuel it today and how the deception and lies go all the way to the top...
In The Great Pretenders: Race and Class under ANC Rule, veteran political analyst Ebrahim Harvey delivers a stinging critique of the ANC. This must-read analysis reveals the complete failure of the ANC to roll back the race and class divide.
Harvey argues that a series of events – including HIV/AIDS denialism, the Marikana shootings, the Nkandla funding scandal, mass student protests, the Esidemeni tragedy, systemic corruption and state capture – are rooted in policy choices made by the ANC during negotiations and in power. This book is not just an evisceration of the ANC, however, as Harvey is able, through many interviews and patient delving into the past and present, to provide an indispensable guide to the future.
The Great Pretenders is fierce, passionate and provocative. It is certain to provoke those in power, stirring debate on not only the pernicious issue of race relations in South Africa, but on how to create the shared society promised us.
She knew she might lose her job as group treasurer, yet Cynthia Stimpel decided to blow the whistle anyway. She simply could not keep quiet about an irregular deal of R256 million at South African Airways on Dudu Myeni's watch. It was not an easy decision, but 'the right one'.
Cynthia was on a pilgrimage in France when she received word that a dodgy deal between BNP Capital and SAA was signed against her strict orders. She immediately sent a whistleblowing message to National Treasury and raised the alarm in an attempt to stop the deal. Although she succeeded in saving SAA millions she paid a high price for speaking the truth; She lost her job and her reputation. Yet her battle against Myeni and her fellow state capturers at the SAA was far from over. She still had to face Myeni in court and testify against her at the Zondo Commission.
This is a very personal state capture story that shows how one brave individual helped to stop the rot.
When we say we want to be safe, what do we mean? Is the state capable of achieving this for us? These are important questions for anyone envisioning and building a future anywhere, but especially in South Africa. This book explores contemporary South African society through the lens of law and order, and with the goal of understanding what reform must look like going forward, in a way that is accessible to ordinary citizens who need this most.
In South Africa, both ‘crime’ and ‘safety’ are loaded terms. Ziyanda Stuurman unpacks the complex and fraught history of policing, courts and prisons in South Africa. In her analysis of the problems nationally and in putting those problems in context with the rest of the world, she concludes that more resources won’t necessarily lead to more safety. What then, will?
Ziyanda unpacks this complex question deftly with a view of a better future for us all.
If you reckon corruption in South Africa began with Zuma or even with apartheid, it’s time to catch a wake-up call. Rogues’ Gallery tells the story of some of the biggest skelms to grace our (un)fair shores, showing that dodgy dealings have been a national pastime for as long as South African history has been written down.
The action starts with the machinations of three colonial governors: rotten Willem Adriaan van der Stel and the ‘twaddling’ British duo, Sir George Yonge and Lord Charles Somerset. Added to this is Cecil John Rhodes’s unparalleled success in poisoning the land with theft, fraud and war, and Oom Paul Kruger’s corrupt and compromised Volksraads (official and unofficial). Readers are then treated to apartheid’s finest feats in corruption: from the Broederbond’s perfect ten in state capture to the Department of Information’s peddling of fake news and the apartheid state’s manufacture of – no, not illegal cigarettes – Class A drugs! And let’s not forget the hotbed of corruption that was the ‘independent’ homelands. Add to this a few murders, plenty of nepotism and a state president who started out as a Nazi spy, and the gallery of rogues is complete. On the flipside, every chapter also features at least one brave whistle-blower – the true heroes of this book.
Irreverent, entertaining and impeccably researched, Rogues’ Gallery busts the myth that the Zuptas were the first to capture the South African state, showing that corruption has always been around – and that the tricks politicians play haven’t changed a jot.
‘Dancing a tango with death’ was the daily life of the DCC – the Directorate of Covert Collection – secret agents, working in what JJ ‘Tolletjie’ Botha called ‘hostile countries’. Who were these men? Airline pilots, Belgian missionaries, German industrialists, engineers, medical doctors, high-ranking officers of enemy countries and last, but not least, people like a well-known Namibian lawyer and a famous, internationally acclaimed South African singer; people who, sometimes unwittingly, collaborated with the ‘shadow’s men’, believing they were helping friendly countries … Did the document prepared by General Pierre Steyn, the famous topsecret Steyn Report, really exist?
