Category Archives: Political

We Have Now Begun Our Descent by Justice Malala

We_have_began_our_descents_by_Justice_Malala_326_x_500

12 FEBRUARY 2015. The South African secret services block the cellphones of journalists covering Parliament. Opposition party members are violently thrown out of the House. President Jacob Zuma – accused of corruption on a grand scale – laughs uproariously. Where is the country of Nelson Mandela headed?

The institutions of democracy are falling apart or being captured by a narrow and deeply corrupt elite built around Zuma. Its infrastructure is collapsing. Its economy cannot provide succour to the eight million who don’t have jobs. Protests over service delivery are on the rise. Does South Africa have the resolve and the leadership to stem the slide?

In a devastating, searing, honest paean to his country, renowned political journalist and commentator Justice Malala forces South Africa to come face to face with the country it has become: corrupt, crime-ridden, compromised and its institutions captured by a selfish political elite that is bent on enriching itself at the expense of the increasingly marginalised masses.

In this deeply personal reflection, Malala’s diagnosis is devastating: South Africa is on the brink. He does not stop there. Malala believes that we have the ingredients to turn things around: our lauded Constitution, our wealth of talent, our history of activism and a democratic trajectory that can be used to stop the rot from setting in. But he has a warning: South Africans need to wake up now, or else they will soon find their country has been stolen.

About the Author

Justice-Malala-hi-res1

Justice Malala is one of South Africa’s most well-known political analysts.  He was founding editor of This Day newspaper, publisher of the Sowetan and Sunday World, and Sunday Times correspondent in London and New York. He writes a weekly column and presents a weekly TV talk show The Justice Factor.

View Justice‘s website HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426799

Be Sociable, Share!

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

By the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Kateryn Parr, the first English queen to publish under her own name.

Taming_the_queen_Image_336_x_500

Why would a woman marry a serial killer?

Because she cannot refuse…

Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives – King Henry VIII – commands her to marry him.

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy – the punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant…

From an author who has described all of Henry’s queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power, and education at the court of a medieval killer.

About the Author

1R87poyp

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds an honorary degree from Teesside University, and is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff.

View Philippa‘s website HERE

Like Philippa‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781471132988

Be Sociable, Share!

Let’s Talk Frankly by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane

Letters to Influential South Africans about the State of our Nation

3gajy4Q

South Africa has been in the grip of a worrying culture of acquiesce and silence after 1994. Such silence is largely driven by patronage and a misplaced sense of loyalty, to party politics across the political spectrum. It is clear that speaking out has been left to a few voices that are seen as having nothing to lose. This situation has seen the culture and quality of debate degenerating.

The addressees of the letters are South African people of influence who are called upon to use their public presence and role to change the course of events in society and improve the level of public discourse. They receive praise for work well done and are castigated for poor judgement and omissions in their public life and deliberations.

Let’s Talk Frankly expresses some home truths in a satirical and tongue-in-cheek manner and is meant to offend sensibilities as well as express things that people often say around dinner tables but are too cautious to say in public.

Letters are addressed to: Gwede Mantashe, Helen Zille, Julius Malema, Mosiuoa Terror Lekota, Mamphela Ramphele, Zwelinzima Vavi, Patrice Motsepe, Peter Bruce, Pallo Jordan, Blade Nzimande, Aaron Motsoaledi, Nathi Nhleko, Angie Motshekga, Signal Jammer, Thuli Madonsela, Ray MacCauley, Steve Hofmeyr, Baleka Mbete, Nicky Oppenheimer, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mmusi Maimane and Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

Featuring cartoons by SIFISO YALO, who is best known for his work in the Sowetan.

‘A no-holds-barred collection that adds value to the views available in the public arena and is designed to encourage vigorous debate.’ – MATHATA TSEDUthe Director of the South African National Editors’ Forum

About the Author

527490_3865688436396_1691888155_n

Onkgopotse JJ Tabane is one of South Africa’s leading media and communications specialists, a community activist and a business executive. He is currently the Executive Director of Oresego Holdings, an international advisory company as well as the Chief Executive of EnviroWorld Productions – specialising in environmental programming for community TV and radio. He is a director of Pholosang BEE Resolutions Services, a company he co-founded to contribute to the advancement of Black Economic Empowerment. He is a founder and host of Frank Dialogue as well as media and communications colloquia. Tabane holds three degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a member of the University of the Western Cape and a regular columnist for The Daily Maverick and the Sunday Independent.

