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“Racism is supposedly something of which only whites can be guilty,” writes John Kane-Berman

John Kane-Berman, the former Executive of the South African Institute of Race Relations and author of Between Two Fires: Holding the Liberal Centre in South African Politics recently published an opinion piece on PolitcsWeb commenting on the vilification of white South Africans.

An extract from Derek Hanekoms’s pseudo-anti-racism can be read here:

Racism and racial hypocrisy
Along with Helen Zille, Dianne Kohler Barnard, and Chris Hart, I will no doubt be accused of thought-crime for saying so, but the recent decision of the Constitutional Court in the social grant case is something of a victory for the “white monopoly capitalism” the African National Congress (ANC) likes denouncing.

Even if Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) does not profit as handsomely as planned from its invalid contract with the South African Social Security Agency to distribute social grants, the fact that the court extended the contract for another year shows how dependent the ANC government is on “white monopoly capitalists”.

Speaking on Human Rights Day last week, President Jacob Zuma said that the payment of grants was a “huge achievement in fighting poverty”. Indeed, but everybody knows it would not have happened had distribution been left to his government. This, of course, did not stop Mr Zuma from chalking up another denunciation of the “white monopoly control” on which he relies so heavily.

Human Rights Day marked the culmination of “anti-racism week 2017″, whose cheerleader is Derek Hanekom, minister of tourism. Writing as chairman of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Mr Hanekom called on everyone to “take on racism”, which, he claimed, was “deeply entrenched” in our society.

So it may be. The question is where it is so deeply entrenched.

Click here to continue reading.

Between Two Fires

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Martin Meredith’s Afrikaner Odyssey delves into the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz

Afrikaner Odyssey

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.

Afrikaner Odyssey is also available as an eBook.

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Subscribe to the new Mills & Boon South Africa Bookclub!

Etched in the hearts and minds of romance readers across the world, Mills & Boon is the world’s leader in romance fiction. Now, Mills & Boon South Africa has turned over a new page with their online Bookclub, offering online subscriptions, new books each month and amazing discounts!

The newly created Mills & Boon Bookclub,, offers 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions, is save to use via EFT or credit card and books are delivered to your door. With beautiful new covers and seven different series to choose from, Mills & Boon is any romance lover’s escape from reality.

Not sure which Mills & Boon is right for you? Have a look at the series:

Unwrapping His Convenient FiancéeModern
Step into a world of sophistication and glamour, where seductive heroes await you in luxurious international locations.
The Earl's Snow-Kissed Proposal and Callie's Christmas WishCherish
Dare to dream… these sparkling romances will make you laugh, cry and fall in love – again and again.
Hostage Negotiation and Suspicious ActivitiesIntrigue
Experience the thrill of life on the edge and set your adrenaline pumping! These gripping stories see heroic characters fight for survival and find love in the face of danger.
Stolen Encounters with the Duchess

Indulge your fantasies of delicious Regency Rakes, fierce Viking warriors and rugged Highlanders.
His Secretary's Little Secret and Back in the Enemy's BedDesire
Be swept away by passion… with intense drama and compelling plots, these emotionally powerful reads will keep you captivated from beginning to end.
The Nurses Christmas Gift and The Midwife's Pregnancy MiracleMedical
Enter into the world of high-flying doctors as they navigate the pressures of modern medicine and find escape, passion, comfort and love – in each other’s arms!
A Mistletoe ProposalBy Request
Great value titles featuring classic stories from your favourite authors.

Let Mills & Boon take you on your next bookclub breakaway without leaving your couch.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mills and Boon is distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers.

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Die Burger 100: Sy mense en hul stories 1915-2015 word op 29 Maart in Stellenbosch bekendgestel

Die Burger 100: Sy mense en hul stories 1915-2015Kom woon die bekendstelling van dié huldeblyk aan ‘n koerant wat 30 000 uitgawes binne ‘n eeu kon druk en van die mees merkwaardige stories in Suid-Afrika se geskiedenis geplaas het op Woensdag 29 Maart by.


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Wilbur Smith’s War Cry tops SA Nielsen BookScan charts

War Cry, the fourteenth installment in Wilbur Smith’s perennial fan-favourite Courtney-series, has topped the South African Nielsen BookScan chart.

Smith’s historical novel reached the number one position in South Africa, selling more copies than Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime (#2) and the Dalai Lama’s The Book of Joy (#3).

Besides reaching number one in overall book-sales (including international titles), War Cry has also dominated the local fiction scene, securing first place in local fiction sales, as per The Bookseller.

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The eBook can been purchased here.

Sisonke Msimang’s memoir to be released in October 2017!

