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The Stellenbosch MafiaAbout 50km outside of Cape Town lies the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, nestled against vineyards and blue mountains that stretch to the sky. Here reside some of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals: all male, all Afrikaans – and all stinking rich. Johann Rupert, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and Christo Weise, to name a few.

 

Julius Malema refers to them scathingly as ‘The Stellenbosch Mafia’, the very worst example of white monopoly capital. But who really are these mega-wealthy individuals, and what influence do they exert not only on Stellenbosch but more broadly on South African society?

 

Author Pieter du Toit begins by exploring the roots of Stellenbosch, one of the wealthiest towns in South Africa and arguably the cradle of Afrikanerdom. This is the birthplace of apartheid leaders, intellectuals, newspaper empires and more.

 

He then closely examines this ‘club’ of billionaires. Who are they and, crucially, how are they connected? What network of boardroom membership, alliances and family connections exist? Who are the ‘old guard’ and who are the ‘inkommers’, and what about the youngsters desperate to make their mark? He looks at the collapse of Steinhoff: what went wrong, and whether there are other companies at risk of a similar fate. He examines the control these men have over cultural life, including pulling the strings in South Africa rugby.

 

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Always Another CountryIn her much anticipated memoir, Sisonke Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning 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. Militant young comrades dance off the pages of the 1970s Lusaka she invokes, and the heady and naive days of just-democratic South Africa in the 1990s are as vividly painted. Her memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age, and 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 is one of the most assured and celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly – and this book launches her to an even broader audience.

 

Buy Always Another Country here:

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Blood on Her HandsMurder has always fascinated us, and when women are the masterminds, the intrigue grows exponentially. Not only are female murderers much rarer than male killers, but their crimes usually also involve a more sophisticated type of plotting.

 

In Blood on her hands, award-winning journalist Tanya Farber investigates the lives, minds and motivations of some of South Africa’s most notorious female murderers, from the poisonous nurse Daisy de Melker, to the privileged but deeply disturbed Najwa Petersen, to the mysterious Joey Harhoff who died before revealing where the bodies of her victims (including her own niece) were. Farber sets each case against the backdrop of the different eras and regions of 20th and early 21st century South Africa the women operated in. Her writing style is lighter than the subject matter might suggest and Blood on Her Hands will keep you reading until late at night – probably with your light on.

 

The women featured also include: Dina Rodrigues, Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, Marlene Lehnberg, Chane van Heerden and Celiwe Mbokazi.

 

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The EnforcersHere is the Cape Town underworld laid bare, explored through the characters who control the “protection” industry – the bouncers and security at nightclubs and strip clubs.

 

At the centre of this turf war is Nafiz Modack, the latest kingpin to have seized control of the industry, a man often in court on various charges, including extortion. Investigative journalist Caryn Dolley has followed Modack and his predecessors for six years as power has shifted in the nightclub security industry, and she focuses on how closely connected the criminal underworld is with the police services. In this suspenseful page-turner of an investigation, she writes about the overlapping of the state with the underworld, the underworld with the ‘upperworld’, and how the associated violence is not confined to specific areas of Cape Town, but is happening inside hospitals, airports, clubs and restaurants and putting residents at risk.

 

A book that lays bare the myth that violence and gangsterism in Cape Town is confined to the ganglands of the Cape Flats – wherever you find yourself, you’re only a hair’s breadth away from the enforcers.

 

Buy The Enforcers here:

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QueenOfAir-1All first editions of Queen of Air and Darkness will include ten black and white interior illustrations, and a new short story!

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy. Queen of Air and Darkness is a Shadowhunters novel.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

 

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Top 5 bestsellers

 

 

 

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