View Onkgopotse JJ Tabane‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770104327

Be Sociable, Share!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

9780141978659 - Good Morning, Mr Mandela (New edition) - Zelda La Grange - LR

Good Morning, Mr Mandela, the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life and everything she once believed in transformed by the greatest man of her time.

Zelda la Grange grew up in South Africa as a white Afrikaner who supported the rules of segregation. Yet a few years after the end of Apartheid she would become the trusted assistant to Nelson Mandela. Now she shares his lasting and inspiring gifts with the world.

Helen Conford, Publishing Director, said, “This is a book that will touch your life and make you believe that every one of us, no matter who we are or what we have done, has the power to change. It has brought tears to the eyes of everyone who has read it. It shines with honesty and love. The lessons Nelson Mandela gave her as he renewed his country offer hope to everyone.”

About the Author

zelda

Zelda la Grange was born in 1970. She began working as a secretary for the government in 1992, in the Department of State Expenditure. In 1993 she moved to the Human Resources division and a year later she joined the office of the first democratically elected President of South Africa as a Senior Ministerial Typist.

She was promoted to one of President Mandela’s three Private Secretaries in 1997, and in 1999 Nelson Mandela requested her to remain in his service beyond retirement. In 2002 she left government and became full time employee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She served Nelson Mandela in different capacities over nineteen years, as Typist, Private Secretary, Manager of his office, Spokesperson and Aide-decamp. When he passed on in December 2013, she was his Personal Assistant.

View Zelda‘s website HERE

Like Zelda‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House

ISBN: 9780241014943

Be Sociable, Share!

The Black Sash by Mary Burton

CK_q5mNWoAAxeah

This is the story of a remarkable organisation of white South African women who carved out a unique role for themselves in opposing the injustices of apartheid and working towards a free and democratic country. It is written by Mary Burton, herself national president of the Black Sash for many years and, later, one of the Truth and Reconciliation commissioners.

Her book answers many of the questions that members often ask: What brought the Black Sash into being? What kept it alive for so many decades? How did an organisation of mainly white, middle-class, privileged women create and sustain a viable body that eventually made its contribution to the collapse of apartheid? What was it like to be involved in it? And what can we learn from its history that will teach us to be activists again?

This is a story of hard work and dedication, of small victories won little by little against the odds, of personal courage in the face of injustice and repression, of vision, compassion and caring. It is a uniquely South African story.

As Mary Burton says, “Joining the Black Sash influenced the course of my life. Its leaders were an inspiring example and its members became friends and colleagues. It prompted me to join other organisations committed to the same ideals, and to study more about South Africa and its history. It was owing to the Black Sash that many of us were offered opportunities to serve the new society created after 1990, working for the elections, contributing to the new Constitution, taking part in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or participating in the new government structures.”

View The Black Sash’s website HERE

You can find The Black Sash’s Facebook page HERE and Twitter page HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431422289

Be Sociable, Share!

Selling Apartheid by Ron Nixon

The compelling story of the apartheid government’s secret attempts to wage a global propaganda war.

untitled

This is an important story that needs to be told about the apartheid government’s global lobbying effort …” – Eleanor Holmes Norton, US House of Representatives

This is a tale of intrigue, rich characters and large chequebooks, played out in all the Western capitals. This book is for those who want to understand the full intricacies of the Washington–London–Bonn–Pretoria relationship during the years of white minority rule, and the tough strategic and moral questions it raised.” – Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism, Wits University

Selling Apartheid tells the story of the South African propaganda campaign, run with military precision, which involved a worldwide network of supporters, including global corporations with business operations in South Africa, conservative religious organisations and an unlikely coalition of liberal US black clergy and anti-communist black conservatives aligned with right-wing Cold War politicians. A large focus of the campaign was put on the United States because as its one-time coordinator, Eschel Rhoodie, wrote: “America dominates Western thought as far as Africa is concerned.” Not even the exposure of the programme by South African journalists in the late 1970s, which would bring down a president and send Rhoodie on the run, would stop the worldwide campaign. In fact, it would expand and morph into a much larger and subtler operation. It would end in the early 1990s, only after domestic problems caused the government to focus its energies on issues at home.

