The best way to promote your book - get the spy agency to ban it

in #southafrica4 years ago

Happy Sunday, Steemians! Here in South Africa we've been reeling this last week from the release and political reaction to a most extraordinary book, first announced in one of our Sunday newspapers, the Sunday Times, last Sunday. It seems like a lifetime ago that I started reading excerpts online from the Sunday Times, and vowed then and there to get to the bookstore the next day as this book had all the hallmarks of something the authorities would do anything to get off the shelves.

I'm speaking, of course, of The President's Keepers, an explosive exposé authored by the redoubtable and extremely brave Jacques Pauw, an investigative journalist who earned his stripes exposing the dirty tricks of the apartheid regime.

The President's Keepers

Some of the key revelations in the excerpts were that:

  • Zuma hadn't paid his taxes the first five years he was President (sound like anyone in the US?)
  • he had received a salary (!!!) of a million rand a year from a private business at the outset of his presidency
  • he had received direct support from a known tobacco smuggler, who is now funding Zuma's ex-wife's presidential campaign
  • the tax evaders have already admitted in sworn affidavits to having hundreds of millions of rands of taxes outstanding, and that our (captured) tax authority, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) appears to be doing not very much about collecting from them (I don't think they spent all the proceeds of tobacco smuggling on fancy rugs, though)
  • a group of gangsters got together one day to plot and scheme, as gangsters do, and one of them said, "He's a gangster like us," referring to Zuma.

Those were just a few of the gasp-eliciting (and who knew South African politicians could still inspire gasps), well-documented revelations in the excerpts. I'm citing these from memory, not reading out of the book, so any errors introduced into the above bullet points are solely due to my memory of last Sunday's reading.

The numbers are eye-watering, and surely add up to more than the entire budgetary requirement to fund higher education in this country. We seem to be talking about a few billion rand here.

So I got my copy on Monday afternoon

Yes, that photo is of the copy I got on Monday afternoon, quite reasonably priced at R287.00.

I chatted with the young guy behind the counter as he rang up my purchase - yes, he had read the excerpts in the Sunday Times, yes, he did think this was explosive but like most of us think it will take far more than a smoking gun or even proof of criminality for our governing (they say ruling) party, the ANC, to do the right thing and let this guy be charged for at least some of the wrongs he's done South Africa, and yes, he did think there was a really good chance the authorities would find a way to ban the book and get it off the shelves within the next couple of days.

We cynically traded views that if I bought five copies and sold them at inflated prices because demand would be so high, I'd be no better than the bad guys. I was actually thinking that I should buy five copies so I could give them to friends, as I was convinced the bad guys would take them off the shelves the next day.

Turns out my faith in the bad guys was misplaced

They didn't act the next day. Or the day after that. But there was a lot of bluster coming from places near high places. The temperature was rising. But they weren't as omnipotent as I had expected.

It took them until the end of the week to come up with some cockamamy story about Jacques Pauw having breached some law about revealing taxpayers' details (that's rich - these guys are tax evaders, not payers, but let's not get distracted by fact here), and then they sicced the State Security Agency (SSA) on him. Specifically, they threatened to lay criminal charges against Pauw and the publishers for violating a number of statutes, including the Tax Administration Act and the Intelligence Services Act, and even had the nerve to say they'll hold the author, editor and publisher responsible for any repeat publication of what they called "fake information". You can read more about it here and here for starters.

Cease and desist order

The publisher, NB Publishers, issued a press release confirming that the SSA had issued a "cease and desist" order. All the news anchors and reporters I heard read this over South African media irritatingly pronounced this aloud as a "seize and desist" order; perhaps there's an irony hidden in there, and perhaps my irritation was misdirected at this possible turning point in our country's history, but then, I get irritated when people say "mischievious" instead of "mischievous" on radio too. Pedantic moi.

Anyway, they haven't ceased, nor have they desisted. And nobody except bookstore customers have had an opportunity to seize the book.

The Streisand effect

Thanks to the SSA's actions, 20 000 copies of the book flew off the shelves, and the desperate calls I had expected from friends who were slower off the mark than I was started to flow. A pdf version started to circulate on WhatsApp when people thought the book would no longer be available (dear SSA: try to prosecute tens of thousands of citizens for "circulating" this!), but all quickly realised the book was available as a Kindle download on Amazon, and frankly, nobody wants to cheat the author of his rightful revenues for this tremendous work of patriotism. Check out that link - you'll see it's the number one best seller in nonfiction on Amazon. Not Amazon South Africa. Amazon. Let that sink in for a second.

