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It’s easy to imagine that state capture began with Jacob Zuma and the Guptas. But you’d be wrong.
Born out of the ANC Women’s League 20 years ago, Bosasa has come to be described as the ANC’s ‘Heart of Darkness’. At its helm today is Gavin Watson, a struggle-rugby-player-turned-tenderpreneur who made it his business to splash out on gifts and cash to get up close and personal with the country’s top politicians and civil servants. In return, Bosasa won tenders to the tune of billions of rands and – with friends in high places – stayed clear of prosecution. Adriaan Basson has been investigating Bosasa since he was a rookie journalist 13 years ago. He has been sued, intimidated and threatened, but has stuck to the story like a bloodhound. Now, in the wake of the explosive findings of the Zondo commission, he has weaved the threads of Bosasa’s story together.
Blessed by Bosasa is a riveting in-depth investigation into an extraordinary story of high-level corruption and rampant pillage, of backdoor dealings and grandiose greed. Through substantial research and a number of interviews with key individuals, Basson unveils the shady, cult-like underbelly of the criminal company that held the Zuma government in the palm of its hand.
Cape Town, 2018. South Africa’s mother city is wracked by drought. The prospect of premier Helen Zille’s ‘Day Zero’ – the day when all taps run dry – is driving its citizens into a frenzy. When it’s announced that Mayor Patricia de Lille is off the water crisis, the predicament reaches its zenith and politicians turn upon each other.
And so begins a stupendous battle within the Democratic Alliance: who will lead Cape Town? It’s during this time that author and researcher Crispian Olver applies to the City of Cape Town to gain access to certain official documents as part of a research project. He is baffled when his application is rejected without explanation, but this only strengthens his resolve to explore how the city of his childhood is run. In particular, he has his sights set on the relationship between city politicians and property developers.
Olver interviews numerous individuals, including many ‘chopped’ from the city administration. What he uncovers is a pandora’s box of backstabbing, in-fighting and backroom deals. He explores dodgy property developments at Wescape and Maiden’s Cove, delves into attempts to ‘hijack’ civic associations, and exposes the close yet precautious relationship between the mayor and City Hall’s so-called ‘laptop boys’. But his main goal is to understand what led to the political meltdown within the Democratic Alliance, and the defection of De Lille to form her own party.
In spite of Cyril Ramaphosa's "new dawn", there are powerful forces in the ruling party that risk losing everything if corruption and state capture finally do come to an end. At the centre of the old guard's fightback efforts is Ace Magashule, a man viewed by some as South Africa's most dangerous politician.
In this explosive book, investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh ventures deeper than ever before into Magashule's murky dealings, from his time as a struggle activist in the 1980s to his powerful rule as premier of the Free State province for nearly a decade, and his rise to one of the ANC's most influential positions. Sifting through heaps of records, documents and exclusive source interviews, Myburgh explores Magashule's relationship with the notorious Gupta family and other tender moguls; investigates government projects costing billions that enriched his friends and family but failed the poor; reveals how he was about to be arrested by the Scorpions before their disbandment in the late 2000s; and exposes the methods used to keep him in power in the Free State and to secure him the post of ANC secretary-general.
Most tellingly, Myburgh pieces together a pack of leaked emails and documents to reveal shocking new details on a massive Free State government contract and Magashule's dealings with a businessman who was gunned down in Sandton in 2017. These files seem to lay bare the methods of a man who usually operated without leaving a trace.
Gangster State is an unflinching examination of the ANC's top leadership in the post-Jacob Zuma era, one that should lead readers to a disconcerting conclusion: When it comes to the forces of capture, South Africa is still far from safe.
Perhaps the most explosive issue in South Africa today is the question of land ownership. The central theme in this country’s colonial history is the dispossession of indigenous African societies by white settlers, and current calls for land restitution are based on this loss. Yet popular knowledge of the actual process by which Africans were deprived of their land is remarkably sketchy.
This book recounts an important part of this history, describing how the Khoisan and Xhosa people were dispossessed and subjugated from the time that Europeans first arrived until the end of the Cape Frontier Wars (1779–1878).
The Land Wars traces the unfolding hostilities involving Dutch and British colonial authorities, trekboers and settlers, and the San, Khoikhoin, Xhosa, Mfengu and Thembu people – as well as conflicts within these groups. In the process it describes the loss of land by Africans to successive waves of white settlers as the colonial frontier inexorably advanced. The book does not shy away from controversial issues such as war atrocities on both sides, or the expedient decision of some of the indigenous peoples to fight alongside the colonisers rather than against them.
