• The Whistleblowers

    Mandy Wiener, The Whistleblowers (Johannesburg: Macmillan, 2020) MANDY Wiener’s book needs no sub-title; and it is a scathing indictment of the state of South Africa. It begins with a lament for whistleblowers amid doubt about […]

     
  • Foreign Native: An African Journey

    R.W. Johnson, Foreign Native: An African Journey (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2020) LIBERAL social democrat is Bill Johnson’s self-description; and in this world of rampant and rabid populist nationalism his thinking should be highly prized. He […]

     
  • Seven Votes: How WWII Changed South Africa Forever

    Richard Steyn, Seven Votes: How WWII Changed South Africa Forever (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2020) SOUTH Africa’s decision to go to war against Germany on 6 September 1939 was made a year after the government had […]

     
  • Prisoner 913: The Release of Nelson Mandela

    Riaan de Villiers and Jan-Ad Stemmet, Prisoner 913: The Release of Nelson Mandela (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2020) EVEN trees in the garden of Nelson Mandela’s cottage at Victor Verster Prison were bugged. Only one inside […]

     
  • The Berlin Shadow

    Jonathan Lichtenstein, The Berlin Shadow: Living with the Ghosts of the Kindertransport (London: Scribner, 2020) HANS Eugen Lichtenstein, aged 12, arrived alone from Berlin at London’s Liverpool Street station in mid-1939, one of ten thousand […]

     
  • Death Flight

    Michael Schmidt, Death Flight: Apartheid’s Secret Doctrine of Disappearance (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2020) PARKED at an East Rand airport you may find a Piper Seneca II, registered ZS-KFG. This is the aircraft used in the […]

     
  • War Party: How the ANC’s Political Killings are Breaking South Africa

    Greg Ardé, War Party: How the ANC’s Political Killings are Breaking South Africa (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2020) ORGANISED crime resorts readily to violence; so it is no surprise that the ANC, which Durban-based journalist Greg […]

     
  • The Murder of Ahmed Timol

    Imtiaz A. Cajee, The Murder of Ahmed Timol: My Search for the Truth (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2020) AN inquest in 1972 returned a verdict of suicide. The re-opened inquest in 2017 concluded that murder had been […]

     
  • The Terrorist Album: Apartheid’s Insurgents, Collaborators, and the Security Police

    Jacob Dlamini, The Terrorist Album: Apartheid’s Insurgents, Collaborators, and the Security Police (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2020) DURING eight months in 1993, following a verbal command to destroy all operational records, South Africa’s state […]

     
  • Unspeakable: The Autobiography

    John Bercow, Unspeakable: The Autobiography (London:Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2020) THE FORMER Speaker of the House of Commons is often described as a Marmite figure. By that measure (in a frank declaration of reviewer interest) I […]