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Ramaphosa01Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is credited with driving through the deal between the apartheid government and the African National Congress that was at the heart of South Africa’s democratic constitution.

He was the ANC’s lead negotiator and the man who persuaded one of the most recalcitrant racist governments in the world to buy into a settlement based on one of its most enlightened bills of rights. But once the ink had dried on the constitution, Ramaphosa found himself politically sidelined. Before the negotiations he had been the head of the country’s largest mineworkers union.


Afterwards, he went into business after concluding a landmark black empowerment deal. A talented negotiator capable of driving a hard bargain between implacable enemies, Ramaphosa has always been ‘the man in the middle’.


Now, as Jacob Zuma’s presidency enters its final stretch, Ramaphosa has re-entered politics and is one of a handful of candidates to take over as ANC president and as president of South Africa. Should he succeed, he will take over a country that has been battered by years of corruption and misrule which flourished under Zuma.

The question that everyone is asking is: can the man in the middle lead from the front? Ray Hartley, author and seasoned journalist, attempts to answer that question by looking at how Ramaphosa has handled the key challenges he has faced in the unions, in business and in politics.


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In the newly released book, Enemy of the People, former National Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile recalled the confusion, disruption and the poor taste in which Des van Rooyen and his advisers tried to capture South Africa’s fiscal purse.

These are the top quotes from Fuzile, who recalled the painful December week in 2015 in which President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister.

Van Rooyen replaced him for the weekend, but was then replaced by Pravin Gordhan, who had been finance minister before. fin24

Zuma followed wrong legal advice, his advocate argued. "This is a delicate time in a dangerous year," Gauntlett said, asking the court not to make a "wide, condemnatory order" against Zuma that could be used to impeach the president in Parliament.
Gauntlett also told the court to place no reliance on the reports by [then Police Minister] Nathi Nhleko and the ad hoc committee, and that the upgrades were a "rip-off operation". Interestingly, Gauntlett, who had previously represented Zuma's former financial advisor Schabir Shaik during his appeal hearing, was spotted at an ANC NEC meeting the weekend before the Nkandla case.
City Press


'The ANC was at a loss. The leadership did not know of Zuma's plans beforehand and the president had merely informed Zweli Mkhize, the party's treasurer general, shortly before the announcement to dismiss Nene was made. 'We understand it is your right, even though we might not agree with it,' Mkhize told Zuma. The party issued a terse statement, saying it 'respects' the presidential prerogative to appoint a new minister. Jeff Radebe, briefing the media on Friday morning, said the executive had not been not informed and reiterated the president has the final say on ministerial appointments. Huffington Post


Ever since Trevor Manuel's tenure as finance minister, the national expenditure allocations – how much money each department would be getting – has always been finalised before Christmas. Fuzile, Sachs and Mogajane talked about the implications before agreeing that they would come back straight after Christmas to start looking for the money. It was a precarious situation to be in and unknown territory for these experienced Treasury professionals.

Fuzile, director general since May 2011, got a text message from Nene while he was weaving his way through the capital's traffic. It simply said: 'The axe has fallen.' Nene had been fired – in the middle of a budgeting crisis. News24


‘A remarkable, well-researched and easy to digest book, a must read for anyone interested in available evidence on state capture and getting South Africa back on track as a successful globally respected constitutional democracy.

‘The narrative advances a theory backed by evidence that the Guptas, having captured President Jacob Zuma through becoming his close friends and family bankrollers, are using the president and his son to capture and repurpose state owned enterprises and other key organs of state as vehicles for their own economic gain. Zuma himself has captured and repurposed public agencies such as the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, the State Security Agency and South African Revenue Service seemingly to protect him, his family, the Guptas and other associates.’ – Thuli Madonsela, former Public Prosecutor



Also available on eBook here.


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How to Steal a City is the most important book yet written on state capture in South Africa. It is the inside story of one of the most effective attempts we have seen to clean up graft in local government. ‘Whistle-blowing’ is not a loud enough description for what Olver does in these pages. He lances boils, and exposes secrets and cover-ups. He names names. He tells us who is complicit and who remains silent.

He pieces together the deep structures underpinning corruption and undermining efforts to challenge it.