The Land Wars is an epic story, featuring well-known figures such as Ngqika, Lord Charles Somerset and his son, Henry, Andries Stockenström, Hintsa, Harry Smith, Sandile, Maqoma, Bartle Frere and Sarhili, and events such as the arrival of the 1820 Settlers and the Xhosa cattlekilling. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand South Africa’s past and present.
Anxious Joburg focuses on Johannesburg, the largest and wealthiest city in South Africa, as a case study for the contemporary global South city.
Global South cities are often characterised as sites of contradiction and difference that produce a range of feelings around anxiety. This is often imagined in terms of the global North's anxieties about the South: migration, crime, terrorism, disease and environmental crisis. Anxious Joburg invites readers to consider an intimate perspective of living inside such a city. How does it feel to live in the metropolis of Johannesburg: what are the conditions, intersections, affects and experiences that mark the contemporary urban?
Scholars, visual artists and storytellers all look at unexamined aspects of Johannesburg life. From peripheral settlements to the inner city to the affluent northern suburbs, from precarious migrants and domestic workers to upwardly mobile young women and fearful elites, Anxious Joburg presents an absorbing engagement with this frustrating, dangerous, seductive city. It offers a rigorous, critical approach to Johannesburg revealing the way in which anxiety is a vital structuring principle of contemporary life. The approach is strongly interdisciplinary, with contributions from media studies, anthropology, religious studies, urban geography, migration studies and psychology.
It will appeal to students and teachers, as well as to academic researchers concerned with Johannesburg, South Africa, cities and the global South. The mix of approaches will also draw a non-academic audience.
As a medical detective of the modern world, forensic pathologist Ryan Blumenthal’s chief goal is to bring perpetrators to justice. He has performed thousands of autopsies, which have helped bring numerous criminals to book. In Autopsy he covers the hard lessons learnt as a rookie pathologist, as well as some of the most unusual cases he’s encountered.
During his career, for example, he has dealt with high-profile deaths, mass disasters, death by lightning and people killed by African wildlife. Blumenthal takes the reader behind the scenes at the mortuary, describing a typical autopsy and the instruments of the trade. He also shares a few trade secrets, like how to establish when a suicide is more likely to be a homicide.
Even though they cannot speak, the dead have a lot to say – and Blumenthal is there to listen.
In September 2019, Cape Town–based entrepreneur Jarette Petzer posted a video on Facebook. It was an emotional recognition of the difficulties faced by South Africa, as well as a heartfelt plea to nurture everything he loves about this country. Friends suggested that Petzer start a Facebook page to continue the conversation, and #ImStaying was born.
Within weeks, 400 000 South Africans of every race, socio-economic and political background joined the page to tell their stories of everyday life – of beauty, of hardship and the magnificence of their fellow citizens – and to share stories across cultural barriers, which many had never crossed before. By the end of December 2019, the page had more than a million followers, and it continues to grow.
Adhering to the maxim ‘Good Thoughts. Good Words. Good Deeds.’, #ImStaying is about South Africans creating social cohesion through storytelling – reaching out to each other to inspire real change in the country they love and want to see succeed, and shaping a new future out of a painful past.
This book provides another platform for the diverse voices and stories of the #ImStaying movement, as well as giving an overview of how this uniquely South African group came about and why it’s so important.
In November 2019, Deon Wiggett’s sensational weekly podcasts held South Africa in thrall as he hunted down the paedophile who raped him as a schoolboy. Now, in My Only Story, he completes his exposé of Willem Breytenbach, the once brilliant teacher and later media luminary who led a predatory life.
Deon’s mission to expose his abuser takes him from Breytenbach’s high-school years at an agricultural school in South Africa’s hinterland to the famous Grey College in Bloemfontein and the media titan Naspers. But his quest reveals so much more. As he traces systemic failures through schools great and small, he uncovers a culture of complicity that poses a clear and present danger to the country’s children. While investigating men who prey on boys and girls, Deon devises a model that anyone can use to identify paedophiles in their midst. In his own words: ‘It’s pleasant to pretend that men don’t rape children, but once you accept that they do, it becomes surprisingly easy to recognise their trickery. Once you match a universal pattern to a specific man’s profile, you can spot the deceit before it is too late.’
