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In the Heart of the Whore

Category: African History
ISBN:   9781868428946
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale: December 2017
List price: R250
Format: Paperback (re-release)
eBook ISBN
9781868428953 

In the Heart of the Whore: The Story of Apartheid’s Death Squads


Jacques Pauw


The ongoing assassinations of anti-apartheid activists led to rumours that some kind of third force must be responsible. The South African government flatly denied any involvement. All investigations of the matter were met with stony silence.

The first crack in the wall came with the publication by the Vrye Weekblad newspaper of the extraordinary story of Dirk Coetzee, former Security Branch Captain. His tale of murder, kidnapping, bombing and poisoning provided corroboration of the shocking confessions made by Almond Nofemela on death row. Slowly the dark secret started unravelling under the probing of determined journalists.

In the Heart of the Whore introduces the reader to the secret underworld of the death squads. It explains when and why they were created, who ran them, what methods they employed, who the victims and perpetrators were.

Jacques Pauw was more closely involved with the subject than any other person outside the police and armed forces. In this groundbreaking work he looks at the devastating effect of the secret war on the opponents of apartheid as well as the corrosive effects on the people who committed these crimes.


Jacques Pauw is the author of the bestselling book The President’s Keepers. He is an award-winning journalist, television documentary producer and the author of the Into the Heart of Darkness, Rat Roads, Dances with Devils and Little Ice-Cream Boy. He was a founder member and assistant editor of the independent and anti-apartheid Afrikaans weekly newspaper Vrye Weekblad and wrote for several newspapers before becoming a current affairs television producer where he covered, amongst others, the civil war in Burundi and Rwanda.

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