Tough times lie ahead. How to Steal a City may be the best guide we have to how to ‘de-capture’ the South African state. There is information and insight here from the front line. It should become ammunition in the hands of many. We are lucky to have this book and we are lucky to have him. Read it. Read it now. And use it.  Indra de Lanerolle, University of the Witwatersrand


It is already available on Kindle and I look forward to getting to my couriered hard copy from the good folks at Clarke’s Bookshop.

Herman Mashaba will read this book with particular interest because he is experiencing in Johannesburg what Chippy Olver experienced in Port Elizabeth just prior to the 2016 Local Government Election.

Unsurprisingly, Olver has already been labelled a corrupt traitor by the ANC in Port Elizabeth and if he has been following proceedings at the Moerane Commission and if he has read Mark Shaw’s book, he has every reason to be afraid. BizNews


A senior ANC member last night accused author Crispian Olver of being a spy gathering damning information on the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay to put in a book and damage the party ahead of the 2019 elections.

This was one of several accusations made against Olver at the launch of his book, How to Steal a City, at the GFI gallery in Park Drive, Port Elizabeth. 

The book offers a rare insider’s account into behind-the-scenes dealings by prominent personalities, some of whom had become synonymous with the city’s biggest corruption scandals. HeraldLive


Allegations contained in Crispian Olver's book, How to Steal a City, will be investigated, Nelson Mandela Bay's chief of staff, Kristoff Adelbert, said. He pointed out that Olver, referred to as a staunch ANC member, mentioned at his book launch in Port Elizabeth on Monday that the allegations could be substantiated. "The allegations are centred around large-scale corruption, implicating a number of officials, service providers, politicians, and councillors at different scales of involvement," Adelbert said. news24


Read more here.


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In the news:


In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’.


Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. W24 


“As we speak the top selling book in the country is Khwezi‚” McKaiser said.

Tlhabi said she wrote the book because “we need to start reflecting on power relations in our society‚ whether from gender‚ the economy and whatever”.

Kuzwayo‚ who was HIV-positive‚ accused Jacob Zuma‚ who was then deputy president of the country‚ of raping her at his home in Johannesburg in 2005. Sowetan Live


Journalist, broadcaster and author, Redi Tlhabi, was joined by more than 200 readers, including close family and friends, as she launched her second book titled 'Khwezi - The Remarkable Story Of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo' on Wednesday evening in Hyde Park. Watch. 

The book reflects on power relations and sexual violence, based on the trial of President Jacob Zuma when he was accused of rape by the late Fezekile Kuzwayo - affectionately known as "Khwezi", in 2006. News24


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Rogue ‘Mark Roy Lifman, linked to corruption, fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling and transnational organised crime, has over the years miraculously escaped prosecution and prison time. In 2009, Lifman was acquitted on charges of indecently assaulting seven boys and attempting to murder their alleged pimp. As so often in the past, it was left to SARS to bring Lifman down. They ultimately presented him with a tax bill of R388 million at the beginning of 2015.


This case should have been settled by now. SARS started investigating Lifman in October 2013 after it appeared that he hadn’t paid taxes for years. The investigation, named Project All Out, followed an earlier unsuccessful Project Boy and was headed by a tough and experienced tax detective, Keith Hendrickse, the Western Cape head of the National Projects Unit of SARS.


National Projects resided under Johann van Loggerenberg, but was entirely separate from the High-Risk Investigation Unit, which the media branded as the “rogue unit”. This is important for the purposes of this story because it will illustrate the deceit of Tom Moyane and his henchmen.’ An extract from Jacques Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers. Daily Maverick


Read more about Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS's Elite Crime-busting Unit here


Former SARS investigation unit head Johann van Loggerenberg has come out swinging against KPMG and its recent attempt at an apology. Van Loggerenberg, who is the author of Rogue – The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-Busting Unit, previously exposed the faults of KPMG’s flawed ‘rogue’ report. He now subsequently finds himself being vindicated. BizNews


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Top 5 bestsellers



Enemy of the People

Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit


Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo

Redi Tlhabi


 How to Steal a City

Crispian Olver


Churchill and Smuts: The Friendship

Richard Steyn


No Longer Whispering to Power:

The Story of Thuli Madonsela

Thandeka Gqubule















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