And thanks to @tim-beck, I learned the name for what had happened - the Streisand effect. Check out that link - it's possibly one of the funniest things you'll read on Wikipedia. Views of the thing she didn't want viewed catapulted to around 420 000 from 6, because she issued the equivalent of a cease and desist order. The act of drawing attention to something you don't want people to pay attention to causes a LOT more people to pay attention to it.

Get the book and read it...

If you care about supporting those who take on those in power abusing their power, I urge you to buy this book. You don't have to be South African to appreciate the crime drama unfolding between the covers. Plus you can get the bonus of watching the bad guys try to shut down the good guys.

Another important book for South Africans to read


And to get a fuller picture of this cabal of connivers and how they infiltrated SARS (and kicked out the good guys), I suggest you pick up the "prequel", Rogue, written by ex-SARS lead investigator Johann van Loggerenberg and published in 2016. It gave hints as to the extent that tobacco smuggling was fuelling some aspects of state capture in South Africa. He also described in the most astonishingly dispassionate terms how the bad guys ruined his life.

...because knowledge at least gives us some power as ordinary citizens

We seem to be at a number of crossroads in our democracies, realising the extent to which the health of our democratic institutions are still so vulnerable to a clever Oceans Eleven-style bunch (really not as good-looking as the Hollywood stars, though) intent on robbing not a casino, but an entire country. This is not boring politics; this is about the very survival of South Africa as a diverse and democratic nation, and the country finding its way back to being a beacon of hope to those who simply want a better life for their children than they had.


Team South Africa banner designed by @bearone


Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw exposes the darkest secret at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s compromised government: a cancerous cabal that eliminates the president’s enemies and purges the law-enforcement agencies of good men and women.

Um, yeah, that's exactly what it says here: Be careful of plagiarizing, @santhoshreddy.

I had no idea it ran so deep.

It seems like most South Africans hadn't realised it, which might be why the book is having such an impact, @nicholas83. Frankly, it's causing people to talk (idly, for the most part) about a tax revolt. Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to read.😊😊

Super Kiligirl at it again! I must say you never cease to amaze me. Just when I thought investigative journalism was dead. A great new book comes out that exposes the truth?
This can't be right, nobody in journalism speaks without forked tongue do they?
Welcome to more love for the people and corruption from the top down! Is that what they mean when speaking of the trickle down affect? Sorry that's is economics! So confusing these days trying to keep up with all of the baffoonery in politics!

Hope it's a good read!
Love You! Ellie Mae🐓🐓

Hey there, my friend, I am so looking forward to reading that book. The excerpts had me on the edge of my seat. We're going to the launch on Wednesday night and I assume the author will be there, along with half the population of Johannesburg (so we'll get there early). The publishers have said they'll print another 15 000 copies. This has really got the whole country talking, and one of the things we're talking about is how much we appreciate our investigative journalists. By the way, one of them has joined Steemit (@chrisyelland). Sure, his stuff is mostly about South Africa, but if you want to watch an investigative journo in action he's a fox terrier of note.

We have a group here called amaBhungane who have been poring through what they're calling the "Guptaleaks" - thousands of leaked e-mails which show just how the Guptas and Zuma have worked together for years to gather their cronies to the project of state capture. We're still not free of it, but my goodness, this book will go a long way towards pressuring even the captured state entities to do their job and prosecute the bad guys. Love your analogy of trickle down economics - here it's more that the ordinary taxpayer gets the privilege of seeing his or her taxes going into the Zupta pot!

On another note, I was so sorry to learn this morning of another shooting in the US, this time in Texas. Please give me a bit of a geography lesson - I understand Sutherland isn't far from San Antonio, but is San Antonio close to where you grew up? Texas is a big place....

Oh, I have a temporary website up! It's just a quick thing while I put together something more substantial, but with the business cards I picked up on Saturday, a website and a company e-mail address, I might start looking respectable.😜😜

I saw you've posted a lot since I last read your stuff! I have a lot of catching up to do...while reading The Book.

