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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Samantha Gibb reviews Dagga: A Short History by Hazel Crampton

Dagga: A Short HistoryVerdict: carrot

Dagga: A Short History is a literal embodiment of ‘dynamite comes in small packages’. It is incredibly comprehensive and enlightening for such a small volume, and an easy to read book at that. Crampton lays a foundation for what I hope will be a serious, far-reaching debate over the legalisation of Dagga in South Africa.

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17 of the Best South African Book Covers from 2015

17 of the Best South African Book Covers from 2015

South African readers were spoilt with a fantastic variety of book covers this year. We’ve collected together our favourites of the English publications (Afrikaans list to come soon). Feast your eyes!

Which is your favourite cover from 2015? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below!

101 Detectives

101 Detectives by Ivan Vladislavic
Cover design: Gretchen van der Byl
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Green Lion

Green Lion by Henrietta Rose-Innes
Cover design: publicide
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Anna Peters' Year of Cooking Dangerously

Anna Peters’ Year of Cooking Dangerously by Kathryn White
Cover design: Kate Butcher
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The Paper House

The Paper House by Dalena Theron
Cover design: publicide
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Sibanda and the Death’s Head Moth

Sibanda and the Death’s Head Moth by CM Elliott
Cover design: publicide
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Dagga: A Short History

Dagga: A Short History by Hazel Crampton
Cover design: publicide
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A Slim, Green Silence

A Slim, Green Silence by Beverly Rycroft
Cover design: Gretchen van der Byl
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Little Suns

Little Suns by Zakes Mda
Cover design: Gretchen van der Byl
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Stray: An Anthology of Animal Stories and Poems edited by Diane Awerbuck and Helen Moffett
Cover design: Joey Hi-Fi
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Sweet Medicine

Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
Cover design: Simphiwe Twala
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Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew
Cover design: Allison Saltzman
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Be A Hero

Be A Hero: Lessons For Living A Heroic Life by Alan Knott-Craig and Craig Rivett
Cover illustration: Mia du Plessis
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What About Meera

What About Meera by ZP Dala
Cover design: publicide
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Terra Incognita

Terra Incognita edited by Nerine Dorman
Cover design: Nick Mulgrew
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To Quote Myself

To Quote Myself by Khaya Dlanga
Cover design: K4
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Showdown at the Red Lion

Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859–1910 by Charles van Onselen
Cover design: Michiel Botha
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Riding the Samoosa Express

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Charles Cilliers Reviews Dagga: A Short History by Hazel Crampton

Dagga: A Short HistoryVerdict: carrot

Crampton is best known for books that take one on near-fantastical trips into South Africa’s past, and there are a few moments of historical speculation that are presented as fact here, but it’s nevertheless compelling. It seems perfectly reasonable to accept that dagga has been used in southern Africa for more than 1 000 years, from Great Zimbabwe to the shores of the Western Cape, where Jan van Riebeeck first wrote about it in 1658. Incidentally, Crampton also writes that there’s evidence that the Israelites of the Bible smoked dagga for religious purposes.

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Nominees for the 2015 South African Literary Awards Revealed

In ligte laaieMy Children Have FacesnullnullLondon – Cape Town – JoburgMpho ya kaJustice
Girl on the EdgeSynapseMede-weteStrange PilgrimagesAl die lieflike dade
Maar wie snoei die rose in die nag?Die beste verhale en humor van Herman Charles BosmanThe New African

Alert! Books LIVE can exclusively reveal the nominees for the 10th annual South African Literary Awards (SALAs).

The SALAs honour writing and writers in all official languages across 10 categories, and include the K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, the First-time Published Author Award and the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award.

The SALAs were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates and the Department of Arts and Culture.

This year, Antjie Krog, Achmat Dangor and the late Thokozani Mandlenkosi Nene will receive Lifetime Achievement Literary Awards, while RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo will receive Literary Posthumous Awards.

Michele Magwood of the Sunday Times will receive the Literary Journalism Award.

The SALA ceremony will be held at the Tshwane Events Centre on November 7, 2015.

The full list of this year’s SALA nominees are:

Nominees for the 2015 South African Literary Awards Revealed

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Related stories:

Press release

Sala Celebrates 10 Years of Advancing Our Literary Heritage

Celebrating 10 years of growth and exhilarating success, the South African Literary Awards (SALA) will honour over 10 South African authors at a celebratory awards ceremony to be held at Tshwane Events Centre, Tshwane, Gauteng Province on November 7, 2015.

The prestigious South African Literary Awards were founded in 2005 by the wRite associates, in partnership with the national Department of Arts and Culture, as a platform to honour authors, writers, poets and literary practitioners who made and continue to make a contribution in the literary landscape in South Africa.

More than 100 luminaries have been honoured over the last decade, among them Nobel Award winner Nadine Gordimer, multi-award winning novelist Kgebetli Moele, literary journalists Bongani Madondo and Sabata-Mpho Mokae, poet Kobus Moolman, book critics Karabo Kgoleng and Jenny Crwys-Williams, short story writers Makhosazana Xaba and Reneilwe Malatji, scholars and prolific writers Zakes Mda, Mbulelo Mzamane, Ashraaf Kagee, Nhlanhla Maake, Imraan Coovadia, translator, poet, novelist and children’s writer Chris van Wyk, and many others.

The list of nominees reflects the transformative nature not only of SALA, but the country’s literary community. The potpourri nature of the country provides a canvas on which writers manage to paint beautiful pictures without needing to look over their shoulders.

SALA honours writing and writers in all official languages and writers across 10 categories. They are K Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award, which is a celebration of one of the country’s most prolific authors of his generation, K Sello Duiker. First-time published writers are also acknowledged and honoured by the Awards. The other is the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Literary Award, honouring thespians in the genre, across all languages. In addition, there are:

1. Poetry Award
2. Literary Translators Award
3. Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
4. Posthumous Literary Award
5. Literary Journalism Award
6. Creative Non-Fiction Award and
7. Chairperson’s Award

As writers are given an equal opportunity to contest any of the awards categories, this year’s winners reflect that elevated state of South African literature, which has seen some of the local works adapted into screen- and stage-plays. South African literature is, indeed, on an upward spiral.

2015′s nominees are:

1. Jannie Malan
2. Carol Campbell
3. Matebello Innocentia Masasa
4. Nekhavhambe Khalirendwe
5. Zukiswa Wanner, LS Mokoena
6. Edwin Cameron
7. Ruth Carneson
8. Antjie Krog
9. Achmat Dangor
10. Thokozani Mandlenkosi Nene
11. Charl-Pierre Naudé
12. Mangaliso Buzani
13. Bishop MT Makobe
14. Karen Press
15. Johann de Lange
16. RRR and HIE Dhlomo
17. Michele Magwood and
18. Abraham H de Vries

The SALA has grown in leaps and bounds from when it started with only one category: the National Poet Laureate Prize and later followed by the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, bestowed on luminaries across the land.

This year’s instalment will be outstanding and celebratory, as SALA will be preceded by a one-night live show, titled “AfreeLitMarts”, must-see exciting expertly choreographed multimedia live performance comprising music intersecting and interspersing storytelling, poetry, other literary performances, live painting, art, book, exhibitions and more.

For enquiries and more information:

Please visit and OR write to

OR call: 011 791 4102


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Check out the Confirmed Speakers for the 2015 Edition of the Daily Maverick’s The Gathering


The Daily Maverick has revealed some of the participants for this year’s edition of The Gathering.

Brain PornBest White and Other Anxious DelusionsRaising the BarDub StepsLet Them Eat CakeRemaking the ANCUntil Julius Comes

Still an Inconvenient YouthThe Coming RevolutionCOSATU's Contested LegacyAround Africa On My BicycleThe National Health Act

The Gathering is one of the highlights of the year on the conference circuit, and some confirmed speakers this year include Premier David Makhura, Julius Malema, Mmusi Maimane, Zwelinzima Vavi, Dr Iraj Abedian, Riaan Manser, Dr Martyn Davies, Ranjeni Munusamy, Gareth Cliff, Richard Poplak and Justice Malala.

The event will take place on 11 June at The Dome at Vodaworld. A ticket costs R950, VIP tickets R2 950, and group/student deals are available. Meals, refreshments and goodie bags are included.

Event Details


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Announcing the Shortlists for the 2015 Media24 Books Literary Awards

Alert! The shortlists for the 2015 Media24 Books Literary Awards have been announced.

The Media24 Books Literary Awards are awarded to books published between 1 January and 31 December 2014 by the Media24 Books group. The winner in each category will receive R35 000. In the category Illustrated Children’s Books, the author and the illustrator will share the prize money. This adds up to a total prize money of more than R200 000 to be awarded this year.

Last year’s winners included Dominque Botha (published by Umuzi, but deemed too strong not to be included on the list), Marlene van Niekerk, Etienne van Heerden, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, SA Partridge, Linda Rode, and Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson

The winners will be announced at a special event at the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town on 5 June.

Without further ado, here are the shortlisted titles:

Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English Fiction

  • Face-Off by Chris Karsten (Human & Rousseau)
A Sportful MaliceFace-OffRachel’s Blue


Recht Malan Prize for Afrikaans and English Non-fiction

  • Justice by Edwin Cameron (Tafelberg)
JusticeLost and Found in JohannesburgA Man of Good Hope

MER Prize for Youth Novels

Alive AgainChuck Norris kan deel deur nulChain Reaction

MER Prize for Illustrated Children’s Books

Noko and the Kool KatsDie Dingesfabriek: Jannus En Kriek krimpSpeurhond Willem en die diamantdiewe

Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English Poetry

  • Mede-wete by Antjie Krog (Human & Rousseau)
Karnaval en lentMede-weteAl die lieflike dade

WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction – novels, short stories and dramas

  • Ester by Kerneels Breytenbach (Human & Rousseau)
  • Kamphoer by Francois Smith (Tafelberg)
* * * * *

Media24 notes in the press release that four titles are included in this year’s WA Hofmeyr Prize shortlist owing to the quality of the works.

The Jan Rabie Rapport Prize, for a debut work in Afrikaans, will be announced at the kykNET-Rapport Book Prizes later this year.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors!
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The 10 Biggest Non-fiction Book Launches of 2014

If it is possible for South Africa to have an uneventful and restful year, 2014 was certainly not one of them.

The year started with the inevitable big, bold promises the go hand-in-hand with general elections. These were accompanied by equally bold but marginally more down-to-earth commentary about leadership. Still reeling from the loss of Nelson Mandela, the nation contemplated its position after 20 years of democracy. The Oscar Pistorius murder trial brought law to the fore, while parliament was at its most theatrical.

With the great whirl of events, chaos and information that characterise this country, great books that critique, celebrate and comment on the state of things are necessary. Books that do this warrant celebration. The good, the bad and the ugly of South Africa this year came out in the books most celebrated.

Which non-fiction book launch of 2014 stood out for you? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.

* * * * *

Here are the 10 most popular non-fiction book bashes of 2014, according to Books LIVE web analytics:
Donwald Pressly and Lindiwe MazibukoOwning the FutureDonwald Pressly’s Owning the Future: Lindiwe Mazibuko and the Changing Face of the DA Launched at The Book Lounge

23 January: Supporters of Lindiwe Mazibuko turned out in droves to attend the launch of Donwald Pressly’s impressive biography, Owning the Future: Lindiwe Mazibuko and the Changing Face of the DA at The Book Lounge.

In response to the scores of replies to the invitation to this event, bookshop staff set up a standing room only area upstairs and provided seats and amplification for the elderly (or weary!) downstairs. The bookshop was heaving with eager readers at least an hour before the speakers arrived.
Prince Mashele and Richard CallandThe Fall of the ANCPrince Mashele and Mzukisi Qobo’s The Fall of the ANC Launched at The Book Lounge

20 February: In the fractious weeks heading towards the national elections, a fascinating, feisty and fiery event took place at The Book Lounge, the launch of The Fall of the ANC: What next? by academics Prince Mashele and Mzukisi Qobo. The book is a searing critique of South Africa’s ruling political party, and the event brought together a capacity crowd. “Wherever we go, whomever we talk to, outside the ANC or inside the ANC, people agree that something is fundamentally wrong!” These opening words kicked off the event …
Edwin CameronJusticeEdwin Cameron’s Justice: A Personal Account Launched at the Constitutional Court

27 February: Described by Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC as “a remarkable integration of fascinating, often moving personal memoir, professional reminiscence and acute historical analysis of South African law, politics and society”, Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron’s book Justice: A Personal Account drew a huge crowd at its launch, where the books were flying off the tables.
Raymond ParsonsLiberation DiariesLiberation Diaries, Edited by Busani Ngcaweni, Launched with Rigorous Panel Discussion

6 May: Liberation Diaries: Reflections on 20 years of democracy, a book of personal essays on the new South Africa, was launched on the eve of the elections marking 20 years of democracy.

50 people contributed to the book, which was edited by Busani Ngcaweni, public servant in the Presidency and regular writer for newspapers and journals.
Launch of I'm Not Your Weekend SpecialI'm Not Your Weekend SpecialBongani Madondo Launches I’m Not Your Weekend Special at the University of Johannesburg

15 May: A library might seem an odd place to discuss a personality as loud as Brenda Fassie’s, but this venue choice turned out to be the right one for Bongani Madondo’s I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life + Style and Politics of Brenda Fassie.

Madondo participated in a panel discussion with journalist Janet Smith of The Star and Mabusha Masekela – nephew of Bra Hugh and a professional in the entertainment industry himself.
Shani KrebsDragons and ButterfliesShani Krebs Shares His Story of Imprisonment in Thailand at the Launch of Dragons and Butterflies

29 May: Shani Krebs is a man with a story that will make your hair stand on end. At the Cape Town launch of his memoir, Dragons and Butterflies, held at Bargain Books in Canal Walk, he spoke of his experiences over 18 years in Thailand’s notorious Bangkwang Central Prison.

The author spoke passionately about his consciousness-raising efforts, in particular his call on the Thai government to abolish the death penalty.
Zindzi Mandela, George Bizos and Zelda la GrangeGood Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaZelda la Grange’s Good Morning, Mr Mandela Launch Attended by Numerous VIPs, Mandela and Machel Families

19 June: Zelda la Grange’s memoir of her time as Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Good Morning, Mr Mandela, was launched at a glittering event at The Venue in Melrose Arch, with the who’s who of South African politics present.

In Good Morning, Mr Mandela, La Grange reveals how she grew up in an “apartheid household”, even voting “no” in the 1992 referendum, but says that when she met Madiba in 1994 her whole perspective changed.
Gareth Cliff, Richard Poplak and Ranjeni MunusamyUntil Julius ComesRichard Poplak Launches Until Julius Comes: The EFF Will Change the Way Politics is Done in This Country

20 August: Award-winning Daily Maverick journalist Richard Poplak launched his new book, Until Julius Comes, at Love Books with Gareth Cliff and Daily Maverick associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy in August.

The launch was prescient, as the very next day Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) disrupted parliament in spectacular fashion.
Zwelinzima Vavi, Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Justice MalalaNothing Left to StealNothing Left to Steal by Mzilikazi wa Afrika Launched with Zwelinzima Vavi and Justice Malala at Love Books

10 September: Mzilikazi wa Afrika’s tell-all memoir Nothing Left to Steal was launched at Love Books in Johannesburg with Justice Malala shooting the questions and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi as guest speaker.

Malala opened the discussion by asking about Wa Afrika’s arrest in 2010, after exposing the R1.7-billion lease scandal between police commissioner Bheki Cele and property tycoon Roux Shabangu.

Book Launch: Behind the DoorBehind the DoorSearching for Babyshoes: Barry Bateman and Mandy Wiener’s Behind the Door Launched in Johannesburg

7 October: Barry Bateman and Mandy Wiener launched their book, Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story, in the company of Carte Blanche presenter Bongani Bingwa on Tuesday, 7 October, at Primedia in Johannesburg.

Pan Macmillan managing director Terry Morris congratulated the journalistic duo on completing the book and said she is “very glad to see the final product delivered safely”.

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Winner Announced for the Homebru Books Hamper Competition

Congratulations to Neliswa Hlongwane, who has won five books of her choice from this year’s Exclusive Books Homebru collection.

Clever Blacks, Jesus and NkandlaLost and Found in JohannesburgDear BulletJusticeOliver Tambo Speaks

Neliswa chose Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla: The Real Jacob Zuma in His Own Words by Gareth Van Onselen, Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser, Dear Bullet: Or A Letter to My Shooter by Sixolile Mbalo, Justice: A Personal Account by Edwin Cameron and Oliver Tambo Speaks edited by Adelaide Tambo.

Congratulations, Neliswa!

If you missed out this time, keep an eye on Books LIVE as we have a number of competitions up our sleeve for the next few weeks.

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South Africa’s Iconic Stories: Exclusive Books Reveal Homebru Selection for 2014

Alert! Exclusive Books has announced the annual Homebru list, celebrating the best of South African fiction and non-fiction.

There are 48 books on the list, including the shortlists for this year’s Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Fiction Prize, the winners of which were announced last Saturday.

Fiction highlights on the list include Lauren Beukes‘ latest offering, Broken Monsters, Sarah Lotz‘ thriller The Three and Damon Galgut’s Arctic Summer.

Non-fiction fans are also spoilt for choice, with titles including Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser, Gareth van Onselen’s Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla: The Real Jacob Zuma in His Own Words, Tony Leon’s Opposite Mandela, Justice: A Personal Account by Edwin Cameron and Zelda la Grange’s explosive memoir Good Morning, Mr Mandela, which is already taking the country by storm.

Here’s the complete 2014 Exclusive Books Homebru list. Get reading!

How to Fix South Africa's SchoolsRetreatThe Story of Anna P, as Told by HerselfDoing Life with MandelaSouth African BattlesWhat's Gone Wrong?On Route in SA

Op Pad in Suid-AfrikaLost and Found in JohannesburgThe ThreeDear BulletOpposite MandelaClever Blacks, Jesus and NkandlaJustice

Oliver Tambo SpeaksKrokodil aan my skouer21st Century MegatrendsDubbelspelUntitledLondon – Cape Town – JoburgThe Ties That Bind

Verdeelde landA Time Traveller's Guide to Our Next Ten YearsWinterkos in ProvenceWinter Food in ProvenceVyf-en-veertig skemeraandsange uit die eenbeendanser se werkruimteI'm Not Your Weekend Special

IncognitoThe Crazy Life of Larry JoeUnbelievable!Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaBo-Kaap Kitchen100 Good Ideas

Arctic SummerDark WindowsCall It Like It IsBroken Monsters

The Sunday Times Alan Paton Award Shortlist

A Rumour of SpringThe Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer WarMy Second InitiationPortrait of a Slave SocietyRichard Rive

The Sunday Times Fiction Prize Shortlist

The Spiral House PenumbraWolf, WolfThe Shining GirlsFalse River

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Jonny Steinberg Reviews Justice: A Personal Account by Edwin Cameron

Justice: A Personal AccountVerdict: carrot

There is a perennial conversation on these pages and elsewhere about what a public intellectual might be and whether South Africa has any. Edwin Cameron’s new book, Justice: A Personal Account, should be included immediately in this conversation. For, in writing it, Cameron has become a type of public intellectual I don’t think we’ve seen in South Africa before.

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