In this book you will find the full original document whose existence has been denied by FW de Klerk and his closest allies. Did Judge Richard Goldstone act bona fide by accepting in his final report the information given to him by Counter Intelligence and the NIS, information that, at the very end, emerged as “hearsay”? Was Judge Goldstone aware of the final objective of the tandem pair Steyn-De Klerk to decapitate the South African Defence Force?
Did the top structure of the DCC maintain close contacts with most of the Western intelligence services, and particularly the British MI6? Was any one of the hundreds of civilian and military men ‘listed’ as part of the infamous Third Force ever condemned? Was Staal Burger or Ferdi Barnard really part of the DCC or were they ‘imposed’ by the then Chief of the Army, General Kat Liebenberg? Did you know that more than half the African members of the first Mandela cabinet had been on the DCC’s payroll? Why did the Motsuenyane Commission of Enquiry have to suspend its search, and never published the list of ANC members massacred or disappeared, victims of their own comrades?
How To Steal A Country describes the vertiginous decline in political leadership in South Africa from Mandela to Zuma and its terrible consequences. Robin Renwick’s account reads in parts like a novel – a crime novel – for Sherlock Holmes old adversary, Professor Moriarty, the erstwhile Napoleon of Crime, would have been impressed by the ingenuity, audacity and sheer scale of the looting of the public purse, let alone the impunity with which it has been accomplished.
Based on Renwick’s personal experiences of the main protagonists, it describes the extraordinary influence achieved by the Gupta family for those seeking to do business with state-owned enterprises in South Africa, and the massive amounts earned by Gupta related companies from their associations with them. The ensuing scandals have engulfed Bell Pottinger, KPMG, McKinsey and other multinationals. The primary responsibility for this looting of the state however, rests squarely with President Zuma and key members of his government. But South Africa has succeeded in establishing a genuinely non-racial society full of determined and enterprising people, offering genuine hope for the future. These include independent journalists, black and white, who refuse to be silenced, and the judges, who have acted with courage and independence.
The book concludes that change will come, either by the ruling party reverting to the values of Mandela and Archbishop Tutu, or by the reckoning it otherwise will face one day.
The scene: An Indian television journalist is drafted in to lead the setting up of a new 24/7 television news channel in South Africa. The goal: To create a world class news product. This is the story of the three months Rajesh Sundaram, along with a small team of Indian television professionals, took to launch what was to be the biggest news channel in South Africa. However, this launch was not without its wide range of challenges, catastrophes and social media entertainment.
From capricious, micro-managing owners who had a political and commercial agenda to the shocking abuse of staff and violation of laws, finally resulting in a tempestuous and very public parting of ways, Indentured is the true story behind the launch of ANN7 - better known as Gupta TV.
This is behind the scenes, disclosing a range of delicious stories about the Gupta brothers, and their relationship with Number 9. And yes; you'll be told exactly why he is called Number 9.
In 2010, government spokesperson Themba Maseko was called to the Gupta family’s Saxonwold compound and asked by Ajay Gupta to divert the government’s entire advertising budget to the family’s media company. When Maseko refused to do so, he was removed from his position and forced to leave the public service. The life of this once-proud civil servant would never be the same again.
Maseko, whose activism was forged in the Soweto uprising of 1976, is a product of the struggle, and has always been unfailingly loyal to the principles of the ANC. In 2016, when the party called on members with evidence of wrongdoing by the Guptas to step forward, Maseko was the only one to do so. For this courageous act of whistleblowing, he was ostracised, slandered and even threatened.
As a former senior state official, with a distinguished record of public service, Maseko also offers a rare insider’s view of the presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma and of the inner workings of government.
Compelling and revelatory, For My Country shows what it takes to stand up for one’s principles and defy the most powerful man in the country.
