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In the world of espionage, truth is the first victim and nothing is as it seems. Here, for the first time, South Africa’s most notorious apartheid spy, Olivia Forsyth, lays bare the story of her remarkable life. With remarkable courage and brutal honesty she attempts to set the record straight.
Olivia Forsyth was a romantic young woman in search of adventure when she joined the Security Police with visions of international derring-do. But Craig Williamson, her unit head, had other ideas. Olivia was trained to spy on students before being dispatched to Rhodes University, a supposed ‘hotbed’ of anti-apartheid radicalism. It wasn’t long before Olivia had infiltrated various student organisations, feeding vital information back to her handler.
She came to hold prominent positions on campus and, as reward, was promoted to Lieutenant. Having reached the end of her studies, Olivia set her sights on a much more ambitious – and dangerous – target: the ANC in exile. But what should have been her greatest triumph as a spy turned into disaster when the ANC threw her into Quatro, the notorious internment camp in Angola. This is a riveting story set in the final years of apartheid.
Jan Christian Smuts was soldier, statesman and intellectual, one of South Africa’s greatest leaders. Yet little is said about him today, even as we appear to live in a leadership vacuum.
Unafraid of Greatness is a re-examination of the life and thoughts of Jan Smuts. It is intended to remind a contemporary readership of the remarkable achievements of this impressive soldier-statesman. The author argues that there is a need to bring Smuts back into the present, that Smuts’ legacy still has much to instruct. He draws several parallels between Smuts and President Thabo Mbeki, both intellectuals much lionised abroad and yet often distrusted at home. This book is a highly readable account of Smuts’ life. It also examines a number of overarching themes: his relationships with women, spiritual life, intellectual life and his role as advisor to world leaders. Politics and international affairs receive the lion’s share, but Smuts’ unique contributions to other fields – for example, botany – are not neglected.
Unafraid of Greatness does not shy away from the contradictions of its subject. Smuts was one of the architects of the United Nations, and a great champion of human rights, yet he could not see the need to reform the condition of the African majority in his own country.
Triumph is the gripping true story of Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini who, after a plane crash, endured forty-seven treacherous days on the Pacific Ocean only to be captured by the Japanese Navy. As a prisoner of war for over two years, Louie suifered vicious atrocities at the hands of a brutal guard, yet was able to maintain his unrelenting, steadfast spirit.
Through a Billy Graham crusade after the war, Zamperini found the power to overcome the horrific evils of war and forgive through the power of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Louis' unforgettable story is a testimony of a person's ability to triumph over any evil, inspiring every reader to hope and live life to the full.
"I was 19 years old when I came face to face with Nelson Mandela. He was 60. Until that day I had never heard of him, or his African National Congress. I was his prison warder on Robben Island and he changed my life forever." - Christo Brand
The two of them – one a young white warder, the other serving a life sentence - should have become bitter enemies. Instead they formed an extraordinary friendship through small acts of human kindness. Christo, a gentle young man who valued ordinary decency and courtesy, struck a chord with the wise and resilient freedom fighter.
This bond of trust endured between the two men long after Mandela was freed.
In this book Christo tells, for the first time, the incredible and moving story of their unlikely friendship. He provides rare and personal insights into Mandela’s life during his years on Robben Island.
Tony Leon has written a book of unique insight into an unexplored aspect of the presidency and leadership of Nelson Mandela. Opposite Mandela relates the untold stories of how South Africa's first democratic president related to his political opponents.
Leon served as leader of the Democratic Party during Mandela's presidency. Although they clashed, sometimes fiercely, on great issues of the day, Leon enjoyed an unusually warm relationship with Mandela and had direct access to the president's office. In this first-hand account, he relates some of the more consequential moments of those momentous times in South Africa's history-in-the-making through the lens of the opposition. Although this is a personal account, it also explores some of the major themes, from reconciliation to corruption, which not only marked that period but also laid the basis for the current challenges which confront South Africa today, nearly two decades after Mandela assumed the country’s highest office, the very moment when Leon's political leadership began.
Insightful, and simultaneously serious and amusing, it lifts the veil on many unknown or unexplained benchmarks from that era: the personal animosity between Mandela and FW De Klerk, the decision of the Democratic Party to reject Mandela's offer of a seat in his cabinet and whether the extraordinary outreach of Mandela to the minorities was the shrewd calculation of a latter-day Machiavelli or the genuine impulses of a secular political saint. This highly readable and first-hand account considers in a balanced manner both the golden moments and the blind spots of one of the most consequential presidencies and leaders of the modern democratic age.
Mosibudi Mangena has been a life-long member of the Black Consciousness Movement, which led to his incarceration on Robben Island from 1973–8. After his release, he went into exile in 1981, spending time in Botswana and Zimbabwe, before returning to South Africa in 1994.
