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It is the late 1980s. Serious allegations surface against three prominent National Party cabinet ministers, one of them the second-most powerful man in the land. They are, it is said, regularly abusing young boys on an island just off the coast of Port Elizabeth.
From opposite ends of South Africa, a brave cop and a driven journalist investigate. Mark Minnie and Chris Steyn independently uncover evidence of a dark secret. But the case only surfaces briefly before it disappears completely.
Thirty years later, the two finally connect the dots to expose this shocking story of criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and possible murder of children, most of them vulnerable and black.
Marianne Thamm delves into her own unconventional life story.
Her German father fought for Hitler and made munitions for Verwoerd. He married her largely illiterate Portuguese mother who worked as a cleaner in England. Today Marianne is the proud mother of two (black) teenagers... Hers is the story of the last century, of the defeat of bigotry and a new era ushered in by Mandela.
Sad at times, deeply moving and, like Marianne, hugely entertaining.
Dit is die laat tagtigerjare. Ernstige aantygings teen drie prominente NP-ministers doen die ronde. Een van die drie is, naas die staatshoof, die magtigste man in Suid-Afrika.
’n Waagmoedige polisieman en ’n vreeslose joernalis ondersoek die gerugte dat jong seuns op ’n eiland aan die kus van Port Elizabeth misbruik word. Mark Minnie en Chris Steyn kom onafhanklik van mekaar af op dieselfde donker geheim. Maar die saak kry net kortstondig aandag voordat dit doodgesmoor word en verdwyn.
Dertig jaar later sit Steyn en Minnie hul bewyse bymekaar en lig die sluier oor dié skokkende gebeure – ’n verhaal van misdaad, toesmeerdery en amptelike medepligtigheid in die verkragting, en moontlik selfs moord, van weerlose kinders.
More than just a story about the personal journey of one of South Africa's most beloved music icons, this extraordinary memoir of PJ Powers - or Thandeka, as she was affectionately renamed by Soweto crowds - is set against the turbulent backdrop of South Africa's recent political history. It features a gallery of political leaders and international celebrities, including the likes of Nelson Mandela, Graga Machel, Chris Hani, Joaquim Chissano, Queen Elizabeth II, Brenda Fassie, Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro.
On Republic Day 1982, a white rock and roll band called Hotline, wearing stonewashed jeans and sporting big hair, took an accidental sho't left into Soweto - a detour that forever changed the life of their lead singer, PJ Powers. Hotline was the first all-white rock and roll band to "cross over" into highly segregated apartheid South Africa, making international headlines in the process. The prolific Powers went on to accomplish extraordinary heights as a solo artist with countless gold and platinum discs.
Here I Am, written with Marianne Thamm, is an intimate and hilarious account of the life and times of one of this country's most recognisable and enduring performers. From the dizzying heights of international stardom to the dark depths of her struggle with alcohol, this is a must-read to explore the heady mix of politics and music of the time.
Like an apparition, conjured out of the darkness, a young man with light blond hair pushed his face into the car. I immediately spotted the knife. It was a long, thin weapon, almost like a letter opener, with a tapering blade. It felt cold and spiny as he pressed it to my neck. When he spoke his voice, which was quiet and controlled, sounded as though it emanated from a distant planet. But every word thudded into my skull. “Move over or I’ll kill you,” he whispered. And so began Alison’s nightmare journey with the two callous killers who were to rape her, stab her so many times doctors could not count the wounds, slit her throat and leave her for dead in a filthy clearing miles from the city of Port Elizabeth which was her home. But Alison defied death. And more than that, she denied her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life. I Have Life is the triumphant story of a woman who refused to become a victim. The courage which allowed her to move beyond severe physical and emotional trauma and to turn a devastating experience into something life-affirming and strong, is an inspiration to people everywhere.
This book is an account of Paul O'Sullivan's role in helping to not only nail South Africa's most powerful policeman, but also the world's top cop. It is based on thousands of pages of emails, statements, affidavits, letters, press reports, court records and transcripts as well as interviews with O'Sullivan himself. This version provides a perspective from his point of view as a key player in the saga. While O'Sullivan's name consistently appears in almost every key breaking story around the Selebi matter, his role, for whatever reason, has been played down.
The Jackie Selebi story, and the satellite narratives that orbited it, is a truly remarkable chronicle that requires commitment and stamina to grasp fully. There is so much detail, so much subterfuge, lying, dishonesty and cover-up by Selebi and his cronies that it is extremely challenging and almost impossible to pick out one comprehensive, linear thread. The drama played itself out in different layers and strata of South African society, sometimes simultaneously and often in an apparently unrelated fashion. The characters that populate the saga, apart from Jackie Selebi, include the then president of the country, his political rival, myriad crooked, corrupt businessmen, a gallery of rotten, very senior rogue cops, a phalanx of undercover intelligence operatives, two- bit hired guns, scrap metal dealers, drug and human traffickers, international criminal syndicates and a cast of thousands of common-or-garden-variety petty thugs and criminals.