Licence To Loot is a fast-paced, hard-hitting investigation into parastatal looting, written by journalist Stephan Hofstatter. At the centre of the story is Eskom, the largest power utility in Africa, which could determine the success or failure of South Africa’s economy.
Hofstatter’s story begins in 2016, with the Guptas’ controversial purchase of Optimum coal mine and Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe’s key role in the deal. From there it takes the reader on a journey from secret meetings in London hotel rooms to a clandestinely purchased bolthole on a Dubai golf estate, uncovering the corrupt acquisition of a private jet along the way. From the diary entries of a Saxonwold security guard to first-hand accounts of backroom dealmaking, it traces the origins of a shadowy network between the Guptas and Eskom that ultimately allowed the family to extract billions of rands from the parastatal.
Licence To Loot reveals the complicated deals and machinations underpinning state capture and the subsequent ministerial and board appointments that ceded the control of the country’s parastatals, including Eskom, Transnet, SAA and Denel, to Gupta-linked moneymen.
The book is particularly relevant in the current political climate as it focuses on the impact of state capture, not just its origins, and takes the story beyond the Zuma presidency.
In March 2016, Mosilo Mothepu was appointed CEO of Trillian Financial Advisory, a subsidiary of Gupta-linked Trillian Capital Partners. The prospect of being at the helm of a black-owned financial consultancy was electrifying for a black woman whose twin passions were transformation and empowering women. Three months later, suffering from depression and insomnia, she resigned with no other job lined up.
In October 2016, a written statement handed to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela detailing Trillian’s involvement in state capture was leaked to the media. Key to the disclosures were the removals of finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan from their posts due to the Guptas’ influence. Although she was not identified by name as the source of the affidavit, details of the revelations published in the Sunday Times left no doubt in the minds of Trillian’s executives: Mothepu was the Nenegate whistleblower.
Despite fearing legal consequences, Mothepu had decided that she could not just stand by as the country burnt. Her disclosures resulted in the freezing of Trillian-associated company Regiments Capital’s assets and a High Court order for Trillian to pay back almost R600 million to Eskom. Facing criminal charges and bankruptcy, unemployed and deemed a political risk, Mothepu experienced first-hand the loneliness of whistleblowing. The effect on her mental and physical health was devastating. Now, in Uncaptured, she recounts this troubling yet seminal chapter in her life with honesty, humility and wry humour in the hope that others who find themselves in a similar situation will follow in her footsteps and speak truth to power.
In this multi-billion rand corruption memoir, former Bosasa C.O.O and whistleblower, Angelo Agrizzi rips open the can of worms, exposing two decades of untold greed, politicking, corruption, bribery and deep state capture.
Inside the Belly of The Beast is a detailed confession, exposing the intimate fraudulent workings of a company, under the cult-like leadership of Gavin Watson. Agrizzi is one of few people with a first-hand account of what really happened behind the closed doors of Bosasa.
Hulle lieg, bedrieg, gee voor. Hulle verdraai, verdoesel, verduister, verwoes. Geleidelik palm hulle jou vertroue in. Dan, eensklaps, is jy jou geld, status en reputasie kwyt. Só oortuigend doen hulle dit dat selfs die slimste, mees ingeligte mense ’n rat voor die oë gedraai word en eers besef wat hulle getref het nadat grootskaalse skade aangerig is en die gladdebek soos mis voor die son verdwyn het. Maar selfs swendelaars kom hulle moses teë...
Boereverneukers vertel die stories van Afrikaanses wat van ons land se grootste skelmstreke gepleeg het.
Van die karakters is minder bekend by die publiek, maar ander het byna mitiese status in die Afrikaanse psige verwerf, soos die kubuskoning Adriaan Nieuwoudt, die pynmasjienman Gervan Lubbe, die kamma-pediater André Esterhuizen, die Hertzogville-profeet David Francis en die Trustbank-rowers Derek Whitehead en Antonie van der Merwe.
Dalk het jý ook deurgeloop, maar praat tot vandag toe nie graag daaroor nie.
Veteran journalist Anton Harber brings all his investigative skills to bear on his very own profession, the media. For two years he conducted dozens of interviews with politicians, journalists, policemen and 'deep throats', before piecing together two remarkable tales.
The first is a chilling story of police death squads, rogue units and renditions, and how South Africa's leading newspaper was duped into doing the dirty work of corrupt politicians. The second starts with a broken and discarded hard drive and evolves, with many near misses, into the exposure of the depths of the Guptas' influence over the ruling party.
Harber's two tales reveal the lows and highs of journalism during an era of state capture. His book is both a disquieting exposé of how easily the media can be duped by a conniving cabal for its own selfish ends, and a celebration of brilliant investigative reporting by brave and ethical journalists.
South Africans often are deeply polarised in our perspectives of the present and the past. Our ‘ways of seeing’ are fraught with division, and we fail to understand the complexities when we do not see what lies beneath the surface.
There is no denying that the Jacob Zuma presidency took a significant toll on South Africa, exacerbating tensions and exposing the deep fractures that already exist in our society along the lines of race, class and even ethnicity. The Zuma years were marked by cases of corruption and state capture, unprecedented in their brazenness, and increased social protests – many of which were accompanied by violence – aggressive public discourse, lack of respect for reason and an often disturbing resistance to meaningful engagement.
Importantly, those years also placed enormous pressure on our democratic institutions, many of which still bear the scars, and challenged the sovereignty of the Constitution itself.
As an analyst and governance specialist at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) for twelve years, February has had a unique perch. Turning and turning is a snapshot of her IDASA years and the issues tackled, which included work on the arms deal and its corrosive impact on democratic institutions, IDASA’s party-funding campaign, which February helped lead, as well as work on accountability and transparency.
Combining analytical insight with personal observations and experience, February highlights the complex process of building a strong democratic society, and the difficulties of living in a constitutional democracy marked by soaring levels of inequality. There is a need to reflect on and learn from the country’s democratic journey if citizens are to shape our democracy effectively and to fulfill the promise of the Constitution for all South Africans.
Only Zapiro can truly capture the craziness and the seriousness of state capture and the Zuma years. WTF is the award-winning and best-selling cartoonist’s definitive, unique and superbly funny record of this rollercoaster time in our history in words and more than 400 brilliant cartoons.
Zapiro’s career has been tightly entwined with the bewildering tale of Jacob Zuma for more than 20 years. He has sharply charted his rise and his fall and everything in between, including the corrupting presence of the Guptas and the destructive cancer of state capture. On two different occasions Jacob Zuma served Zapiro with unfulfilled lawsuits totalling R22 million, claiming his dignity had been infringed, and the cartoonist has been threatened in other ways by senior political figures because of his caustic and brilliant work. Zapiro first drew a showerhead on Zuma in 2006 as a comment on his preposterous evidence during his rape trial that he took a shower after sex to reduce the chance of getting AIDS. That showerhead image stuck in the public imagination, and in Zapiro’s cartoons, and has become a nationally known symbol of the former president.
WTF is sure to be another triumph for our best-loved cartoonist.
Enemy Of The People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a nation fought back.
When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections. How did we get here?
Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.
But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.
Just as South Africans were starting to come to grips with the staggering cost of state capture, the Bosasa bombshell hit the country. This grand-scale corruption scandal cost South Africa billions of rands while the politicians involved were bought for as little as braai packs and booze.
While investigating state capture, The Zondo commission of inquiry blew the lid off the tangled web of bribery that was Bosasa. Gripping testimony before the commission about “little black books”, cash bribes and walk-in vaults held the public in thrall while a new realisation dawned: The notorious Gupta family had not been the only ones pillaging the country. In The Bosasa Billions, best-selling author James-Brent Styan and co-writer Paul Vecchiatto uncover the sordid story of how one company exploited the greed of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to establish an extensive tender network stretching right to the top of the ANC government.
Its cast of characters include:
Ultimately, however, Bosasa was not in the business of saving souls, but selling them.
The early years of Zimbabwe’s independence were blighted by conflict and bloodshed, culminating in the Gukurahundi massacres of 1983 and 1984. Historian Stuart Doran explores these events in unprecedented detail, drawing on thousands of previously unpublished documents, including classified records from Mugabe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, apartheid South Africa, the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.