Love you too! Hope your Monday starts off awesome and the week gets better from there.😘😘

Lot's of turmoil in the works right now in high political seats. Look what is happening to the Saudi's also. The royal family connected to anything bad?

It has to stop. These people must be held responsible for their crimes.The world could use a bit of character and virtue, integrity, honor.
I am glad this writer has joined steemit. Will follow up on that.
Yes, about Texas. Flying into San Antonio later this month. Not thrilled about the flying part, some relatives there still. Have you noticed how these massive very sad shootings tend to occur when the dems get close to being found out? Sorry but I believe it's a ploy to throw reporters off the scent of the real issues.
It makes me mad that innocent people lose their lives in the process.

Better note. Is your website outside of steemit? You must be getting very close to closing in on one of your goals? Yes?

In case you missed my little note on a post. One of my friends just told me she is a cousin of Georgia O'Keefe. She is very artistic also. Painting, weaving, Native Indian afficiando. Wow!

Your niece @lynb writes a good post. I am so glad she jumped on the steem wagon.

Great to hear from you my friend. Much Love! Ellie Mae. 🐓🐓

Hey, you're right, Ellie Mae, the Saudis are doing a cleanout for corruption too. I don't know enough about the place to understand what's driving that, though, and I can't help but think that power struggles between factions (families?) might be at play. But since I know close to nothing about the place....

Yup, my website (well, a static landing page for the moment) is out there in the wild. I know I'm getting closer to converting some of these leads to something more, but there's still a lot of work to do before I get to signing contracts (that's kinda the nature of the work).

I saw that note about the cousin of Georgia O'Keefe! That is so cool!! I'm behind (again) on my reading, upvoting and resteeming.

Thanks for connecting with @lynb. She is a gem of a person.

Tomorrow's a busy day, starting before sunrise. Hope I get a chance to post - today I spent time on Thando's post (talking about @scienceguy) and saw you had commented on his last post! Thanks for connecting with him as well. He's an important person in our lives.

Much love back to you! 😊😊

Forgot to ask you what is going on in many parts of Afrika concerning the plague? Extremely deadly and infectious. Look at the WHO for info on where to stay away from. Your Friend 🐓🐓

Oh my gosh, what a week it's been! So sorry for the silence. Hope things are going well for you, Ellie Mae.

Have been a bit under the weather and uncharacteristically falling dead asleep in the afternoons if I haven't been at client meetings. This is my first chance to sit properly in front of my keyboard and reply to you, my friend...😳😳

Re the plague, as far as I know, it has hit Madagascar quite hard. I picked this up from the WHO site:

"From 1 August through 30 October 2017, a total of 1801 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of plague, including 127 deaths, have been reported by the Ministry of Health of Madagascar to WHO. Of these, 1111 (62%) were clinically classified as pneumonic plague, including 257 (23%) confirmed, 374 (34%) probable and 480 (43%) suspected cases. In addition to the pneumonic cases, 261 (15%) cases of bubonic plague, one case of septicaemic plague and 428 cases (24%) where the type has not yet been specified, have been reported (Figure 1). As of 30 October, 51 of 114 districts of Madagascar have been affected (Figure 2 and 3). Since the beginning of the outbreak, 71 healthcare workers have had illness compatible with plague, none of whom have died."

I don't have any plans to travel to Madagascar in the meantime! The plague did reach parts of South Africa but has been held in control (we have pretty good medical services here, particularly at international airports for picking up whether people trying to enter the country have fever - if so, they get packed off to the medical centre a the airport).

Anyway, suffice to say it's not something which is worrying us much in the Joburg suburbs, although of course we're concerned for the people who contract it and their families. Four days of a runny tummy, on the other hand, is something I could really do without, particularly since I'm leaving for Lusaka again tomorrow! 😜

We've had some excitement over the book I posted about last weekend - I'll share that story shortly. Quite amazing stuff. And of course I've been reading the book, which means I haven't been reading Steemit posts...😱😱

Look forward to reading your last week's worth of news and catching up on the girls! Hope all is ok in your neck of the woods. 😘😘

So sorry to hear you have been feeling punk. That is never fun. Glad you had a good book to keep you company. Hope you are feeling well enough to travel tomorrow. Looking forward to reading your review of the book. Love Ellie Mae🐓🐓I have missed you my friend.