Triumphs & Heartaches provides fascinating insight into Mangena’s varied life, including his time as the leader of AZAPO and his service in government as the deputy minister of Education and then the minister of Science and Technology.
Mangena provides an insider’s view of life in exile as a political refugee, followed by the hardships of repatriation and the hard-won successes of democracy. He reflects eloquently on the role of Black Consciousness and its potential place in the future of South Africa, and does not flinch from exploring the disappointments of the liberation struggle and the challenges that lie ahead for the country.
16 years went into the making of the feature film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, a biopic based on Mandela's bestselling autobiography. Danny Schechter, who has spent 40 years getting to know Mandela, was asked to make a non-fiction documentary about the biopic and this book is his companion to the feature, the documentary, and Mandela's life itself.
In Schechter's words:
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.
'All of us face hard choices in our lives,' Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the centre of world events. 'Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become.' In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the Unites States Senate. To her surprise, her formal rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted.
Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm's way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, travelled nearly one million miles and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications and health.
Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of girls, youth and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day.
Secretary Clinton's descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a masterclass in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use 'smart power' to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world - one in which America remains the indispensable nation.
Nelson Mandela said nothing about his personal religious beliefs in his writings or in his public pronouncements. But those who were close to him know that he held Christian views, and, at his request, the final part of his funeral followed the Methodist service rather than a traditional Xhosa ceremony. This book traces the spiritual aspect of Mandela’s life, from his youth in a traditional Thembu village, to his education at Wesleyan and Methodist mission schools, to his time as an activist, his period on Robben Island and the years thereafter.
It explores the way that he balanced Christianity with traditional African beliefs and with his political views, and how he reconciled his own beliefs with the fact that religion had been used as a tool to oppress his people.
Based on interviews with some of Mandela’s close colleagues, such as Ahmed Kathrada, as well as priests and other religious figures with whom he interacted, this book unearths an unknown dimension of recent history’s most famous man.
The aggressive poaching of rhinos needs to be countered with equal aggression. So argued Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the founder president of the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), at a 1987 meeting with John Hanks, conservation expert and WWF’s head in Africa. The result was Operation lock, a secret initiative funded by Prince Bernhard and staffed by former SAS operatives. Operation lock set up headquarters in Johannesburg and extended its reach into neighbouring states: Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. Its operatives planned to train game rangers, to pose as rhino horn traders in order to entrap buyers, and to expose the kingpins who were driving the trade. It was a controversial approach, all the more because it was working within apartheid South Africa in the late 1980s. When the existence of the project was finally leaked, WWF denied any involvement, and John Hanks took the fall. In Operation lock and the War on rhino poaching, John Hanks finally tells the story of these explosive events from 25 years ago. As a leading international authority on conservation, he also deals with the scourge of rhino poaching up to the present, and gives powerful and controversial criticism of some of the current policies to curb poaching.
Johannesburg was - and is - the Frontier of Money. Within months of its founding, the mining camp was host to organised crime: the African ‘Regiment of the Hills’ and ‘Irish Brigade’ bandits. Bars, brothels, boarding houses and hotels oozed testosterone and violence, and the use of fists and guns was commonplace.
Beyond the chaos were clear signs of another struggle, one to maintain control, honour and order within the emerging male and mining dominated culture. In the underworld, the dictum of ‘honour among thieves’, as well as a hatred of informers, testified to attempts at self-regulation. A ‘real man’ did not take advantage of an opponent by employing underhand tactics. It had to be a ‘fair fight’ if a man was to be respected.
This was the world that ‘One-armed Jack’ McLoughlin - brigand, soldier, sailor, mercenary, burglar, highwayman and safe-cracker – entered in the early 1890s to become Johannesburg’s most infamous ‘Irish’ anti-hero and social bandit. McLoughlin’s infatuation with George Stevenson prompted him to recruit the young Englishman into his gang of safe-crackers but ‘Stevo’ was a man with a past and primed for personal and professional betrayal. It was a deadly mixture.
Honour could only be retrieved through a Showdown at the Red Lion.
Aan die einde van 1896, enkele jare voor die Anglo-Boereoorlog, het die 26-jarige wewenaar en Transvaalse koerantman Eugène Marais na Londen vertrek om in die regte te gaan studeer. Hier het hy oënskynlik tot in die doodsnikke van die oorlog gewoon.
Oor hierdie lewensjare van een van Afrikaans se beroemdste letterkundige figure is baie min bekend. Leon Rousseau sê in sy baanbreker-lewensverhaal oor Marais, Die Groot Verlange (1974): “Tensy ontdekkings gemaak word wat ’n mens jou op die oomblik kwalik kan voorstel, sal dit altyd onmoontlik bly om ’n samehangende relaas van Marais se vyf jaar in Europa te gee.”
