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Join Dean Allen for a Walking Tour and the Launch of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa in Matjiesfontein

Empire War & Cricket launch in Matjiesfontein

Empire, War & Cricket in South AfricaMatjiesfontein Village would like to invite you to the launch of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa.

As Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a book about Matjiesfontein and its colourful history, the launch will be a special one.

The launch and signing will be on Saturday, 18 April, and Allen will lead a historic tour of Matjiesfontein on Sunday, 19 April.

To receive a 10% discount on all bookings for the weekend, quote “Dean Allen Book Launch”.

Don’t miss out!

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Who was Louis Botha? Read an Excerpt from Louis Botha’s War by Adam Cruise

Louis Botha's WarLouis Botha’s statue outside Parliament in Cape Town was smeared with red paint recently in the ongoing debate around the relevance of pre-democracy figures being displayed in public spaces.

Who was Botha and what challenges did he face in a specific period of our country’s history? How does his legacy affect the South Africa we live in today? Was he a hero, an arbiter of peace, or just another oppressor?

Namibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from Louis Botha’s War by Adam Cruise, which investigates the country’s involvement in World War I on the side of the British, a mere 12 years after the end of the South African War.

Read the excerpt:

Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. As a dominion of the British Empire, South Africa was automatically drawn into the conflict. The news of a European war could not have come at a worse time for Botha. It was a mere twelve years since the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging which brought an end to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, a bitter conflict that pitted Briton against Boer, and the wounds still ran deep. The Union, made up of two former colonies and two previously independent states, was itself only four years old and already the Afrikaners were fighting among themselves over the path the new country should take. Botha’s own policy was to pledge reconciliation between the two disparate groups of whites, the one English, the other Afrikaans, but his fellow countrymen were still smarting from defeat at the hands of their traditional foe.

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Tim Noakes says Advocating the LCHF Diet was the Biggest Challenge of His Career (Video)

Challenging BeliefsTim Noakes was recently interviewed by Jonno Proudfoot for Real Meal Revolution about his biography Challenging Beliefs: Memoirs of a Career.

In the interview, Noakes says he is drawn to paradoxes – phenomena that cannot be explained with current beliefs.

The first belief Noakes remembers challenging professionally was the idea that marathon runners don’t have heart attacks. The biggest challenge of his career, Noakes says, has been in advocating the low-carb high-fat diet.

Watch the video:

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“The Mandela of His Era”: Adam Cruise Launches Louis Botha’s War

Adam Cruise

Friends, family and fans gathered at the Mugg and Bean for the launch of Adam Cruise’s Louis Botha’s War.

The event was hosted by Wordsworth Books, Longbeach Mall, and managing director Andrew Marjoribanks welcomed Cruise, who had just returned from sailing across the Atlantic to commence the book tour for Louis Botha’s War.

Cruise is a masterful storyteller, and held his audience spellbound with tales of political intrigue and military derring-do. He spoke with the highest regard of the morality and big-heartedness of Louis Botha, a well-known but not extensively researched figure, and the subject of his second book.

Adam Cruise and Andrew MarjoribanksLouis Botha's WarCruise, an environmentalist with a deep concern for the wellbeing of rhinos, is an experienced world traveller and a student of philosophy. He spoke with deep passion about this period of southern African history and the major players that so transformed the region.

Louis Botha, a Boer War General who crushed an internal rebellion and sided with Britain against Germany, rallied the first united army to fight in dire conditions. He defeated the Germans in the first successful Allied campaign and this ultimately sealed the fate of then-South-West Africa, profoundly influencing the relationship between countries in the southern African region for close on a century thereafter.

Cruise started his talk by recalling an incident that occurred exactly 100 years ago, when Brigadier General Duncan McKenzie was tasked with pushing the German Colonial forces northwards from Luderitz. McKenzie and his men travelled under great duress through the arid and inhospitable terrain with limited water to Aus to find the town abandoned by the Germans, and the local radio transmitter destroyed.

Cruise struggled to find information on Louis Botha. He said standard sources gave some details about his character but not very much about the war. In an antique book store, he uncovered a blow-by-blow account of the war in a book published in 1936. He also sourced various diaries of soldiers who had fought alongside Louis Botha online. Deneys Reitz’s Commando and Trekking On gave first hand accounts of the fighting. These were valuable sources from which Cruise quotes in Louis Botha’s War.

To complement his book research, Cruise went to Namibia, looking for signs of the old battles way off the tourist track. He found old cartridge and cannon shells as well as a sinkhole in the far north of the country where He spoke with enthusiasm of the restored cannons at the Tsumeb Museum, rescued by scuba divers that were dumped by retreating German forces shortly before the signing of the Khorab Peace Treaty.

Cruise spoke of the Treaty of Versailles, which Botha refused to sign. Instead, Botha criticised the treatment of the Germans and urged for reconciliation. Jan Smuts signed it, however, and wrote the preamble to the League of Nations. “Louis Botha was the Mandela of his era,” said Cruise. “He just wanted to make peace. He wanted everybody to get along, but unfortunately that was not to be.”

Cruise engaged with various questions from the audience, explaining the disagreement between Smuts and Botha. “At that stage Botha was very ill, and he died soon thereafter. There may have been very different outcome for the region had he had the strength to carry on. He wanted to fix things up,” Cruise said.

This factual account of a little known part of World War I, finds and describes both the ardour and the humility of the men of that era. It brings to the fore the human elements of a man who can be said to have led South Africa from the saddle of a horse. Appealing to more just the armchair historians, Louis Botha’s War is a travel journal of a special part of Africa, combining humour and insight into how southern Africa developed.

Readers queued to greet the author who chatted convivially as he signed copies of their books. Those who were present had an evening to remember.

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


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Max du Preez: The Business Community Needs to Get Behind the Constitution, for the Good of All

A Rumour of SpringMax du Preez, author of A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy, has written an article for Moneyweb about the need for South Africans, all and sundry, to “stand behind the Constitution”.

Du Preez says that the distant rumble of black discontent has moved closer and closer to the privileged doorsteps of aloof whites. He suggests that this anger should rather be directed at the ANC, for its poor governance has left many citizens “criminally neglected”.

In the article, Du Preez says that the business community has the leadership capability to unite different social factions of South Africa. Unity is essential in order to get the government to honour the constitution.

Read the article:

The business community must not for one moment think that they or their enterprises are immune to the winds of radicalisation and polarisation blowing across South Africa right now.

The wave of resurging black resentment of the status quo is manifesting on two fronts: a middle class rage and the anger of the poor and unemployed.

Most white people have witnessed the uprising in the squatter camps via television news bulletins from the comfort of their middle class homes.

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Louis Botha’s War: Statue Outside Parliament Smeared with Paint

Louis Botha's WarAmong the many statues under fire in the ongoing debate around the glorification of heroes from the old South Africa is the one of Louis Botha standing outside Parliament in Cape Town.

On Wednesday the statue was smeared with red and blue paint in protest to its presence outside one of the most important buildings in the country. EFF Leader Julius Malema made a call for it’s removal during a rally in Langa last month, Bianca Capazorio reports for Rand Daily Mail.

Photos and news of the vandalised statue were share on Twitter:

The statue of Louis Botha‚ which stands outside of Parliament‚ has become the latest in a series of South African statues to be vandalised.

The monument to the first prime minister of the South African Union‚ which depicts Botha on a horse inscribed with the tribute “warrior‚ farmer‚ statesman”‚ was this morning covered in red and blue paint.

For more on the former prime minister and his role in South African history read Louis Botha’s War by Adam Cruise, a book which places his legacy in context.

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Don’t Miss Zolani Mahola and Tian Jiang at the Rhino Disharmony Concert in Cape Town

The Rhino Disharmony concert is a collaboration that aims to raise awareness about rhino-poaching.

Zolani Mahola, lead singer of Freshlyground, and Tian Jiang, world famous Chinese pianist and composer, will be performing together.

The concert will be at the Old Land Bank at 54 Queen Victoria Road at 7 PM on Monday, 13 April. Tickets cost between R400 and R1000.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 13 April 2015
  • Time: 7 PM
  • Venue: The Old Land Bank
    54 Queen Victoria Road
    Cape Town | Map
  • Performers: Tian Jiang and Zolani Mahola
  • Cover charge: R400 – R1000
  • More information: Astrid Stark, Wired Communications,, 021 464 1144 or 084 400 4211
  • Tickets: Webtickets

Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn TradeInterested readers cannot go wrong with Julian Rademeyer’s Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade; a compelling, meticulous and revelatory account of one of the world’s most secretive trades. The book exposes the poachers, government officials and crime bosses behind the slaughter, from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the medicine markets of Vietnam and the wildlife-trafficking kingpins in Laos.

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Trevor Noah, the Measure of Success and Darrel Bristow-Bovey’s “Inner Lady Macbeth”

One Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoAbout a week ago, the world was informed that South African comedian Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show.

It was great and glorious news for at least 24 hours, until some unsavoury tweets from years back were unearthed and complicated opinions about Noah’s appointment arose.

In an column for the Rand Daily Mail, Darrel Bristow-Bovey wrote about his pride in Noah’s success, as well as the “inner Lady Macbeth” that now plagues him because “the instrument for measuring success had been recalibrated punishingly higher”.

Read the column:

I don’t know Trevor Noah. We‘ve met only a couple of times, mostly in passing, but I‘ve spent a lot of time these past few days thinking about what he must be feeling.

But first I had to figure out what I was feeling. Perhaps I wasn‘t the only person with a confusing mix of emotions when the news broke of his appointment as host of The Daily Show.

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Join Dean Allen, with Michael Morris for the Launch of Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa in Cape Town

Empire War and Cricket in South Africa launch

Empire, War Zebra Press and The Book Lounge would like to invite you to the launch of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa by Dean Allen.

The book is a biography of James Logan, the man who established Matjiesfontein and introduced cricket in South Africa. Allen will be speaking about his book with Michael Morris, assistant editor of the Cape Argus.

The launch will be at The Book Lounge at 5:30 for 6 PM on Wednesday, 15 April.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

About the book

Cecil John Rhodes once said he had only met two creators in South Africa: himself and James Douglas Logan, the Scottish-born founder of Matjiesfontein. Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa explores in detail how Matjiesfontein was created and how Logan developed this little Karoo town into a renowned health resort, attracting the rich and famous – including the likes of South African novelist Olive Schreiner and England cricketer George Lohmann.

But above all, this is the untold story of how James Logan was instrumental in developing the game of cricket in South Africa at a time when the country was heading towards war with the British Empire.

Logan immigrated to South Africa in 1877 at the age of 19 and almost immediately began amassing a fortune through business, politics and his high-profile association with that most favoured of imperial pastimes.

In Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa, readers will learn how one of the first international cricket matches between South Africa and England took place at Matjiesfontein; explore the controversial 1901 South African cricket tour to England in the midst of the Anglo-Boer War; read the amazing story of how Logan once had the captain andmanager of England’s cricket team arrested as they boarded their ship home; and discover Logan’s close relationship with Rhodes and how their ‘shady dealings’ brought down the Premier’s first government.

Illustrated throughout with photographs and documents, Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a unique social and political history of the workings of the British Empire in South Africa during the late 19th century; a well-researched and fascinating biography of the man who gave us Matjiesfontein; and an entertaining and at times unbelievable story of cricket’s origins in South Africa.

About the author

Dean Allen has taught at leading universities in South Africa, Australia, Northern Ireland and his native England, and is currently a lecturer in Sports Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a research associate at the Centre for Human Performance Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Awarded CPUT’s Researcher of the Year prize in 2013, Allen has published extensively in the areas of sport history and sociology and has presented keynote papers at conferences and events around the world.

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Rob Rose: Cape E-toll Contract Just Another Horrible Mark on Sanral’s Depressing Report Card

The Grand ScamRob Rose, investigative journalist and author of The Grand Scam, has written an article for the Rand Daily Mail about opening the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to public scrutiny regarding e-tolls.

A new ruling in the Supreme Court of Appeal reversed a previous ruling that allowed Sanral to hide potentially “damning details” about the Western Cape e-toll contracts.

Rose says that the Sanral’s attempt to avoid accountability is just another ugly blight on the agency’s reputation.

Read the article:

For Sanral, this case is just another horrible mark on an already depressing report card.

Here, the City of Cape Town went to court to review Sanral’s plan to toll roads in the Western Cape.

Alli had argued that some of the documents should be kept secret because full disclosure would “not only cause harm and damage to Sanral, but also to the bidders in the tender process, the fiscus and economy, and the general public”.

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