My Only Story is a riveting, thoughtful and often irreverent account of one man’s determination to overcome childhood trauma; to help others face their demons; and to extract some beauty from the boyhood he lost.
In November 2019 het My Only Story, Deon Wiggett se sensasionele weeklikse podsending, SuidAfrika meegevoer in sy jag op die pedofiel wat hom as skoolseun verkrag het. Nou, in ’n Enkele verhaal, vertel hy vir die eerste keer ’n Afrikaanse storie in Afrikaans – en voltooi hy sy ontmaskering van Willem Breytenbach, die eens briljante onderwyser en latere mediabaas wat ’n donker lewe gelei het.
Deon se missie om ’n monster aan die kaak te stel, neem hom van Breytenbach se hoërskooljare by die landbouskool op Kroonstad na die beroemde Grey Kollege in Bloemfontein en die globale reus Naspers. Maar sy kruistog gaan soveel verder. Namate hy sistemiese tekortkominge by beroemde sowel as obskure skole ondersoek, onthul hy ’n kultuur van aandadigheid wat ’n ernstige gevaar vir ál Suid-Afrika se kinders inhou. In die loop van sy ondersoek na mans wat op kinders jag maak, skep Deon ’n model wat enigiemand kan gebruik om pedofiele in hul midde te identifiseer. In sy eie woorde: “Dit is aangenaam om voor te gee dat mans nie kinders verkrag nie, maar as jy eers aanvaar dat dit gebeur, word dit verrassend maklik om die roofdiere uit te ken. Wanneer jy eers ’n universele patroon met ’n spesifieke man se profiel vergelyk, kan jy die bedrog raaksien voor dit te laat is.”
’n Enkele verhaal is ’n boeiende, deurdagte en verrassend ondeunde storie van een man se vasberadenheid om sy kindertrauma te verwerk, ander te help om hul eie demone in die oë te kyk, en om ’n stukkie skoonheid terug te wen uit die jeug wat hy verloor het.
In December 2010 while in Port Elizabeth, Andy Kawa was abducted, attacked and raped for 15 hours at Kings Beach. Her attackers were never caught. She successfully sued the police for failing to properly investigate her attack.
In November 2018, Port Elizabeth Judge Sarah Sephton found police officers were 'grossly negligent' in the performance of their duties with regards to her case both in the search and investigation.
This is Andy's story.
In the 1990s, deep-cover police agent RS536 took on the Durban underworld as part of a new organised crime intelligence unit. He rubbed shoulders with drug lords, smugglers and corrupt cops, and was instrumental in busting an international drug ring and foiling a bank heist, among many other dangerous engagements.
But then, as the country’s new democracy birthed a struggle between the old and the new guard in the South African Police Service, his identity and his life came under threat. In this action-packed account, Johann van Loggerenberg describes how, as a young policeman, he worked closely with the investigative team of the Goldstone Commission to uncover the ‘third force’ – apartheid security forces that supplied weapons to the Inkatha Freedom Party to destabilise the country.
He also delves into how and why, at the height of state capture at the South African Revenue Service in 2014, he was falsely accused of being an apartheid spy, a lie that persists up to today. Here, finally, is the truth behind deep-cover police agent RS536.
If a mere seven more MPs had voted with Prime Minister JBM Hertzog in favour of neutrality, South Africa’s history would have been quite different.
Parliament’s narrow decision to go to war in 1939 led to a seismic upheaval throughout the 1940s: black people streamed in their thousands from rural areas to the cities in search of jobs; volunteers of all races answered the call to go ‘up north’ to fight; and opponents of the Smuts government actively hindered the war effort by attacking soldiers and committing acts of sabotage. World War Two upended South Africa’s politics, ruining attempts to forge white unity and galvanising opposition to segregation among African, Indian and coloured communities. It also sparked debates among nationalists, socialists, liberals and communists such as the country had never previously experienced.
As Richard Steyn recounts so compellingly in 7 Votes, the war’s unforeseen consequence was the boost it gave to nationalism, both Afrikaner and African, that went on to transform the country in the second half of the 20th century. The book brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters, including wartime leader Jan Smuts, DF Malan and his National Party colleagues, African nationalists from Anton Lembede and AB Xuma to Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, the influential Indian activists Yusuf Dadoo and Monty Naicker, and many others.