Jonathan Ball Publishers has won a fierce bidding battle for Sisonke Msimang’s memoir and first book, acquiring Southern African rights from agent Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann, London. Jonathan Ball will publish the memoir, Always Another Country, in October 2017. Msimang is one of the most assured voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly.

Jonathan Ball Publisher Ester Levinrad is confident that Msimang’s memoirs will find a broad and highly receptive audience: “Once in a while you are fortunate enough to work with a writer who crystallises what makes publishing in South Africa so exciting, telling a personal story that could only have a local genesis, yet with a potential which defies borders. That is Always Another Country, to me –Sisonke’s writing helps me to make sense not only of the country but the world in which we live.”

Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and return to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s. She reflects candidly on her discontent and disappointment with present-day South Africa but also on her experiences of family, romance, and motherhood, with the novelist’s talent for character and pathos. Her bitter-sweet memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age. As Isobel Dixon said, “while well-known [South African] political figures appear in these pages, it is an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood”.

Sisonke Msimang currently lives in Perth, Australia, where she is Programme Director for the Centre for Stories.  She is regularly in Johannesburg where she continues to speak and comment on current affairs. Sisonke has degrees from Macalester College, Minnesota and the University of Cape Town, is a Yale World Fellow, an Aspen New Voices Fellow, and was a Ruth First Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. She regularly contributes to The Guardian, The Daily Maverick and The New York Times and has given a popular TED Talk which touches on events which appear in her upcoming memoir.Msimang started writing Always Another Country in 2013 as political events in South Africa worsened in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre.  She will be in South Africa to launch the book later in the year.


Almost Human delves into Lee Berger’s discovery of Homo naledi

Almost Human

In 2013, acclaimed paleontologist, Lee Berger, came across a cache of bones in an underground cave on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Three years later Berger and his team were able to introduce a whole new species to the world: homo naledi.

Almost Human is an accessible and informative non-fiction narrative, wherein Berger covers discoveries, science, exploration, and – ultimately – what it means to be human.

Not only will Berger’s written account of his extensive experience in exploring the origins of humankind serve as an introduction to our ancestors; it will give you a rare peek into the life of a truly visionary homo sapiens.

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How pornography brought down the last pillar of apartheid – Read an excerpt from Into The Laager: Afrikaners Living on the Edge by Kajsa Norman

A first-hand account of life in Orania: Into The Laager by Kajsa Norman

Into The LaagerJonathan Ball Publishers has shared an excerpt from Into The Laager: Afrikaners Living on the Edge by Kajsa Norman.

In the excerpt, Norman visits Joe Theron, the former music producer who introduced Hustler to South Africa and later founded its Afrikaans sister publication, Loslyf.

Norman is a London-based investigative journalist focused on dictatorships and conflict zones. Into The Laager is her examination of Afrikaner culture, from the Battle of Blood River to Orania.

She faces a different set of challenges at the Loslyf mansion …

Read the excerpt:

Chapter 17
Dina at the monument


During the second half of the 1980s, an increasing number of South African newspapers began to criticise apartheid. Many were censored or shut down, and in the end it was a pornographic magazine that took on the government censorship board and brought down the last pillar of the regime.

In the early 1990s, music producer Joe Theron decided to enter the sex entertainment industry. He wanted to start publishing Hustler in South Africa, so he flew to Los Angeles in an effort to obtain the rights. After trying unsuccessfully for three weeks to get an audience with American porn king Larry Flynt he decided to get more creative. He went to the offices of Hustler and rode the elevator up and down until Flynt finally entered the elevator in his wheelchair. After Theron delivered was quite literally an elevator pitch, Flynt invited him into his office. After the meeting, Flynt called his driver and asked him to take Theron back to his hotel to pick up his things, and then drive him to the Flynt mansion. He spent a week there, at the end of which Flynt gave him the rights to publish Hustler in South Africa, as well as in all other English-speaking countries outside the US.

In 1993, Theron launched Hustler in South Africa. It quickly grew to have the second-largest circulation in the country, despite being four times the price of any other magazine. With sales averaging 200 000 copies a month, Theron became a rich man.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Pornography was banned during the apartheid era under the same strict censorship laws that targeted communist and anti-apartheid writings. After the fall of apartheid the standards were applied less restrictively, but Hustler magazine was still repeatedly banned.

‘The old censorship laws of South Africa were very old fashioned,’ says Theron. ‘When we launched Hustler in South Africa, we immediately started getting lawsuits against us. The main concern of the judges was the impact on children. We told them that we don’t make the magazine for kids; it’s for adults.’