Hierdie ontdekkings en nog baie meer is nou gemaak. In Donker Stroom word onthul presies waarmee Marais hom kort voor, tydens en ná die bitter stryd tussen Boer en Brit besig gehou het, ’n verstommende verhaal wat ’n mens jou skaars kan indink. Was Marais die onkreukbare patriot en joernalis wat sy biograwe van hom gemaak het, of is hierdie Afrikaner-ikoon ook deur die donker stroom van die tydsgees meegesleur?
David Ben-Gurion cast a great shadow during his lifetime, and his legacy continues to be sharply debated to this day. There have been many books written about the life and accomplishments of the Zionist icon and founder of modern Israel, but this new biography by eminent Israeli historian Anita Shapira strives to get to the core of the complex man who would become the face of the new Jewish nation.
Shapira tells the Ben-Gurion story anew, focusing especially on the period after 1948, during the first years of statehood. As a result of her extensive research and singular access to Ben-Gurion’s personal archives, the author provides fascinating and original insights into his personal qualities and those that defined his political leadership. As Shapira writes, “Ben-Gurion liked to argue that history is made by the masses, not individuals. But just as Lenin brought the Bolshevik Revolution into the world and Churchill delivered a fighting Britain, so with Ben-Gurion and the Jewish state. He knew how to create and exploit the circumstances that made its birth possible.”
Shapira’s portrait reveals the flesh-and-blood man who more than anyone else realized the Israeli state.
Now a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood.
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him "The Legend"; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.
Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
Includes new material by Taya Kyle about the making of the American Sniper film.
On 21 March 1960, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe led a mass defiance of South Africa’s pass laws. He urged blacks to go to the nearest police station and demand arrest. Police opened fire on a peaceful crowd in the township of Sharpeville and killed 69 people.
The protest changed the course of South Africa’s history. Afrikaner rule stiffened and black resistance went underground. Sobukwe, leader of the Pan-Africanist Congress, was jailed for three years for incitement. At the end of his sentence the government, fearful of his power, rushed the so-called ‘Sobukwe Clause’ through Parliament, to keep him in prison without a trial. For the next six years, Sobukwe was kept in solitary confinement on Robben Island.
On his release, Sobukwe was banished to the town of Kimberley with very severe restrictions on his freedom. He died there nine years later in February 1978.
This book is the story of this South African hero – the lonely prisoner on Robben Island. It is also the story of the friendship between Robert Sobukwe and Benjamin Pogrund whose joint experiences and debates chart the course of a tyrannous regime and the growth of black resistance.
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly human story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, who encouraged their studying. As individuals they had differing skill sets and passions but as a team they excelled in any given task . That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no patron to open doors to their desires, never stopped them in their goal to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed, or, at the very least, maimed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.
The Thabo Mbeki I Know is a collection that celebrates one of South Africa’s most exceptional thought leaders. The contributors include those who first got to know Thabo Mbeki as a young man, in South Africa and in exile, and those who encountered him as a statesman and worked alongside him as an African leader.
In The Thabo Mbeki I Know, these friends, comrades, statesmen, politicians and business associates provide insights that challenge the prevailing academic narrative and present fresh perspectives on the former president’s time in office and on his legacy – a vital undertaking as we approach a decade since an embattled Thabo Mbeki left office. Edited by Miranda Strydom and Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, The Thabo Mbeki I Know provides readers with an opportunity to reassess Thabo Mbeki’s contribution to post-apartheid South Africa – as both deputy president and president – to the African continent and diaspora – as a highly respected state leader – and to the international community as a whole.
Op 'n dag skraap ek my moed bymekaar: 'Eugene, hoe voel dit om 'n ander mens dood te maak?' Sy gesigspiere trek onwillekeurig in afgryse. 'Die mens, die slagoffer, gee 'n reuk af,' se hy. 'Ek kan die reuk vandag steeds herroep. Dit walg my tot in my siel toe, daardie reuk van vrees wat deur daardie mens se sweetgaatjies en liggaamsvog na buite bars.' Die bloed van tientalle anti-apartheidaktiviste sit aan Eugene de Kock hande. Vir die meeste Suid-Afrikaners is hy die vergestalting van boosheid. Is daar enige menslikheid aan die man wat talle 'n monster noem en hoe het hy so geword? Anemari Jansen gaan soek na antwoorde in De Kock se streng grootwordjare, sy eerste blootstelling aan grutonele as jong polisieman aan die Oos-Rand en in die Grensoorlog waar hy as lid van Koevoet 'n jagter van mense geword het. Jansen het eksklusiewe toegang tot De Kock se familie, asook oud-Koevoet- en Vlakplaaskollegas gehad. Sy skets ’n prentjie van 'n hoogs intelligente, dog komplekse mens wat van kindsbeen af 'n buitestaander was. De Kock het ook sy dagboeke en ’n ongepubliseerde manuskrip aan haar beskikbaar gestel – hieruit haal sy groot dele direk aan. In sy eie woorde is hy skreiend eerlik – De Kock skram nie daarvan weg om van sy wandade in detail te beskryf of sy opdraggewers te identifiseer nie. Die boek skets nie net die era en omstandighede wat tot Vlakplaas gelei het nie, maar bied ook insae in De Kock se menslikheid.
Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
From letters written in the darkest hours of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations With Myself gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure.
Here he is making notes and even doodling during meetings, or recording troubled dreams on the desk calendar of his cell on Robben Island; writing journals while on the run during the anti-apartheid struggles of the early 1960s, or conversing with friends in almost seventy hours of recorded conversations. Here he is neither an icon nor a saint; here he is like you and me.
An intimate journey from the first stirrings of his political conscience to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations With Myself is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear, private.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
Shirley, Goodness & Mercy is a heart-warming, yet compellingly honest story about a young boy growing up in the coloured townships of Newclare, Coronationville and Riverlea during the apartheid era.
Despite Van Wyk’s later becoming involved in the struggle, this is not a book about racial politics. Instead, it is a delightful account of one boy’s special relationship with the relatives, friends and neighbours who made up his community, and of the important coping role laughter and humour played during the years he spent in bleak and dusty townships.
In Shirley, Goodness & Mercy Chris van Wyk – poet, novelist and short story writer – has created a truly remarkable work, at once both thought-provoking and vastly entertaining.
Tutu: The Authorised Portrait is a celebration of eighty years of the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an icon whose humanity and compassion have touched the lives of millions around the world.
Born in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and trained as a teacher because his family could not afford to send him to medical school, Desmond Tutu was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1960. He vigorously opposed apartheid and has dedicated his life to fighting all forms of oppression, advocating non-violence, peaceful reconciliation and social justice for all.
This extraordinary book features a biography by legendary South African journalist Allister Sparks, authorised by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and includes over forty interviews conducted by Tutu's daughter Reverend Mpho Tutu with close family, friends, colleagues, comrades and critics.
Complemented by an unprecedented collection of images and unpublished artefacts drawn from Tutu's private files, this is a phenomenal story of one man's life-long commitment to the liberation of the oppressed. Includes interviews with Kofi Annan, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Barack Obama.
Posterity has not been kind to Douglas Haig, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front for much of the First World War. Haig has frequently been presented as a commander who sent his troops to slaughter in vast numbers at the Somme in 1916 and at Passchendaele the following year. The Good Soldier re-examines Haig's record in these battles and presents his predicament with a fresh eye. More importantly, it re-evaluates Haig himself, exploring the nature of the man, turning to both his early life and army career before 1914, as well as his unstinting work on behalf of ex-servicemen's organizations after 1918. Finally, in this definitive biography, the man emerges from the myth.
Van laaitie tot politieke kryger, bandiet tot generaal-majoor, ondergrondse operateur tot presidensiële lyfwag…
Van sy kleintyd in Elsiesrivier neem Jeremy Vearey se lewe talle onvoorspelbare wendings. Sy eiesoortige vertelling sluit die ouere manne van sy jeug in, die ooms by die damstafel, kerkjeugkampe en die Kommuniste-manifes, skoolhou en ondergrondse werk vir MK, en sy aanhouding op Robbeneiland. As Mandela se lyfwag help hy ’n opstand in die Karoo ontlont, voor hy deel word van die nuwe SAPD, waar hy saam met die gewese vyand terrorisme en Kaapse bendes takel.
En onder alles loop ’n donker stroom.
Die eiesoortige vriendskap tussen Winston Churchill en Jan Smuts is ’n studie in kontraste. In hul jeug het hulle uiteenlopende wêrelde bewoon: Churchill was die weerbarstige en energieke jong aristokraat; Smuts die asketiese, filosofiese Kaapse plaasseun, wat later aan Cambridge sou gaan studeer. Daar sou hy die eerste student word wat albei dele van die finale regskursus in dieselfde jaar neem en al twee met onderskeiding slaag.
Nadat hulle in die Anglo-Boereoorlog eers as vyande, en later in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog as bondgenote byeengebring is, het die mans ’n vriendskap gesmee wat oor die eerste helfte van die twintigste eeu gestrek het en tot Smuts se dood in 1950 voortgeduur het. Richard Steyn, die skrywer van Jan Smuts: Afrikaner sonder grense, bestudeer dié hegte vriendskap deur twee wêreldoorloë aan die hand van ’n magdom argiefstukke, briewe, telegramme en die omvangryke boeke wat oor albei mans geskryf is.
Dit is ’n fassinerende verhaal oor twee besonderse individue in oorlog en vrede – die een die leier van ’n groot ryk, die ander die leier van ’n klein, weerspannige lid van daardie ryk.
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