This groundbreaking book charts the development of an intense rivalry between two nationalist parties – Mugabe’s Zanu and Nkomo’s Zapu – and reveals how Zanu’s victory in the 1980 elections was followed by a carefully orchestrated five-year plan, driven by Mugabe, which sought to smash all forms of political opposition and impose a one-party state. Doran shows not only what happened during Zimbabwe’s darkest chapter, but also why this cataclysm occurred. In an expansive narrative saturated with new findings, he documents a culture of political intolerance in which domination and subjugation became the only options, and traces the rise of key proponents of this supremacist ideology.
Kingdom, Power, Glory is the most comprehensive history of Zimbabwe’s formative years and is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the Mugabe regime, then and now.
The ongoing assassinations of anti-apartheid activists led to rumours that some kind of third force must be responsible. The South African government flatly denied any involvement. All investigations of the matter were met with stony silence.
The first crack in the wall came with the publication by the Vrye Weekblad newspaper of the extraordinary story of Dirk Coetzee, former Security Branch Captain. His tale of murder, kidnapping, bombing and poisoning provided corroboration of the shocking confessions made by Almond Nofemela on death row. Slowly the dark secret started unravelling under the probing of determined journalists.
In The Heart Of The Whore introduces the reader to the secret underworld of the death squads. It explains when and why they were created, who ran them, what methods they employed, who the victims and perpetrators were. Jacques Pauw was more closely involved with the subject than any other person outside the police and armed forces. In this groundbreaking work he looks at the devastating effect of the secret war on the opponents of apartheid as well as the corrosive effects on the people who committed these crimes.
Jacques Pauw is the author of the bestselling book The President’s Keepers. He is an award-winning journalist, television documentary producer and author. This is NOT an updated edition, just a re-release of the original 1992 book.
The Guptas, arguably South Africa’s most infamous family, have dominated news headlines for many years. But the landing of a commercial airliner packed with wedding guests at Air Force Base Waterkloof in 2013 sparked the most severe onslaught of public outrage the politically connected family had endured up to that fateful day. Since then, they have become embroiled in allegations of state capture, of dishing out cabinet posts to officials who would do their bidding, and of benefiting from lucrative state contracts and dubious loans.
The Republic Of Gupta examines the various controversies surrounding the family and explores the path that took the brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta from an obscure town in India to the inner circle of South African president Jacob Zuma.
This book investigates:
Unpacking these and other questions, Pieter-Louis Myburgh delves deeper than ever before into the Guptas’ business dealings and their links to prominent South African politicians, and explains how one family managed to transform an entire country into The Republic Of Gupta.
Nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes – or so the expression goes. And over the past two decades South African criminals and tax dodgers have come to realise this truth the hard way.
Tax sleuth Johann van Loggerenberg was at the centre of many of SARS’ high-profile cases during his time there. As far as SARS is concerned all forms of income are subjected to tax, even if by ill-gotten means. Whether you are a drug dealer from Durban, one of the hitmen who shot Brett Kebble or soccer boss Irvin Khoza, you have to pay your dues!
Van Loggerenberg relates the riveting inside stories of the investigations into businessmen like Dave King, Billy Rautenbach, Barry Tannenbaum and his ponzi scheme, and others. Over the years he got to know all the scams and dirty tricks in the book and he explains these in plain language.
In these investigations the tax authority worked closely with the police, the NPA and the Directorate of Special Operations. However, after a few years SARS became the victim of its own success. In telling the stories of how tax evaders were caught, Van Loggerenberg also shows how the power struggle between different state departments and the phenomenon of state capture in recent years started crippling SARS.
A fresh, different perspective on South African politics.
Many common political arguments come pre-packaged in a very old and dusty box – and in this book, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh sets out to dismantle that box. The self-evident truths are not so inarguable. He argues that free education is far from impossible, land reform is not the first step to chaos, and the media is not free…
In this incisive, informed book we find challenges to commonly held opinions and new solutions to old problems.
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