Although most bans were lifted on appeal, the constant court hearings were time consuming and frustrating.

‘If you came to South Africa from overseas with a Hustler magazine in your bag you could go to jail. Yet I had travelled all over the West and seen porn available in First World countries everywhere.’

After having been dragged to court ten times, and having won all ten times, Theron decided it was time to take on the censorship board. He was eventually granted a session with the head of the board, Braam Coetzee, who would in turn decide whether or not Theron should have the opportunity to appear in front of the entire board.

Theron arrived early for his meeting with Coetzee. He wandered the 22-storey building and learned that there were 186 people working for the censorship board. When he walked into the meeting, he had only two questions:

‘Why don’t you want grown-ups to read these magazines?’
Coetzee: ‘Because it makes them depraved and corrupt.’
‘Then aren’t you scared to come to work every morning?’
Coetzee: ‘Why should I be?’
‘Well, you sit here on the 22nd floor of a building that is filled with 186 people who spend their days reading this stuff.’

Theron was eventually granted his meeting with the censorship board and its nine judges. He turned to one of the judges, an old lady, and asked what training she had received to avoid becoming depraved and corrupt through the material she spent her days reading.

‘Well, I’m an old retired school teacher,’ she replied.

He went on to pose this question to the other judges and, as expected, none of them had received any special training. They were just ordinary South Africans, and it soon became hard for them to argue that they would be less susceptible to depravity and corruption than any of their fellow countrymen.

A couple of months later Theron received a phone call from Coetzee thanking him for granting him early retirement.

‘We closed down the censorship board,’ says Theron. ‘We changed the whole law here. We set a precedent with regard to the sex industry. Censorship was the last pillar of apartheid.’

Theron then helped craft the new censorship laws for South Africa. By then he was publishing Hustler in England, Australia and New Zealand. His lawyers submitted proposals for new censorship laws modelled on the English and Australian versions that were by and large accepted.

But laws and value systems are two very different things. While the law henceforth allowed for previously prohibited material, such as pornography, the Afrikaner culture remained unconvinced.

In 1995, Joe launched an Afrikaans version of Hustler called Loslyf, slang for a promiscuous woman. It was the first ever Afrikaans-language pornographic publication. The first issue featured Dina at the Monument: a topless Afrikaans woman posing in front of the Voortrekker Monument. The issue caused an outcry among the Afrikaner community – and sold an astounding 80 000 copies.

Some 17 years later, when I enter the Loslyf office in downtown Johannesburg, business is significantly slower. As is the case for many printed publications these days, Loslyf is finding it hard to compete against web-based alternatives.

Like a wall of fame, old covers from the magazine’s heyday adorn the long hallway leading to the office of editor Donovan van Wyngaard. The covers boast poor-quality photographs of woman wearing the high-cut underwear typical of the 90s. They would not be considered especially attractive by today’s standards.

Although pornography still manages to outrage the conservative Afrikaner community, the novelty of Afrikaner porn has subsided. Van Wyngaard is also convinced that the Afrikaner aversion for pornography is completely feigned.

‘The Afrikaner community loves me behind closed doors but hates me in public. They’ll hide their Loslyf inside their Bible,’ he says.

Despite this, Van Wyngaard believes the Afrikaner man has become more sophisticated: ‘He is no longer a khaki-clad man in short pants with a firearm by his side. I want the magazine to reflect that change. I want to communicate that I know you’re not as idiotic as we thought before,’ he says.

In practice that means buying higher-end photographs from America and presenting them as local talent. In reality, only about 30 per cent of the women who appear in the magazine are Afrikaans-speaking.

Van Wyngaard used to work in television but lost his job owing to cutbacks. Now, both he and his wife work at Loslyf. Although Van Wyngaard is less than six months on the job, he tells me that he has already received death threats.

‘My family has completely disowned me and my brother won’t speak to me. We didn’t end up in this industry by choice, but because of financial strain,’ he says.

But somehow I’m finding it hard to believe that it was Joe Theron who corrupted Van Wyngaard and his wife. They are by no means new to the business. In 2009 they produced and marketed the very first pornographic movie in Afrikaans, Kwaai Naai or ‘The Incredible Screw’, which Van Wyngaard claims sold extremely well, somewhere between 10 000 and 15 000 copies. Then came the sequel, ’n Pomp in Elke Dorp, ‘A Shag in Each Town’, where a lookalike of well-known Afrikaans singer and womaniser Steve Hofmeyr plays the lead. This was followed by Amor – ’n Bok vir Sports, a story about a rugby player who cheats on his wife and gets caught on tape. More recently Van Wyngaard and his wife have embarked on a daring, mixed-race production called Forbidden Times, supposedly South Africa’s first mixed-race porn movie. But the success of the first film has been hard to replicate, he confesses; it is difficult to produce quality on a limited budget.