Once in a while a publisher receives a book submission that makes them sit back in their chair, read out loud what is in front of them and laugh at the pure joy the writing and imagery evoke. This was the case with the first three short stories author Yusuf Daniels submitted to Jacana Media.
They were instantly recognisable. They were funny as hell. The nostalgia, triggered by the mere mention of a sight, sound or smell, instantly transported the reader to a time and place that spoke to Coloured culture and lived experiences on the Cape Flats and surrounding townships. There was something magical about the way Daniels recollected his memories from his childhood in those first three stories, which he had also posted on Facebook, eliciting a slew of likes, shared experiences and feedback from his followers to “write more” and “do you remember, Yussie …”.
Living Coloured (because Black and White were Already Taken) is a compilation of short stories that is an ode to an era all Cape Coloured people will instantly recognise – from the nightclubbing at Space Odyssey and the shenanigans at the Mitchells Plain public swimming pool, to the traditions of delectable food exchanges during Ramadan among Muslims and Christians, alike. This book truly is a tribute to all that the Coloured community holds dear and sings of the spirit which helped them eek out an existence on the dusty flat plains of the Cape.
But as you read story after story, you will also be confronted with the blatant racism that was the Group Areas Act, the legacy of a people removed and dumped in this windswept place that wasn’t of their own making, and the constant forging ahead to make life worthwhile under very harsh political and economic circumstances. The stories will also leave you seething with anger at the sheer brutality of what this community had to endure (and still do), while their black counterparts in the township next door lived even harsher realities.
Where is South Africa going now? And where will South Africa be in five years’ time? Much has been written about the country’s past, but is enough thought being given to its future? Is South Africa in danger of again losing its way, given its pressing socio-economic challenges?
Prominent economist Raymond Parsons has drawn together a powerful collection of expert thinkers, economists and analysts who tackle these issues head on as well as offering timely solutions to several of South Africa’s most pressing problems, drawing key lessons from the past in crystallising what South Africa needs to do to create a better future.
After the so-called ‘lost decade’ under the Zuma administration, South Africans had high hopes that President Ramaphosa would deliver on his promise of a ‘new dawn’. Yet despite high expectations that the country would finally turn the corner and settle onto a path of stronger inclusive growth and better governance, socioeconomic conditions have deterioriated. Growth remains negligible, unemployment has worsened and the fiscus is under considerable strain. Will SA be able to break out of its present ‘growth trap’ without falling into a ‘debt trap’?
The country is also facing global headwinds in the form of volatile market conditions, shifting geopolitics, and a fast-changing and disruptive technological landscape which threatens to leave all but the most well-prepared behind. So how must the different strands of policy – ranging from purely economic issues to broader questions around education and the rule of law – now knit together to create a bigger, stronger and better SA economy in future?
If the vision of a well-functioning society is to be realised, policy uncertainty about the road ahead must be generally tackled at the highest level to facilitate job-rich growth. And business and civil society, in its turn, must take a long-term view of South Africa’s future and commit energy and resources to bringing about change which is both productive and transformational.
Recession, Recovery & Reform will offer compelling new insights into how South Africa can unlock its potential in the years ahead. The publication of this title a month ahead of the ANC policy conference in June 2020, at which President Ramaphosa’s political and economic ‘track record’ will be widely assessed, ensures it will be a must-read for all who are concerned about South Africa’s well-being and who are willing to believe that a ‘new dawn’ is indeed possible.
Dr Joan Louwrens was always drawn to wild places, which were balm to her soul. When her husband died, leaving her alone with two small daughters to raise, she threw herself wholeheartedly into ‘adventure medicine’, seeking out the world’s most remote corners – on land and at sea – to practise her healing, both her own and others.
Working in wild places from the Kruger Park to the Australian Outback, the Atlantic Ocean islands, and both the south and north poles, ‘Doctor Joan’ dealt with a vast range of medical issues, from rabies to deep-vein thrombosis, childbirth to wisdom-tooth extraction, catatonia to depression.
Showing an eagerness to learn and a humility that isn’t always a given in her profession, and with a wry eye and a sympathetic outlook, Joan Louwrens has written a memoir that’s a poignant and often funny story of a life lived to the full
Like so many of her generation, Lwando Xaso came of age alongside the beginnings and growth of South Africa’s constitutional democracy. Her journey into adulthood was a radically different one from that of earlier generations, marked by hope that changing perceptions would usher in a new and free society.