The book details interviews with many of the players, such as South African government ministers and civil servants, corporate leaders, anti-apartheid leaders and others, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the attempt to sell apartheid abroad. In addition, thousands of previously unreleased records from both the South African and the United States archives will help shed light on the scope of the campaign and reveal an astonishing story.

About the Author

Ron_Nixon

Ron Nixon is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times. He is a visiting associate in the Department of Media and Journalism Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he teaches investigative reporting and data journalism. He has published an e-book, Operation Blackwash, and was a contributor to The Farrakhan Factor: African-American Writers on Leadership, Nationhood, and Minister Louis Farrakhan (Grover Press) and The American Civil Rights Movement.

Follow Ron on Twitter HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431421435

Be Sociable, Share!

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege is the extraordinary and moving memoir of a woman who learns that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in the film Schindler’s List. Here are five reasons why you need to read her mesmerising story.

my_grandfather_would_have_shot_me_tpb_-_teege.pdf_330_x_500

1.   An incredible discovery. Jennifer Teege’s story is one of incredible and devastating discovery. Adopted aged 7 she grew up knowing little about her birth mother and grandmother, although she still spent time with them occasionally. It was only when she happened by chance to pull a book from the shelf in Hamburg Library that she discovered the truth. The book was about her mother and grandparents. Slowly, Jennifer realised that she was the granddaughter of notorious Nazi and concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List. Jennifer realised that she, a mixed-race German woman, was the granddaughter of this monstrous and brutal man.

2.  An untold story. To Jennifer, and many others who have watched Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Amon Goeth’s character was evil personified. But as Jennifer read more of the book about her birth family, she begins to grasp that the Amon Goeth in the film is not a fictional character, but a person who really existed.  A man who killed innocent people, and worse, a man who enjoyed it. Jennifer learns that her grandfather would shoot Jewish prisoners at random from the balcony of his house next to the camp. And he trained his two dogs to attack and kill people on his command. And equally shocking is the fact that the grandmother Jennifer remembers as a warm and loving figure from her childhood, lived in the house with this man and bore witness to it all.
 
3.  A personal journey. 
Jennifer’s discovery throws her into a deep depression – the greatest struggle of her life so far. It causes her to question who she is and what she knows about her family and her past. She questions everything that has been central to her life: her close relationship with her adoptive family, her friends in Israel, her marriage, her two sons. Has her whole life been a lie? What is her identity now? She feels she has travelled under a false name, and betrayed everyone she knows, when in fact it is she who has been betrayed. How can she process this terrible truth and continue to live her life as normal?

4. Finding redemption. Jennifer is determined not to let her grandfather and his terrible deeds define her. But before she can face her family and friends, particularly her Jewish friends and the people she met whilst studying in Israel, she must go on a difficult personal journey. Her memoir charts this journey, from Jennifer’s visit to PÅ‚aszów concentration camp where Amon Goeth brutally murdered so many Jewish prisoners, to the house next to the camp, where Jennifer’s beloved grandmother lived alongside the Nazi commandant. Jennifer reconnects with her mother, the woman who gave her up for adoption and hid their shared and painful past. Only then is she able to move on and travel to Israel to see her friends again.
 
5.  A different perspective. 
As the Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg said, ‘in Germany, the Holocaust is family history’. Anybody related to a notorious Nazi, as Jennifer Teege discovered that she was, is compelled to deal with their family’s past. But the same is often true of those related to ordinary Germans, who stood by during the years in which terrible atrocities were committed against the Jews. Guilt cannot be inherited, but feelings of guilt can. And this can often be particularly difficult for grandchildren of the wartime generation. They did not grow up in the culture of silence immediately following the war, as their parents did. Today’s 30-50 year olds are not afraid to speak about the Nazis and the terrible things that happened on their grandparents’ watch – or in fact the acts their grandparents committed themselves, as in Jennifer Teege’s case. They must deal with these issues head on.