As I’m preparing to leave, Van Wyngaard pulls me aside. ‘Here, take this,’ he says, handing me a copy of The Girls of the Loslyf Mansion.

I look at him a little bewildered, and he quickly adds: ‘It also contains an interview sequence with Joe discussing censorship in South Africa.’

Just then, Joe Theron, founder of Loslyf and champion of South African pornography, walks into the room. When he notices the movie in my hand he frowns, visibly displeased.

‘I thought it might interest her to see your interview,’ Van Wyngaard comments.

But Theron ignores him and turns to me with stern instructions: ‘Make sure you put it away so that people don’t see it and get the wrong idea.’

‘And that’s coming from the owner?’ I retort.

He pretends he hasn’t heard me, but his voice softens a little.

‘Here, let me show you what you must do.’ He takes the DVD, strips its cover and puts it back in reverse, blank side facing out. ‘There you go. You wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea,’ he says.

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The Lose It! Magazine Cookbook – A collection of the Lose It! team’s best recipes ever

The Lose It! Magazine CookbookJonathan Ball Publishers is proud to present The Lose It! Magazine Cookbook: A collection of our best recipes ever:

Filled with delicious and easy low-carb, high-fat recipes for the busy home-cook, this is a beautifully photographed addition to the health-conscious South African cook’s shelf.

The cookbook is compiled from favourite recipes from Lose It! Magazine, the magazine dedicated to low-carb, high-fat healthy eating. Lose It! Magazine has grown from a quarterly magazine to a bi-monthly publication, with a dedicated social-media following. Lose It! gives its legions of loyal readers everything you need to know to follow the low-carb, high-fat diet plan, and in the process lose weight, clear your head, increase your energy levels and sleep better – all while eating delicious, satisfying meals that are easy to prepare.

The Lose It! Magazine Cookbook includes tried-and-tested favourites and 20 brand new recipes, and over and above the usual contenders (meat dishes, fish and chicken), includes chapters dedicated to vegetarian options, nut- and dairy-free alternatives, and sweet, low-carb treats. Each recipe includes a fat, carb and protein break-down, and expert guidelines for sticking to the lifestyle are provided. Best of all, the recipes are delicious, appealing, fresh and tasty, cooked from easily sourced South African fresh produce.

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Krejcir: Business As Usual – An expose of the worst mafia boss this country has ever seen

KrejcirJonathan Ball Publishers is proud to present Krejcir: Business As Usual – the first comprehensive exposé of the worst mafia boss this country has ever seen, including material from never-before-published affidavits and exclusive sources:

Just who is Radovan Krejcir?

Known as “Baas John” to his underlings, he arrived in South Africa in 2007 under a false passport. He was a fugitive, a powerful Czech multimillionaire, who escaped from prison on fraud charges and fled to the good life in the Seychelles. But a bid by the Czech Republic to have him extradited saw Krejcir coming to South Africa. He was arrested at the airport, but an alleged bribe kept him in the country.

Once free, the Czech bought an ostentatious mansion overlooking Johannesburg. He held court from a suburban restaurant, eating and drinking with known criminals and senior police officers, making bloody deals and signing virtual death warrants. But it was the ruthless murder of Lolly Jackson that brought Radovan Krejcir’s name into the limelight.

Over the next three years 10 more deaths took place, each one more dramatic than the next. He was also the victim of a bizarre James Bond-style shoot-out. His business Moneypoint exploded when a bomb left inside a bag blew up, killing two associates.

Soon afterward Krejcir was arrested, but in true Krejcir fashion even a jail cell could not hold him down. Police foiled a plan to murder top cop Colonel Nkosana Ximba and forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and to stop numerous escape attempts.

He has been found guilty and sentenced for kidnapping, attempted murder and attempted drug possession. He also faces charges for the murder of Sam Issa, the conspiracy to murder investigators and the murder of Phumlani Ncube, a hit man‐turned informant. But Krejcir reveals why we have not heard the last of the worst crime boss South Africa has ever seen.

About the author

Angelique Serrao is an investigative journalist at News24 and previously worked at The Star. During her multi‐award winning career, Serrao has covered numerous high profile stories, including the e‐toll investigation, the Wendy Machanik estate agency fraud and the Dave Sheer Guns scandal. She co‐wrote The E‐toll Scandal: A Journey from CEO to Civil Activist with Wayne Duvenage (2014).

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