Made in South Africa – A Black Woman’s Stories of Rage, Resistance and Progress is a vibrant collection of essays in which Lwando examines with incisive clarity some of the events that have shaped her experience of South Africa – a country with huge potential but weighed down by persistent racism and inequality, cultural appropriation, sexism and corruption, all legacies of a complicated history.
As a young lawyer intent on climbing the corporate ladder, Lwando’s life’s direction was changed by a personal experience of the oppressive capacity of a supposedly democratic government when it unjustly fired a close family friend and mentor from a senior government position. She found herself on his legal team and the turmoil the case created within her led her to further her studies in constitutional law, and to pick up her pen and share with a wider audience her views of what was happening in her beloved country.
Her outlook was further shaped by her experience of clerking at the Constitutional Court for Justice Edwin Cameron, which deepened her respect for the South African Constitution, and what it really means for a resilient people to strive continually to live up to its moral and legal standards.
Lwando’s writing reflects her unflinching resolve to live according to the precepts of our groundbreaking Constitution and offers a challenge to all South Africans to believe in and achieve ‘the improbable’.
City Of Broken Dreams brings the global debate about the urban university to bear on the realities of South African rust-belt cities through a detailed case study of the Eastern Cape motor city of East London, a site of significant industrial job losses over the past two decades. The cultural power of the car and its associations with the endless possibilities of modernity lie at the heart of the refusal of many rust-belt motor cities to seek alternative development paths that could move them away from racially inscribed, automotive capitalism and cultures. This is no less true in East London than it is in the motor cities of Flint and Detroit in the US.
Since the end of the Second World War, universities have become increasingly urbanised, resulting in widespread concerns about the autonomy of universities as places of critical thinking and learning. Simultaneously, there is increased debate about the role universities can play in building urban economies, creating jobs and reshaping the politics and identities of cities.
In City Of Broken Dreams, author Leslie Bank embeds the reader's understanding of the university within a history of industrialisation, placing-making and city building.
Patrick van Rensburg (1931-2017) was an anti-apartheid activist and self-made 'alternative educationist' whose work received international recognition with the Right Livelihood Award in 1981. Born in KwaZulu-Natal into what he described as a 'very ordinary South African family that believed in the virtue of racism', Van Rensburg became a self-styled rebel who tirelessly pursued his own vision of a brighter future for emerging societies in post-colonial southern Africa.
His emotional and intellectual struggle against his upbringing and cultural roots led him to reject his life of white privilege in South Africa. Determined to prevent the emergence of a privileged black elite in post-colonial society, he devoted his life to implementing an alternative, egalitarian approach to education, focusing on quality and functional schooling for the majority. Rewarded with the internationally prestigious Right Livelihood Award for his unique contribution to education, he saw this work as a 'necessary tool of development'.
Exiled from South Africa in 1960 because of his involvement in the London boycott campaign that gave birth to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Van Rensburg moved to Botswana (then Bechuanaland). There he founded cooperatives, provided vocational training and was among the earliest educationists to espouse the discipline of development studies. Perhaps his best-known legacy is the Swaneng Hill School, which he founded to provide an educational home for primary school 'dropouts' through a curriculum that combined theory and practice, and academic and manual labour. He involved his pupils in building their school, running it, providing their own food, and making their own equipment and furniture.
Van Rensburg was an innovative and charismatic visionary who captured the zeitgeist of the late twentieth century, and whose work and vision still have resonance for debates in educational policy today.
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
This book offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to thinking about inequality, and to understanding how inequality is produced and reproduced in the global South.
Without the safety net of the various Northern welfare states, inequality in the global South is not merely a socio-economic problem, but an existential threat to the social contract that underpins the democratic state and society itself. Only a response that is firrmly grounded in the context of the global South can hope to address this problem. This collection brings together scholars from across the global South to address broad thematic areas such as the conceptual and methodological challenges of measuring inequality; the political economy of inequality; inequality in work, households and the labour market; and inequalities in land, spaces and cities. The book concludes by suggesting alternatives for addressing inequality in the global South and around the world.
The pioneering ideas and theories put forward by this volume make it essential reading for students and researchers of global inequality across the fields of sociology, economics, law, politics, global studies and development studies.
Land reform and the possibility of expropriation without compensation are among the most hotly debated topics in South Africa today, met with trepidation and fervour in equal measure. But these broader issues tend to obscure a more immediate reality: a severe housing crisis and a sharp increase in urban land occupations.
