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Ratels-on-the-LombaCharlie Squadron – the iron fist of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group (61 Mech) – led the way on 3 October 1987 during the climactic battle between the South African Defence Force and the Angolan forces on the Lomba River in southern Angola. Ratels on the Lomba places the reader in the midst of the squadron of young conscripts who were taken off to the Border War to fight in this battle.

 

Not only were they up against a vastly superior Angolan force in terms of numbers and weaponry, but they also had to deal with a terrain so dense that their sight was severely impaired and their movement restricted. Also, even though SADF tactical doctrine clearly stated that tanks had to be countered by tanks, these conscripts had to take on the Angolan tanks in armoured cars with inferior low-velocity guns and thin armour, designed to keep out nothing more than small-arms fire.

 

Yet, during the battle on the Lomba the 47 Brigade of the Angolan forces was nearly wiped out. This blow-by-blow account of a David vs. Goliath battle takes the reader to the heart of the action.

 

It is honestly told and vividly described, thanks to interviews with veterans and diary entries that help to recreate the drama of the battle. It is also an intensely human story of how individuals react in the face of death and how the war never left them, even when they returned home.

 

Also available in Afrikaans as Ratels aan die Lomba.

 

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Fate-of-the-Nation HPWhat does our future hold? Will the ANC split within the next five years? Could the DA rule the country in 2024? Will the EFF form an alliance with the ANC? What should we do to make our economy grow at levels that will impact on poverty and inequality? Will we become a more tolerant or a more violent society?

 

In Fate of the Nation scenario expert Jakkie Cilliers answers all these and many other questions. He has developed three detailed scenarios for our immediate future and beyond – Bafana Bafana, Nation Divided and Mandela Magic.

According to Cilliers the ANC is in many ways paralysed by the power struggle between what he calls the Traditionalists (supporters of Jacob Zuma) and the Reformers (led by Cyril Ramaphosa and others). This power struggle leads to policy confusion, poor leadership and general ineptitude in the civil service.

 

Key to which scenario will become our reality is who will be elected to the ANC’s top leadership at their national conference in December 2017. Whichever group wins will determine what our future holds. We could also see a compromise grouping being selected, Cilliers says, in which case the Bafana Bafana scenario – where we simply muddle along as a country – is the strongest possibility.

A book for all concerned South Africans.

 

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The-Fifth-Mrs-Brink

The Fifth Mrs Brink is Karina M. Szczurek’s memoir of her life before, during and after her marriage to André P. Brink. Polish-born Karina was twenty-seven when she met the acclaimed writer, forty-two years her senior, and they spent a decade together.

 

Here she chronicles their relationship, from their first encounter in Vienna, Austria, and moving across continents to be with each other, to finding calm and stability in their married life in Cape Town, and finally facing the challenges of André’s deteriorating health in the last year of his life.

 

This soul-baring account is also the story of two interwoven writing lives, Karina’s burgeoning and André’s in its final phase. It is a diary of creative dissolution and knitting back together, a homage to a marriage tragically cut short but also to a love to last a lifetime.

 

 

 

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the Tigers Prey

The Malabar Coast is full of dangers: greedy tradesmen, fearless pirates, and men full of vengeance. But for Courtney, the greatest danger might just be his family.

 

Francis Courtney flees the comfort of his grand country estate, when his stepfather’s gambling debts leave him penniless and in grave danger. He travels to South Africa with revenge and fortune on his mind: his uncle Tom Courtney killed his father, and he plans on repaying the debt and making his fortune in the process. However, upon his arrival in Cape Town, he finds his whole world upturned.

 

Christopher Courtney sets out to make his own way in the world, giving up his privileged position as the son of the Governor of Bombay. The perils and betrayals that play out on his journey carve a fierce warrior out of him, but they also harden his soul and lead him to more violence and treachery. As the lives of the Courtney men intertwine, the sins of the fathers will forever change the lives of a younger generation. On the perilous waters of the Arabian Sea, the fates of men will intertwine.

 

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