About the Author

Teege

Jennifer Teege has worked in advertising since 1999 and lives in Germany with her husband and two sons. In her twenties, she studied for four years in Israel, where she learned fluent Hebrew. A mixed-race woman raised by adoptive German parents, she was appalled to discover her biological family’s Nazi history. Her compelling true story is stranger than fiction.

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN 9781473616233

Be Sociable, Share!

How Long Will South Africa Survive? by R W Johnson

How-Will-South-Africa-Survive-by-R-W-Johnson_316_x_500

In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.

‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted.The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’

Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.

About the Author

rw_johnson_140x140

R W Johnson is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and was the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return to live in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. He has published twelve books, scores of academic articles and innumerable articles for the international press. His former students include three members of the current British cabinet, an editor of The Economist and a large number of leading academics and journalists. He lives in Cape Town.

View R W Johnson‘s website HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426348

Be Sociable, Share!

Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State by Anemari Jansen

Eugene De Kock_Eng_300dpi

‘One day I summoned all my courage: ‘Eugene, how does it feel to kill another human being?’

His facial muscles involuntarily pulled in horror. ‘The person, the victim, gives off a smell,’ he says. ‘Even today I can still recall that smell. It makes me nauseous to the core of my being; that particular smell of fear that bursts through a person’s pores and his body fluid.’”

The blood of several anti-apartheid activists is on Eugene de Kock’s hands and for most South Africans he represents prime evil.

Is there any humaneness to be found in the man who many call a monster; and how did he come to be an ‘assassin for the state’? Anemari Jansen went in search of answers by looking at De Kock’s strict upbringing, his first exposure to gruesome scenes as a young police officer on the East Rand and in the Border War where he became a hunter of people.

Jansen had exclusive access to De Kock’s family as well as former Koevoet and Vlakplaas colleagues. She paints a picture of a highly intelligent but complex individual who was an outsider since childhood.

Jansen also quotes extensively from De Kock’s diaries and an unpublished manuscript. In his own words, De Kock is scathingly honest and he doesn’t shy away from describing atrocities in detail or identifying the superiors from whom he received his orders.

The book sketches an era and the environment in which Vlakplaas took place, but also offers a unique insight into De Kock’s soul and his humanity.

About the Author

anemari-jansen-1

Anemari Jansen is a published writer of fiction who published her first nonfiction title on the life of Eugene de Kock in 2014. Her debut nove, Glipstroom, was also published in 2014 by Tafelberg,

She first met De Kock in 2011 while he was incarcerated and went on a journey to get to know De Kock as a person and to better understand the events during the apartheid years. Her research took her to all the corners of South Africa and brought her into contact with many former members of Koevoet and Vlakplaas.

View Anemari‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624070276

Be Sociable, Share!

Affluenza by Niq Mhlongo

XAr1iwQ

Niq Mhlongo returns with a collection of short stories that cover the span of our democracy – the euphoria of 1994, the Aids pandemic, xenophobia, the madness of Marikana and the Zuma presidency. The stories have been published to critical acclaim in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA but remain largely unknown in South Africa. Affluenza offers us a chance to savour Niq Mhlongo’s take on the madness of the last twenty years.

Niq Mhlongo is the author of three novels – Dog Eat DogAfter Tears and Way Back Home. His work has been translated into Spanish, Italian, French and German.

About the Author

1280455_10201843033060576_1238671266_n

Niq Mhlongo was born in 1973 in Soweto. He has a BA from the University of the Witwatersrand, with majors in African Literature and Political Studies. His first novel, Dog Eat Dog, was published by Kwela in 2004 and was translated into Spanish under the title Perro Come Perro in 2006. This Spanish edition was awarded the Mar de Letras prize.

Besides writing novels and short stories, Niq has written a screenplay for the animated children’s TV series Magic Cellar and scripts for a comic magazine called Mshana, the first issue of which appeared in February 2007.

View Niq‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Kwela Books (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780795706967

Be Sociable, Share!