In Promised Land, Karl Kemp travels the country documenting the fallout of failing land reform, from the under-siege Philippi Horticultural Area deep in the heart of Cape Town’s ganglands to the burning mango groves of Tzaneen, from Johannesburg’s lawless Deep South to rural KwaZulu-Natal, where chiefs own vast tracts of land on behalf of their subjects. He visits farming communities beset by violent crime, and provides gripping, on-the-ground reporting of recent land invasions, with perspectives from all sides, including land activists, property owners and government officials. Kemp also looks at burning issues surrounding the land debate in South Africa – corruption, farm murders, illegal foreign labour, mechanisation and eviction – and reveals the views of those affected.
Touching on the history of land conflict and conquest in each area, as well as detailing the current situation on the ground, Promised Land provides startling insights into the story of land conflict in South Africa.
The past two decades were among the most prosperous in history, with over a billion people lifted out of extreme poverty. Then 2020 hit, and, along with it, the coronavirus pandemic. The effect on economies will be extreme. What can small businesses do to survive the Covid-19 crisis? Business coach and author Douglas Kruger provides actionable answers, with a list of 50 practical ways your business can survive – and even thrive – during this time of uncertainty.
Business survival entails a simple formula. You must achieve and maintain profits over costs. There are a remarkable number of creative things you can do to stay on the right side of this equation, provided you don’t lose your head. Do these things well and you’ll be able to keep your staff employed, continue to serve your customers, grow awareness of your brand, and even come out of this difficult period positioned for growth.
Right now, owners of small businesses need every smart-cut they can find. Virus-proof Your Small Business provides no fewer than 50, including how to manage and safeguard your cash flow; get your head around the size of the challenge and begin thinking in productive ways; cut costs without cutting employment; use different channels to deliver the same offering; ensure that those who supply you, and those you serve, stay open too.
An absolutely essential read for any small business owner in this challenging time.
Hermann Giliomee, pre-eminent South African historian, dissects the forces that shaped the Afrikaners into an unusual ‘maverick African’ nation.
He analyses long-term forces like the powerful legal position of Afrikaner women, the expanding frontier, and the struggles about race inside the church, along with more recent political history.
In The Lie of 1652, influential blogger and history activist Mellet retells and debunks established precolonial and colonial land dispossession history. He provides a radically new, fresh perspective on South African history and highlights 176 years of San/Khoi colonial resistance.
Contextualising the cultural mix of the Cape, he recounts the history of forced and voluntary migration to the Cape by Africans, Indians, Southeast Asians, Europeans and the African Diaspora in a new way.
This provocative, novel perspective on 'Colouredness' also provides a highly topical new look at the burning issue of land, and how it was lost.
Jan Smuts, one of the most infamous South Africans of the twentieth century remains a controversial figure. Was he one of the outstanding statesmen of his time or was he perhaps a traitor of Afrikaner interests and possibly a racist? Today there are still strong opinions on Smuts’s role.
Like Paul Kruger at the end of the nineteenth century, and Nelson Mandela as the twentieth century drew to a close, it was Jan Smuts who stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries in the first half of the twentieth century; he was a leader of extraordinary stature and his statesmanship is recognised internationally. And yet, the NP and ANC governments have downplayed his contributions for decades, because it did not endorse their Afrikaner and black nationalist versions of South African history. A reappraisal of Smuts will fill a gap in the literature on the history of South Africa in the first half of the twentieth century. Many of the biographies and other works on Smuts appeared during his lifetime or soon after his death. Today, a few generations later, we have a better perspective on his contributions within the historical context of his time. New evidence continues to come to light, making it possible to reach a more informed opinion on questions about Smuts, issues which previously could not be answered conclusively.
The purpose of the book, written almost three generations after his death, is to recall and re-evaluate Smuts’s contributions in various fields and in this way introduce him to the younger generation. It is important that Smuts be judged in the context of his particular time and circumstances. As far as his outlook on war and peace, civilisation, race and class differences, the capitalist system and South Africa’s place in the wider world are concerned, Smuts was certainly a product of his time. It would be unfair to measure him and his contemporaries against today’s norms and values. To do justice to him, his supporters, as well as his opponents and critics, due consideration should be accorded to how they lived, thought and reasoned in that era.
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