Same here, Ellie Mae! Would have loved to have had some tea with you over the last few days. I'll definitely be well enough to travel, as our local partner has lined up at least ten potential client meetings for us! And none of this business of sleeping in the afternoons, which is completely unlike me.

I did manage to hold it together for Johnny Clegg's final concert in Johannesburg last night (amazing what the prospect of going to a Porta-Pottie in that condition does to your ability to, er, hold it in, wouldn't you say?). The concertwas an awesome experience and I'm thinking about putting up a short post about it - although I was too busy enjoying it to take lots of videos and photos....

Thanks for being there even when I wasn't making any sound. Much love to you, my friend 💗💗

so interessing concept i enjoy reading your posts thanks for sharing

This is a very funny topic but surely the facts are proof. While it is not wise to go against the authority or security outfit in order to prove your point, sometimes certain disappointments they say is a blessing in disguise.

I wish with all my heart that out was a funny topic, but it's the opposite, @princeso. This is about a small group of people literally stealing our country, and destroying lives and hope of a better nation in the process.

Recently, there was a movie that was banned in my country and it backfired. The movie was going flop until it got banned. After this ban, it went viral on social media and people who had initially ignored it were now going to watch it in cinemas. It was an average story. Your today's post is also about the same subject. Good job @kiligirl.

Thank you, @ugetfunded. It's interesting how you get people to get interested in the big issues which affect their lives....

What was the film about? And after all this time, I'm almost embarrassed to ask you what country you live in....

As always, I deeply appreciate your reading and thinking about what I've posted. Interested to learn you had a similar experience. Frankly, we are really worried for our country. It makes a difference when someone like you actually engages on Steemit. 🤗🤗

Congratulations @kiligirl, this post is the seventh most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Hero account holder (accounts that hold between 10 and 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Hero account holders during this period was 260 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $3165.57. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

If you do not wish to receive these messages in future, please reply stop to this comment.

If we have any well known and reliable investigative journalists remaining in the United States they are keeping a low profile, on the run, or already dead. We have some lower tier freelance journalists that release great stories that get ridiculed by the MSM as nothing but conspiracy theories, even if proof or solid sources are used for the story. There are also a good many exposé type books on the shelves, but people just seem to shrug it off as business as usual. The level of deceit and corruption in the world and in the United States is staggering, I would not have thought it possible back in my more idealistic days.

Cockroaches, rats, and snakes like to operate in the dark! Everyone deserves a degree of privacy, but public officials/personalities, leaders, politicians, judges, and religious ministers all should expect and welcome closer scrutiny and openness than the average citizen.

Everyone needs to be accountable to someone in a position higher than themselves, and no human should ever be entrusted with absolute power. The blockchain is kind of like the Bible in that it is a two edged sword. It has the ability to make the world more transparent and open with a huge degree of accountability (Like here on Steemit), but it also provides the means and power to allow some of the elites in this world to operate in total secret and impunity while the rest of us are completely exposed and vulnerable. 🤔

Hmmm, @deaconlee, you really have put some food for thought on the table. I hadn't realised that investigative journalism was in such trouble in the US. I tend to read things like The Atlantic and the New Yorker (until I hit the paywall) so perhaps am missing a lot of the good stuff that the lower tier freelance journos are doing...and wouldn't know how to find it anyway. We are soooooo lucky we have guys whose talents were forged in their fight against the apartheid regime. They really don't scare easily, but there's a lot to be scared of here. I think the sheer number of journalists actively shining lights onto the bad guys here (as you say, they love working in the dark) would make it difficult for the baddies to do what they did to that journalist in Malta a couple of weeks ago - but their lives are threatened regularly. We had one journalist die in her 30s recently from a heart attack, brought on by the stress of the fight she and a group of journos were having with the management of the SABC, which insisted on only positive reporting on the ANC. As journalists, they gave that instruction the middle finger, but were then subjected to intimidation, death threats and real attempts (she had her brake lines cut, if I remember correctly...pretty hairy stuff).

I agree with you about the potential for the blockchain to shine light with its potential for total transparency, but as always the use of the tool depends on the user of the tool. If they want to use it to hide nefarious activities, they can and they will. It's still up to citizens to hold those in power accountable. We're still taking baby steps on that in Africa, but at least we're taking those steps, and investigative journalists are such an important part of that accountability journey. Now people must read and consider critically what the journos reveal! Thanks so much for your input today. 😊😊

More Intersting post.
Thanks for info.

Hello Kiligirl..Hope you are doing well.. Had gone through your post. Salute to journalist
Jacques Pavw for his guts to expose the ideologies supported by National Party's Government's regime. Although the book was banned but by then already a large number of it were sold.
The other book "The Rogue " written by ex- SARS investigator tried to expose how tobacco smuggling was spreading and becoming a burning issue in your continent ..I think , the government must take some firm steps here.
Thanks for making us aware of it...

Thank you, @momi5! Jacques Pauw had guts during the apartheid years, and now he's taken on the rot at the head of the ANC. He is a brave man indeed. Unfortunately, the rotten bits have almost full control of the government. Luckily they haven't been able to capture the judiciary yet, and they sure haven't captured the investigative journalists - I don't think those guys have been this motivated since the dark days of apartheid.

Really appreciate your support on this post. Thank you! 😊😊

Thank God at least the journalist is alive.. In India, a few months back a lady journalist named Gauri Lankesh was shot dead. She was known for her secularist criticism and this was not tolerated by a communal group which received indirect support from the running government .
Here also, judiciary is the last hope of the
public as it is an autonomous body till now..

Hi there, @momi5, that sounds ominously familiar. The bad guys are certainly threatening Jacques Pauw, and I'll post an update to last week's story shortly that tells us they're trying to figure out who his sources are. So sorry to hear about the journalist Gauri Lankesh - that the group which did not tolerate her criticism is receiving indirect support from the government is indeed worrying. Your comment that the judiciary is the last hope of the public resonates with us, as the question everyone asks is since the ANC control Parliament and they won't carry out their constitutional oversight responsibility to implement the recommendations of the Public Protector from last year...who polices the policeman if the policeman is no longer working to protect the public but rather the one in office and the systems he has set up with outside assistance? This might be a weakness in our excellent constitution - perhaps the framers never conceived of someone who would co-opt all the systems of government (except the judiciary), rendering the country seemingly powerless to bring him and his partners in crime to justice while they continue to loot our state coffers. We are deeply grateful to investigative journalists like Jacques Pauw, and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) senior investigator Johann van Loggerenberg for shining a light on their activities. There are two other books recently launched or coming out shortly - one gets into the detail of how to "steal" a municipality, and the other, written by the head of the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) will be launched later this week. So in addition to our judiciary, we look to the courageous men and women of the press to apply their investigative journalism and writing skills to communicate their findings to the widest audience possible....

I do hope you have other courageous, outspoken journalists like Gauri Lankesh (may she rest in peace) who will not be cowed by bullies and thugs to help empower citizens with fact-checked information to help them in their journey as citizens.

Hello kiligirl. You know , our government is also trying to influence the judiciary but for this, the constitution has to be amended and this is not easily possible in a democratic country like India .Thus, people have trust in judiciary till now.
In case of journalism , most of the print and electric media are sold out to the political parties or powerful business men. Only some online media houses and non compromising media persons are playing an active role against corruption .

Hi, @momi5, I've only now seen your reply! I'm currently in Zambia so am not monitoring Steemit as closely as I should. Indeed, every country needs a strong, independent and resilient judiciary, and I'm glad that's the case in India as you say. Sorry to learn that the media, on the other hand, are controlled by powerful political and business interests. Unfortunately that seems to be the nature of media - control the message and you control the levers of power through demagogy. It's encouraging, on the other hand, that you still have some media players who are not compromised. Strength to them and India's citizens!

So I haven't been feeling well and have been a bit of a recluse lately. I didn't know about the book until I read your blog just now! I thought I heard something about it on tv between my naps but put it down to that movie or something that they released about Mandela. Thanks for informing me and, as always, expertly written @kiligirl!
Love x

Well, thank you so much, @lynb! The launch on Wednesday was quite an experience. Glad to know (in real life) that you're feeling better now 😘😘

The act of drawing attention to something you don't want people to pay attention to causes a LOT more people to pay attention to it.

I definitely understand this... Lol.. Tagging something red tends to pique our curiosity.
It good to know there are brave people in your country who would stand up and illuminate the people in truth. Especially in a leadership mishap such as this. In Nigeria, they'd probably praise rogues in power because of the trickles they get.

