Brothers in War and Peace by Dennis Cruywagen to be published by Zebra this month:
Twin brothers. Two futures. One destiny.
Abraham and Constand Viljoen were identical twins who took starkly different paths in life. One was a deeply religious man, who opposed apartheid; the other was a man of war, who became head of the SADF. But together they would play a crucial role in preventing South Africa from descending into civil war.
In the early 1990s, Constand came out of retirement to head the Afrikaner Volksfront, which opposed the negotiations with the ANC and made plans for military action. Realising that war would destroy their country, Abraham approached his estranged brother and urged him to consider the alternative: talks with the ANC. What followed was a series of secret meetings and negotiations that ultimately prevented civil war.
Brothers in War and Peace documents the crucial yet largely unheralded role the Viljoen brothers played in ensuring peace in South Africa. Based on interviews with the brothers and other key political figures, the book gives new insights into a time when the country’s future was on a knife-edge.
About the author
Dennis Cruywagen is an acclaimed South African journalist and political commentator. He is a former deputy editor of the Pretoria News, and was a political reporter on the Cape Argus. He is a recipient of a Nieman Fellowship and a Mason Fellowship at Harvard University, and holds a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a former parliamentary spokesperson for the ANC.
“I support calls for the stanzas from the old apartheid anthem to be removed from our national anthem, ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’. The anthem with the verses from ‘Die Stem’ included was a political compromise at the time of our transition from minority rule to a democracy in a unitary state.” So writes Max du Preez, 2014 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award winner for A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy in response to the current conversation around the national anthem.
He continues: “If I were a leader in the parties and groups with significant white support, like the DA, the Freedom Front Plus, Solidarity and AfriForum, I would take the initiative and propose to Parliament that we adopt a new national anthem with no elements of nostalgia for the old South Africa.”
Read Du Preez’s article in which he explains his view and reiterates, “a new national anthem could come to symbolise a renewed commitment to tolerance and national unity”:
Johnny-come-lately populists and people with short memories today ignore the fragility of and inherent dangers of our transition.
They forget that a previous chief of the old Defence Force, General Constand Viljoen, had mobilised thousands of farmers, commando members and permanent force soldiers in 1993 and threatened to derail negotiations and obstruct the 1994 elections.
But we are over that now. The vast majority of white South Africans and other minorities, while perhaps unhappy about many aspects of the ANC government, live settled, productive lives in the new democracy.
The threats to our stability now come from another quarter: angry black citizens, the poor and unemployed and organisations like the Economic Freedom Fighters, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA.
Jake White, director of the Sharks rugby team, wrote the foreword to Jonathan Kaplan’s biography, Call It Like It Is: The Jonathan Kaplan story.
In the foreword, which has been shared by Namibiana Buchdepot, White recalls first coming across Kaplan when he was playing rugby in high school.
“Jonathan is the ultimate professional and always has been,” White writes. “In the early days it was nothing to see Jonathan blow a Test match with some of the world’s biggest and best players on a Friday night at Ellis Park only for him to turn around on the Saturday morning and officiate a First-XV match in Joburg suburbia.”
Read White’s forword:
My first dealings with Jonathan Kaplan were when he was a senior at King David Linksfield, a large Jewish school in the heart or Johannesburg. He was a small but keen rugby player coming through the junior ranks playing mostly scrumhalf, if I remember correctly. Despite being a quick and intelligent player, Jonathan was never going to be big enough to make it as a professional. But wanting to stay involved with the game, it wasn’t surprising to see him take up refereeing at a young age. I can remember Jonathan blowing First-XV games with boys just a year or two younger than him, and it was clear even then that he would go places. He commanded respect, and he was accurate and fair.
In Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade investigative journalist Julian Rademeyer exposes the international crime syndicates involved in the illegal wildlife trade and poaching. In the book Rademeyer interviews Dawie Groenewald, an “alleged ‘rhino horn syndicate kingpin’” and game farmer, who was set to go to trial, along with his co-accused who have been dubbed the “Groenewald gang”, in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria last week.
On his blog, Killing for Profit, Rademeyer reports that the trial has been postponed to a provisional date of 4 August, but writes that it’s likely that there will be further postponements. He has shared an excerpt from Killing for Profit as well as documents outlining the State’s case against Groenewald.
The excerpt includes the only interview that Groenewald has conducted, in which he discusses the accusations against him:
Dawie Groenewald would shoot a hundred rhinos a year, given half a chance.
‘It’s a good business,’ he says. In fact, right now he’d probably kill every rhino he could lay his hands on. ‘I feel so fucking angry about the system that I want to shoot as many rhinos as I can get,’ he tells me. ‘And that’s not right.’
It is almost a year since Groenewald, his wife Sariette and nine others, including professional hunters, veterinarians, a pilot and farm labourers, were arrested by the police’s organised crime unit. The fifteen-month investigation – called ‘Project Cruiser’ – was described by police as ‘a huge stride in our undying effort to thwart rhino poaching’. A SAPS spokesman, Colonel Vish Naidoo, claimed that the Groenewald syndicate had been linked to literally ‘hundreds of rhino poaching incidents’. Newspapers were filled with grisly accounts of the ‘Rhino Slaughter Farm’ and the rotting carcasses exhumed from mass graves.
Warren Ingram, author of Become Your Own Financial Advisor and director at Galileo Capital, spoke to Moneyweb’s Ingé Lamprecht about the necessity of being disciplined when paying off a house.
Ingram suggests that any extra money people have available should go into the bond, explaining that, “The benefit of paying extra money into a bond is that you get room to breathe and have some reserves and emergency money if you need it.”
Warren Ingram, director at Galileo Capital, says he would definitely advise investors to pay extra money they have available into their bond.
Against the background of a rising interest rate cycle it is not impossible that the prime rate, which is currently 9.25%, might increase to 10% in the next two years.
Random House Struik invites applications for a new exciting job opportunity:
In 1982 Australian Alice Lynne ‘Lindy’ Chamberlain was charged with the murder of her nine-week-old daughter, while her husband was charged as an accessory. This highly publicised case is one of the miscarriages of justice that forensic scientist David Klatzow describes in his recently published book, Justice Denied.
In this excerpt, shared by Women24, Klatzow explains what happened during the trial, which focused mainly on the “so-called blood spatter” found on the dashboard of the couple’s car. After spending three years in prison Chamberlain was released after evidence was found that corroborated her story – that a dingo had taken her baby from the campsite they were staying at.
Read Klatzow’s discussion of this fascinating case:
Beyond reasonable doubt
On 22 May 1987, Mr Justice T.R. Morling returned his letters patent to the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in Canberra.
Morling had chaired a royal commission to look into the criminal conviction of Alice Lynne ‘Lindy’ Chamberlain, who had been convicted of the murder of her nine-week-old daughter, Azaria, at Ayers Rock (now Uluru) on 17 August 1980.
Alan Morris recently spoke to Penny Haw about his book, Missing and Murdered: A Personal Adventure in Forensic Anthropology, which he wrote after realising how fascinated people were by the stories he told at dinner parties about his work in forensic anthropology.
Read the interview to find out why “teeth are something of a subplot” in Missing and Murdered:
When, in the early 1970s, Alan Morris had to select a major for his degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, in Canada, he settled on biology. And why not? He did, after all, enjoy fishing.
Little did he imagine that within five years he’d be living in SA — never to leave. Or that he’d become one of the country’s leading forensic anthropologists or, as he prefers, “a physical anthropologist or anatomist with a knowledge base of skeletal biology, which means I know a great deal about the human skeleton … I know a lot about it when you’re dead and I know a reasonable amount when you’re alive”.
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Financial planner Jillian Howard joined Leanne Manas in studio at Morning Live last month to discuss her recently published series of financial pocket guides: The Best Pocket Guide Ever for a Financially Secure Retirement, The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Minimising Insurance, The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Eliminating Debt and The Best Pocket Guide Ever for Wealth-building Investment.
Howard tells Manas she chose to focus the books on those particular topics as they were the four things that clients regularly ask her about. They discuss how in the past people didn’t retire, they simply worked until they were unable to continue, but now companies want employees to retire at 65, a trend which Howard says she hopes will change. She suggests finding a job in a different line of work or consulting for people forced to retire.
Watch the video:
Howard was also interviewed by Ray White on Talk Radio 702 about her pocket guide series. She shares her tips for what to do if you have a little bit of extra money left over at the end of the month:
Paul Morris went to Angola in 1987 as a reluctantly conscripted soldier, and two years ago he returned to the country to replace the war map of the country in his head with one of peace, writing about these two experiences in Back to Angola.
In this video, shared by Random House Struik, Morris speaks about the intense emotions that rose to the surface while cycling through Angola: “It was like some energy was trapped, which I needed to do something with and this very physical journey, which had this very strong parallel inner journey running alongside it, that really seems to have finished it for me.”
Watch the video: