In Back to Angola Paul Morris recounts his return to Angola in 2012 after going there in 1987 as a soldier. Morris, who was reluctantly conscripted just before he turned 19, goes back to the country to try and put his memories of war to rest and replace them with images of a peaceful Angola.
The narrative switches between his solo cycle trip and his memories of the war. Random House Struik has shared an excerpt from Chapter 13 in which Morris writes about being stationed on one side of the Lomba River floodplain and being fired at by the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA), while trying to eat his breakfast of ProNutro.
Writing about his recent cycle trip, he describes meeting an English-speaking Namibian truck driver and finding it “as good as meeting someone from home”.
The man walks out of the darkness. He’s wearing a trench coat and a cap and his features are difficult to make out in the shade of his headgear. ‘You must put the light out,’ he says. His voice has the calm authority of a man used to command. He’s referring to the red tactical light that is on in the doorway of the Ratel. The section leader corporal, Dave, is writing a letter. ‘I thought the red light would be fine,’ says Dave. He’s not arguing; he seems to sense that even if he has the rank in our vehicle, this man’s authority comes from his experience rather than from anything displayed on an epaulette. We’re fresh and frightened. ‘They will see it,’ says the man. Dave switches off the light. ‘Do not be afraid,’ the man says before he turns and disappears into the night.
John gives a nervous little laugh. ‘Those UNITA okes have fuckin’ seen it all. I feel better knowing they’re just over there, hey?’ He jerks his thumb in the direction of the UNITA platoon.
In the introduction to the 10th edition of Everyone’s Guide to the South African Economy André Roux discusses how profoundly the local and global economic landscape changed in the 20 years since he published the first edition of the book.
He points to globalisation, the recession and democratisation to explain the drastic changes. Everyone’s Guide to the South African Economy 11th Edition is available now.
Read the excerpt from the introduction, shared by Namibiana Buchdepot:
The global and South African economic landscape has changed profoundly since this book first appeared 20 years ago. At an international level, the process of globalisation has taken root and changed many of the ‘rules of the game’. Countries such as China and India have benefited tremendously from global economic integration, and have become major economic powerhouses. And then, just when we started thinking that economic growth was guaranteed forever, the ‘bubble’ burst two years ago, heralding the most severe and widespread recession in almost eight decades. This may again change the way we think about economic affairs. Twenty years ago, the full democratisation of South Africa was but a vague possibility as the economy wrestled with the reality of sustained isolation and domestic stagnation.
Forensic scientist David Klatzow spoke to Talk Radio 702‘s Xolani Gwala about the court agreeing to the request by pathologist Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp, that live broadcasts of his testimony at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial not be allowed.
Klatzow questions the reasons Saayman gave for the request, which included his feeling that it goes against society’s morals to make the potentially disturbing information available to the public without prior warning.
“The graphic details of Steve Biko’s death were broadcast worldwide, not quite in the same way at the time, but they certainly made headline news everywhere … and it would have been quite possible to arrange the broadcasting with a delay … and it could have been done tastefully and tactfully, so that’s not an argument I entirely buy,” Klatzow says.
Listen to the podcast:
Namibiana Buchdepot have shared an excerpt from The Terrible Ones: A Complete History of 32 Battalion, by Piet Nortje.
The Terrible Ones reveals the inner workings of South Africa’s most controversial fighting unit, 32 Battalion, which was formed during the South African Border War in the 1970s.
Nortje’s latest work is a follow-up to his first book, 32 Battalion: The Inside Story of South Africa’s Elite Fighting Unit, which was published in 2003. In the extract he explains why his work on the first book was impeded, both by information still being classified and by the unreliability of sources.
By the time I started the research in 1996, I was serving in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and after much help from Commandant (Lieutenant Colonel) Wally Vrey, a former 32 Battalion officer, and only because I had secret military clearance, I was granted authority by the chief of the SA Army to consult the classified 32 Battalion files. This was allowed only after the files that I’d requested had been scrutinised by Defence Intelligence. I was not allowed access to some of the requested files. However, even though I had all the information from the files, I could not publish, at a rough guess, 60 per cent of the information in those documents because they had not been declassified. Hence my first publication was incomplete. Since then I have managed to obtain all the files, and much more, which are now declassified.
Die veelbesproke sluiting van Media24 se koerantbylaag, By, en Rapport se MyTyd-tydskrif het aanleiding gegee tot die vraag: Is gehalte media aan die uitsterf? Ook, wat is gehalte joernalistiek? Kabous Meiring, aanbieder van kykNet se ontbytprogram Dagbreek TV, het drie rolspelers in die bedryf uitgedaag om deel te neem aan ‘n paneelbespreking rondom die tema van gehalte joernalistiek. Gavin Prins, bekende joernalis en outeur van Joost en Amor: Agter die skerms, was ook op die paneel waar hy met Tim du Plessis en Marenet Jordaan gesels het oor die huidige mediaklimaat.
Die paneel se uiteenlopende opinies rondom die definisie van “gehalte joernalistiek” sorg vir ‘n interessante gesprek. “Die leser is nie dom nie,” voer Prins in sy argument aan. Hy verduidelik dat die belangstellingselement, dit wat die leser die meeste sal fassineer, die groot dryfkrag is agter sy benadering to joernalistiek.
Kyk die video vir die bespreking oor die gehalte van joernalistiek:
Sell Well by Clive Gibson to be published by Zebra Press this month:
A new breakthrough technique to successfully conclude sales … every time.
If you close more sales, you’ll make more money, right? Research has revealed that more sales are successfully concluded when a technique is used whereby the salesperson asks questions of a client rather than just informing them of a product or service.
Sell Well: How to nail every sale, every time introduces this technique and shows how to best utilise it in the market so that you, too, can excel at selling. Because earning a decent, even spectacular, living from selling is now within your reach. This is the book every salesperson, whether new or experienced, should not be without.
So what are you waiting for? Read Sell Well and start applying the techniques to your selling today.
About the author
Clive Gibson is an Economic Sciences graduate with 30 years’ experience in the field of management development and training. He has many years of experience training sales people in the motor industry. He is the co-author of several bestselling learner’s and driver’s licence books and is the author of 53 different titles published by various publishers, including some in the UK. He has also co-authored several books for children, learners and management.
Zebra Press nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Steve Hofmeyr se jongste boek, Laaste dans, Drienie.
Die geleentheid vind plaas op Donderdag 13 Maart om 18:00 vir 18:30 by Foxwood House, Johannesburg.
Sien jou daar!
Forensic scientist David Klatzow, whose fascinating work is described in Steeped in Blood: The Life and Times of a Forensic Scientist, was interviewed on SABC News about the Oscar Pistorius murder trial that is currently underway.
“Oscar will have to show that he objectively, or subjectively to an extent that the court believes him, believed that his life was immediately threatened and there are certain factors that will come into that, namely where he fired the shots from, the degree of closeness with which he approached the imminent danger and the way in which the shots were fired,” Klatzow explains.
Klatzow went on to elaborate on the laws surrounding this: “You are not entitled to shoot somebody unless yours or another person’s life is in immediate and mortal danger.” He refrained from giving his opinion on whether or not Pistorius used excessive force, saying that it is for the courts to decide.
New from Zebra Press, Back to Angola by Paul Morris:
In 1987, Paul Morris went to Angola as a reluctant conscripted soldier, where he experienced the fear and filth of war. Twenty-five years later, in 2012, Morris returned to Angola, and embarked on a 1500-kilometre cycle trip, solo and unsupported, across the country. His purpose was to see Angola in peacetime, to replace the war map in his mind with a more contemporary peace map, to exorcise the ghosts of war once and for all.
Morris’ journey starts at Cuito Cuanavale, the scene of one of the last major battles involving South African forces, where he meets a Cuban contractor who fought to defend Cuito Cuanavale at the same time that Morris was with the SADF forces advancing on it. From there on, the narrative shifts between Morris’ vivid memories of the war and his experiences in peacetime Angola. In addition, the book is punctuated with fascinating and thoughtful reflections on childhood, masculinity, violence, memory, innocence and guilt.
Back to Angola is an honest, intelligent and deeply moving account of war and its effects on an individual mind, a generation of people, and the psyche and landscape of a country.
About the author
Paul Morris was conscripted into the SADF just before his nineteenth birthday and trained as an infantry soldier in Bloemfontein. On the border he was posted to the well-known 61 Mechanised Battalion Group. Since then, Morris trained as a psychotherapist, and has a master’s degree from London Metropolitan University. He lives in Johannesburg, where he practises as a counsellor and coach. Morris has spoken at conferences and seminars about his war experience and recent return to Angola. These include a seminar at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University’s History Department, Th!inkfest at the National Arts Festival, and the Legacies of Apartheid Wars Conference. His blog www.angolajourney.blogspot.com has attracted those interested in the war in Angola as well as people from the bicycle touring community.
Max du Preez recently spoke to Jeremy Maggs in an interview about his latest book, A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy.
Maggs notes at the start of the interview that Du Preez’s introductory statement in the book concerns him, asking the political commentator to elaborate on his view that, “if we survive 2014 with our stability, our democracy and our freedom intact, the future will look a lot brighter.”
During the discussion Du Preez explains why he believes this to be true. He also discusses the title of the book, being a journalist in South Africa and why he thinks we, as a country, could be likened to “a bipolar patient with Tourette syndrome”.
Watch the interview: