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Tim Butcher: Louis Botha’s Willingness to Compromise is Comparable to Nelson Mandela’s

Louis Botha's WarIn a blog post celebrating the publication of his new book Louis Botha’s War, Adam Cruise shares part of the foreword, in which Tim Butcher compares Louis Botha’s spirit of compromise to that of Nelson Mandela.

Louis Botha’s War tells the story of the former prime minister of the Union who led South Africa in a campaign against the Germans during the World War I. The book also investigates the conflicts at home, as many South Africans refused to fight alongside Britain a mere 12 years after the South African War.

Botha’s challenge was not only to defeat the Germans, but to persuade his countrymen to forgive the English and rally for a common cause. According to Butcher, Botha’s willingness to compromise with his former enemy for the sake of the greater good can be compared to South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Mandela.

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As the accomplished author of Blood River, Tim Butcher, who also has just published a book on the Great War entitled The Trigger, states in the foreword to this book:

‘You will read a story of derring-do, of troops trekking for days on a diet of biltong and biscuit, of Botha’s indomitable wife rushing north to nurse her husband back to strength during the campaign, of forces who dared to traverse the Kalahari desert in full battle order.

But mostly, you will get to know better a man who, rather like Nelson Mandela later in the century, was willing to adapt, compromise and change, all in the name of peoples putting their differences behind them. Botha’s name might no longer be revered around the globe but after reading this book with its account of his tactical brilliance and political courage in the deserts of Namibia, one could be inspired to think how lucky South Africa has been to sire the greatest of leaders.’

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15 Up-and-coming SA Sports Stars, Including Bafana Youngster Rivaldo Coetzee

When the Lions Came to TownLuke Alfred, sports journalist and author of When the Lions Came to Town: The 1974 Rugby Tour to South Africa, has compiled a list of 15 South African sports stars to watch in 2015 for the Mail & Guardian.

The list includes Rivaldo Coetzee, the 17-year-old who helped Bafana Bafana storm to a 2-0 victory against Congo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on debut last year, becoming the youngest player ever to represent South Africa. After suffering an injury in Bafana’s first match of this Nations Cup campaign, Coetzee looks set to play again tonight in a must-win match against Ghana, according to

Also on the list are golf’s “Birdie Queen” Lee-Anne Pace and Ryk Neethling-vetted swimmer Myles Brown. Handré Pollard is the first of Alfred’s top picks.

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2. Rivaldo Coetzee
Eyebrows were raised when Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba gave Coet­zee his international debut as a 17-year-old last October.

If that wasn’t enough, the match was a vital African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in the Congo-Brazza­ville town of Pointe-Noire, a venue with all kinds of unpleasant memories for Bafana, dating back to a brutal game there in 1998.

Mashaba’s courage was vindicated when Coetzee came through the match with his reputation enhanced, as Bafana won 2-0, putting the Noire hoodoo to bed. The laaitie breathed many sighs of relief, admitting afterwards that he had considered asking his coach to change his mind because he was so nervous. He was pleased that he didn’t.

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Darrel Bristow-Bovey Regales News24 with Tales of His Bucket List (Video)

One Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoDarrel Bristow-Bovey chatted to News24 about his bucket list, which includes swimming across The Dardanelles, and spending the night in Dracula’s castle in Romania.

The Dardanelles is a narrow strait of ocean near northwestern Turkey, which has a rich classical history. Lord Byron swam across them in 1810, recording the event in his poem “Don Juan”.

“Lord Byron was a shrimpy romantic with a limp – he had a bad leg,” Bristow-Bovey says. “So I thought if he could do it, I could do it.”

However, things turned out very differently for Bristow-Bovey, not counting the Australians in Speedos. His attempt is recorded in his latest book, One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo.

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Star Cheaters: Dr Eve Believes there is a Correlation Between Star Signs and Infidelity

Ageing and SexualityDr Eve, sexologist and author of Ageing and Sexuality: Your 21st Century Guide to Lifelong Sensuality, was quoted in article by The Citizen about the correlation between star signs and tendency towards infidelity.

A survey on, a dating site for married people, showed that a very large number of adulterers are Gemini women and Pisces men. Capricorn women and Sagittarius men are apparently the most likely to be faithful. The article gives goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune as an example of an unfaithful Gemini, and Brad Pitt as a faithful Sagittarian.

Dr Eve found the informayion very interesting, and explains how the characteristics of Geminis might predispose them to cheat in their relationships.

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“I find these results fascinating,” says Dr Eve, a well-known South African sexologist currently writing a book on cyberinfidelity.

“My research reveals people seek playfulness online, and cyberinfidelity is an easy and accessible way to find this playfulness. Since adulterers have to juggle their lives, it makes sense the majority of women are Gemini. Imagination and fantasy are exactly what cyberinfidelity is about, hence the dominant presence of Pisces men.”

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Dennis Cruywagen: Myths and Fiction are Still Used to Exclude Khoisan Descendents

Brothers in War and PeaceDennis Cruywagen, political commentator and author of Brothers in War and Peace, recently wrote an article for the Mail & Guardian about the sidelining of Khoisan people in South Africa.

In the article, Cruywagen speaks about the way that Khoisan people were written out of history, and claims that the legacy of exclusion continues today.

Cruywagen discusses how the descendants of the first people were ignored by the apartheid government. He says that ANC has followed in this grand old tradition, because the current government also denies the Khoisan claim to primacy in this country.

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This rather overused narrative sounds so romantic and reeks of mythical bravery. That’s the problem: fact has made way for convenient myths and fiction that both sets of conquerors, those from the north of the Limpopo and those from Europe, used to justify their conquest of this beautiful land of my forefathers.

On arrival in South Africa, Africans and whites found the first people, the Khoisan. They were conquered. With the loss of their lands came another handy lie: the one that claimed the first people died without leaving any descendants. This lie made it easier for those who had driven the Khoisan off their lands and enslaved them to claim they were the real owners of South Africa.

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Join Ian Mann at the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg to Hear About the Best New Business Books

Strategy That WorksManaging with Intent

Fin24, along with Gateways and TSE Consulting, would like to invite you to a breakfast with Ian Mann, author of Strategy That Works and Managing with Intent.

Mann is managing director of Gateways, an international strategy and leadership firm, and a Fin24 business book reviewer. He will be sharing the best ideas from the latest business books at the breakfast.

The event will be on Wednesday, 11 February, from 7:30 to 9:30 AM at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, and will recur monthly.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Sunday, 11 January
  • Time: 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM
  • Venue: Michelangelo Hotel
    135 West Street
    Sandton | Map
  • Refreshments: Breakfast
  • Cover charge: R490 (corporate packages are available)
  • RSVP: Nomndeni Mogajane,, 011 788 8922, 073 544 6581
  • More information: Fin24

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David Klatzow’s Theories Relating to the Helderberg Disaster Included in Biggest Air Crash Conspiracies

Justice DeniedDavid Klatzow, forensic expert and author of Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice, has been referenced in a list of the 10 most controversial air crash conspiracy theories because of his role in the quest to uncover the truth of the Helderberg crash.

Klatzow investigated the Helderberg Disaster shortly after the crash and continues to interrogate the shrouds of mystery and evasion surrounding the event. He has been involved in two official inquiries, and is something of an authority on the disaster. In the article, the irregularities in the official account of what happened are outlined.

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South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to investigate crimes from the apartheid era, asked forensic scientist David Klatzow to present evidence. Klatzow had been involved with the original inquiry and maintained a professional interest in the disaster. He noted a number of problems with the first inquiry, including a failure to interview all witnesses.

Klatzow believes that there were two fires onboard the aircraft and that it had been in trouble a lot earlier than official reports suggest. He believes that by the time of the second fire most of the people aboard will have been dead. He’d been asked to refrain from speculation about two fires in the 1980s. More damning, the tape from ground control which recorded communications from the plane during the early part of its flight went missing very early. Klatzow believes the pilot may have refrained from making an emergency landing before reaching South Africa as he was likely carrying illegal cargo.

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The Elephant in the Room: Adam Cruise Reports on Zimbabwe’s Dubious Deals with Chinese Zoos

Louis Botha's WarAdam Cruise, environmental activist and author of Louis Botha’s War, has written an article for the Conservation Action Trust about Zimbabwe’s mercenary trade in elephants.

In the article, Cruise gives the details of the Zimbabwean governments unsavoury wild life trade. To date, 34 elephant, 7 lions and 10 sable antelope have been captured for shipping to zoos in China. President Robert Mugabe reportedly believes that “Zimbabwe’s wildlife needs to start paying dividends”.

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Dozens of baby elephants and other wild animals are being abducted from Hwange National Park.

According to a statement by Zimbabwe’s environment minister last week, the animals are being transported to the United Arab Emirates. However conservationists are sceptical of this new information.

Eye-witness reports from tourists visiting the park have brought to light blatant live captures of baby elephants conducted by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) as well as animal capture specialists from the Chizarira National Park who are preparing the animals for export.

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Following the Egotistical “Babble” Around Charlie Hebdo, Darrel Bristow-Bovey Begs for a Moment of Silence

One Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoDarrel Bristow-Bovey, well-known columnist and author of One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo, has written an article for the Rand Daily Mail about the constant babble of opinion these days.

Bristow-Bovey explains his experience of the healing and humbling properties of silence. He says that some years ago, he used to spend one day a week without talking or listening to people. He says it was “an insulation from the frettings and struttings and blatherings of the ego — mine and others”.

In the the wake of the flurry of oh-so-clever opinions following the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris last week, he is again considering reinstating his ritual of refreshing silence.

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In five minutes there was “Je suis Charlie” — I confess I was one of them — and in 10 there were people explaining why not everyone is Charlie, 15 till someone opined that no one is Charlie, 20 before someone snarked that no one should be Charlie. There was a perfect storm of Charlieness and anti-Charliedom in op-eds and on talk radio and social media, a strident, one-upping dinner party of egos coolly explaining to other egos why their own take was more subtle and smart and engaged.

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David Klatzow Offers his Opinion on the Forensic Aspects of the Unsolved Mystery of Elisa Lam’s Death

Justice DeniedDavid Klatzow, forensic expert and author of Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice, was quoted in an article by Marelise van der Merwe for the Daily Maverick about the mysterious death of Elisa Lam in Los Angeles about two years ago.

The investigation of Lam’s death was inconclusive, and the cause of her death was never determined. Van der Merwe looks at some of the murky police work and the issues that surrounds this case. She asked Klatzow for his opinion on the autopsy report.

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Klatzow’s reading of the autopsy was a little more nuanced. He explained that in the absence of further evidence to give context, it was difficult to ascertain exactly what had happened. “It is strange that the cause of death was initially listed as unknown at presumably the first autopsy,” he told Daily Maverick. However, he also said that it was not possible to pin the bruising on trauma, as it was possible that in an advanced state of decomposition, a non-traumatic cause was quite possible.

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