Good post... Was searching for something new in the books section and I found your blog.
Amazing write-up. You're a journalist? 😃

Thank you for the kind words, @pangoli! No, I'm far from a journalist, just an ordinary business person who cares a lot about this adopted country of mine. Our brave journalist Jacques Pauw is dealing with death threats and other forms of intimidation, but continues to stand up to them. I'm going to post shortly about the launch of his book earlier this week, which was surreal....

Awesome, I'll be sure to check it out. 😃
You're doing a great job. You write very neatly too.

Thanks, @pangoli! I appreciate the compliment. Will post the story of the launch early this afternoon so African and North American Steemians can catch it.

Jaqques Pauw you biscuit! Take down these thieving politicians and their cronies... will get myself a copy. Our president has SARS in his pocket.

Hi there, @sea-cottage - apologies for the silence, been a bit under the weather. I suspect he doesn't have ALL of SARS in his pocket just yet, but the good people in that organisation and others mandated with upholding our constitution must be finding the air a little thin these days. Hope you enjoy the book - I'm about a third of the way through and am finding it reads like a thriller...which a story about our president really shouldn't, should it?

I know you have finished this book by now. We are all waiting for your review. Lol!

Just saying hi from the other side of the earth. Just thinking you are rockin and rollin on the projects at hand.
You have some really nice friends on here that I have enjoyed reading and getting to know. Be well Superkiligirl!
Your friend. Ellie Mae🐓🐓

Ah, Ellie Mae, your faith in me is misplaced! I'm about a third of the way into it. Although it reads like a thriller, every page is packed with facts and over-the-top (in real life) gangster characters and it takes some concentration to read.

Had some good client meetings this week, got another proposal out in preparation for this trip to Lusaka and also went to the launch of the book in question, which I'll write about once I finish responding to a 6-day backlog of wonderful replies to my last post! 😜😱

Thanks for sharing this, it was such an interesting read! I love reading books written by (investigative) journalists, they are usually both well written AND well researched, which makes for the best reading experience. I don't know much about South Africa unfortunately, but do you think I could get and read the book anyway? If not, are there any books you would recommend for someone to kind of cover the basics of South African culture/society/politics? :)

Hi, @ivymuse, glad you enjoyed it - there's another on the way about the book's launch earlier this week! Yes, even if you don't know much about South Africa the book is indeed extremely well-written (I'm about a third of the way through) and reads a lot like a thriller. Granted, many of us who live here know the characters well already, so you might be at a bit of a disadvantage to those who've been following the story for years, but the basic message of unpacking how the revenue service of a country can go after a cadre of corrupt politicians and their criminal enablers (and how those bad guys fight back) is unfortunately, like Romeo and Juliet, universally accessible. You can get the book on Amazon if you're keen - here's a link: Hmmm...a book which covers the basics of South African culture/society/politics...that's a toughie. I'd suggest you start out where the country did with Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to get an idea of what we all hoped. There aren't too many works which are all-encompassing on South Africa as it's an extremely complex place. One novel which might get you started, even though it's dated now, is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay - it touches on many aspects of South African life which under the surface probably haven't changed that much from when the main character PK was growing up (I hear South Africans ganging up on me now). The former leader of the opposition, Tony Leon, has written a number of readable books which speak more to politics than culture. Zakes Mda is a venerable author who has covered much of the cultural landscape. I have read many of Andre Brink's books and enjoyed them tremendously. Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, although I haven't read it yet, has received rave reviews and would probably address current cultural matters as well as the history which made it so difficult for him growing up - and it's guaranteed to be hysterical and engaging. I'll give it a bit more thought and see if I can come up with something more comprehensive....

Thanks so much for your reply and recommendations! I'm definitely going to check out this book and all the other ones you've mentioned! :)

Enjoy! And what kind of book do you enjoy? Detailed political assessment? If so, there are a lot of books on e.g. the history of the ANC, and more recently, a lot about corruption scandals. If you prefer novels of the happier variety, I'd need to put some thought into where to find a good sample. 😏 And here's a plug for a friend - David Bristow has an impressive repertoire of travel/environment/history books to his name, and he's just launched his most recent work, Zulu (it's about a horse that somehow became a zebra). A terrific writer well worth reading.