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Whistleblowers are seldom seen as heroes. Instead, they are often viewed through a negative lens, described as troublemakers, disloyal employees, traitors, snitches and, in South Africa, as impimpis or informers. They risk denigration and scorn, not to mention dismissal from their positions and finding their careers in tatters.
With corruption and fraud endemic in democratic South Africa, whistleblowers have played a pivotal role in bringing wrongdoing to light. They have provided an invaluable service to society through disclosures about cover-ups, malfeasance and wrongdoing. Their courageous acts have resulted in the recovery of millions of rands to the fiscus and to their fellow citizens as well as improved transparency and accountability for office bearers and politicians. Some would argue it was whistleblowing that brought down a president and the corrupt ‘state capture’ regime.
But in most cases, the outcomes for the whistleblowers themselves are harrowing and devastating. Some have been gunned down in orchestrated assassinations, others have been threatened and targeted in sinister dirty-tricks campaigns. Many are hounded out of their jobs, ostracised and victimised. They struggle to find employment and are pushed to the fringes of society. Where there is litigation, this drags on and on through the courts. Mental health and relationships suffer. The psychological burden of choosing to speak up when there has been little reward or compensation is a heavy one to carry.
The Whistleblowers shines a light on their plight, advocating for a change in legislation, organisational support and social attitudes in order to embolden more potential whistleblowers to have the courage to step up. These are the raw and evocative accounts of South Africa’s whistleblowers, told in their own voices and from their own perspectives: from the hallowed corridors of parliament to the political killing fields of KwaZulu-Natal, from the fraud-riddled platinum belt to the impoverished, gang-ridden suburb of Elsies River, from the gantried freeways of Gauteng to the Bosasa blesser’s facebrick campus in Krugersdorp, from the wild east of Mpumalanga to the corporate
In September 2005 one of South Africa's most eminent mining magnates and businessmen Brett Kebble was killed on a quiet suburban street in Johannesburg. The investigation into the case was a tipping point for democratic South Africa. The top-level investigation that followed exposed the corrupt relationship between the country's Chief of Police and Interpol President Jackie Selebi and suave Mafioso Glenn Agliotti. A lawless Johannesburg underbelly was exposed - dominated by drug lords, steroid-reliant bouncers, an international smuggling syndicate, a shady security unit moonlighting for the police and sinister self-serving sleuths abusing state agencies.
As a follow up to the bestselling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2010), Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored examines how organised crime, gangsters and powerful political figures have been able to capture the law enforcement authorities and agencies.
These various organisations have been eviscerated, hollowed out and left ineffective. They have been infiltrated and compromised and, as a result, prominent underworld figures have been able to flourish in South Africa, setting up elaborate networks of crime with the assistance of many cops.
The criminal justice system has been left exposed and it is crucial that the South African public knows about the capture that has occurred on different levels.
The news of successful model Reeva Steenkamp’s fatal shooting by her boyfriend and global sporting star Oscar Pistorius stunned the world. Over the ensuing weeks, as Pistorius appeared in court and applied for bail, every detail that emerged was analysed, debated, justified and digested. South Africa and the world in general were haunted by the events as they were repeated and discussed at length. Public perception vacillated from version to version and from hour to hour.
Behind the Door is a compelling narrative that unpacks the true facts of the story, as revealed in the courtroom and beyond during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius and as told to the authors in several exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes briefings. It looks at the characters involved, relates the courtroom interactions and dramas, the construction of each side’s argument, the analysis of forensic and circumstantial evidence and exchanges between the personalities, as well as a broader look at violence and criminal justice in South Africa.
Vivid and gripping, insightful and authoritative, Behind the Door is the book to read on the Reeva and Oscar story.
As National Director of Public Prosecutions from 2005 until 2007, Advocate Vusi Pikoli pursued criminal charges against the current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma and the convicted former National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi. It was his dogged determination to bring the country's top cop to account that ultimately saw Pikoli removed from office and a public inquiry into his suspension held. My Second Initiation traces Pikoli's journey from his first graduation to manhood in the hills of the Eastern Cape, to his second in the corridors of power in government. Pikoli has a deeply ingrained loyalty to the Constitution of the country and a keenly developed sense of justice, cultivated on the politically aware streets and rugby fields of New Brighton township. He recounts how he fled with his ANC unit into exile and spent fourteen years away from his home and his family, suffering the loss of a child and a man he considered a brother.
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