"Sounds like a movie," say most of those who have asked about this project. Yes, but what is startling and disturbing is that this is no fairy-tale. Those of us who have become accustomed to the commodification of crime as "entertainment" in popular television series have this need to make sense of it by blurring fiction with chilling reality.
Paul O'Sullivan is no suave James Bond in a tuxedo, equipped with special equipment, downing his martini surrounded by a bevy of women. When dealing with criminals he can be abrasive, brusque and uncompromising. But who wouldn't be in a world that is populated with real thugs and dangerous killers, people who kill, maim and disrupt law and order and destabilise the country? These are sociopaths and psychopaths who do not care how much harm they cause as they go about their "business". So, what drove or drives O'Sullivan? Revenge? A thirst for justice? It's simple really. Paul O'Sullivan hates criminals and low-lifes like dogs hate flies. His long career in international law enforcement has equipped him with the intellectual and physical tools to deal with the most canny and violent of criminals.
He enjoys hunting them down and, like the radioactive bite that imbues Spiderman with special powers, criminals provide O'Sullivan with an energy and a stamina that seems to grow in proportion to the challenges they present him. His work, he says, is far from done. He is presently attempting to ensure that Czech-born fugitive, Radovan Krejcir, is extradited to his home country to face numerous charges.
For the past forty years Fairlady magazine has played a unique role in chronicling South Africa?s political and social history. Beyond fashion, food and décor, the magazine has always carried essays, features, interviews and book extracts by some of South Africa?s leading literary talents including, JM Coetzee, André Brink, Nadine Gordimer, Miriam Tlali, Es?kia Mphahlele, Rian Malan, Alan Paton and poet Antjie Krog.
The Fairlady Collection, edited by columnist Marianne Thamm, features a broad selection of writing by some of these eminent writers. It also profiles an array of personalities who have had a strong impact on this country?s history and future. These include Dr Mamphela Ramphele, Leah Tutu, Albertina Sisulu, Zinzi Mandela, Gcina Mhlope, Dr Harriet Sibisi and Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The collection is a fascinating look back at the lives and lifestyles of some South African icons and characters, often at momentous times in our history. Revisit Alan Boesak as the thorn in the side of the Nationalist Government in 1983; Mamphela Ramphele, banned and living in Tzaneen, also in 1983; the once lone Prog in parliament, outspoken Helen Suzman in 1977; Maria Ramos as ?Fiscal Spice? in 2001; Hazel Crane as Winnie Mandela?s confidante in 1996 and, gearing up for the long struggle ahead, Zachie Achmat in 2001. The anthology is a nostalgic, enlightening and entertaining read, vividly recreating our turbulent past while dealing with the challenges of the present.
How would you like to die? This is the question Craig Schonegevel's brave life anddeath challenge us to ask of ourselves and the society we live in. Is it humane to deny those who suffer from an incurable or life-threatening illness the right to a dignified death? The Last Right is the true story of Craig Schonegevel who suffered from the extremely variable condition known as Neurofibromatosis Type 1. In Craig's case his life was mostly one of operations, pain and suffering and his brave attempts to slay the NF 1 dragon that kept on gnawing at his life and his body. His extraordinary courage in the face of this disease is to be admired and provides some relief from the anguish and sadness that pervades the book. Craig was 28 years old when he decided he had had enough, his symptoms began to worsen and the agony was too much to bear so he sought self-deliverance. The Last Right asks the reader to put themselves in Craig's shoes, to get to know how the disease Neurofibromatosis Type 1 affected him and finally to decide whether they would have considered making the same choice that Craig did. It is the true story of how one family, their friends and the community.
Like an apparition, conjured out of the darkness, a young man with light blond hair pushed his face into the car. I immediately spotted the knife. It was a long, thin weapon, almost like a letter opener, with a tapering blade. It felt cold and spiny as he pressed it to my neck. When he spoke his voice, which was quiet and controlled, sounded as though it emanated from a distant planet. But every word thudded into my skull. "Move over or I'll kill you," he whispered.
And so began Alison's nightmare journey with the two callous killers who were to rape her, stab her so many times doctors could not count the wounds, slit her throat and leave her for dead in a filthy clearing miles from the city of Port Elizabeth which was her home. But Alison defied death. And more than that, she denied her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life. I Have Life is the triumphant story of a woman who refused to become a victim. The courage which allowed her to move beyond severe physical and emotional trauma and to turn a devastating experience into something life-affirming and strong, is an inspiration to people everywhere.
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