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New Edition of The Official K53 Learner's and Driver's Made Easy

The Official K53 Learner's and Driver's Made EasyDie amptelike K53 slaag jou Leerling- en bestuurderslisensies maklikOut this month from Struik Lifestyle, the new edition of The Official K53 Learner’s and Driver’s Made Easy by Clive Gibson, Gavin Hoole and Bata Passchier:

This best-seller continues to provide novice drivers with a thorough grounding in everything they need to know to prepare for their learner’s licence and K53 driving tests.

The text has been revised and updated to take account of changes in road traffic legislation and the practical requirements for the official K53 Defensive Driving system. There is also a new handy loose insert containing information on computerised testing and requirements.

This well-presented, user-friendly book combines all the elements needed to pass the written tests, yard test and road tests for motor vehicles, motorcycles and heavy motor vehicles, and is the only manual that illustrates every rule of the road.

Taken together, the text, illustrations and self-tests are designed to reinforce the learning process and make it easier to pass the learner’s or driver’s test first time. The book is now packaged in a polybag which will contribute towards keeping the books clean, making them last longer.

Also available in Afrikaans as Die amptelike K53 slaag jou Leerling- en bestuurderslisensies maklik.

About the authors

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.

Gavin Hoole is a successful author, an experienced trainer and a management consultant. He is the author and co-author of several books, including the Really, Really Easy series and the best-selling Pass Your Learner’s Easily. He lives in Cape Town.

Bata Passchier is the third member of the team behind ‘Engage Your Brain’, a successful series of learner and driver products.

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The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa by Jacques Steenkamp Now Available as eBook

The Griekwastad MurdersThe Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa is Jacques Steenkamp’s riveting report of what happened on that fateful day and what went on beyond the courtroom walls.

Written by one of South Africa’s foremost crime reporters, who spent more than a year investigating and reporting on the case, this book contains eight pages of photographs and interviews with all the roleplayers – including the investigating officers on the case, the forensic and ballistic experts, and family and friends of the deceased.

The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa is now available as ebook, while the paperback – along with the Afrikaans edition Die Griekwastad-Moorde: Die misdaad wat Suid-Afrika geruk het – will be published later this month. You can pre-order the paperback on the Random House Struik website for a discounted price of R200.

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Image courtesy Random House Struik

Chilling Excerpt from Valleys of Silence: Into the Rwandan Genocide by Hamilton Wende

Sunday Times Books, an imprint of Times Media Books, recently published Valleys of Silence: Into the Rwandan Genocide in which experienced journalist Hamilton Wende shares the personal diary he kept during his time as a reporter covering the Rwandan genocide.

The tragedy started on 6 April 1994, and in commemoration of that day Sunday Times published an excerpt from Wende’s book. Read about his firsthand experience of the atrocities that took place:

* * * * * * * * *

Valleys of SilenceA delirious trip into Rwanda’s nightmare

Today marks 20 years since the Rwandan massacres started. On April 6 1994, an aeroplane carrying president Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down and violence broke out. Hutu extremists launched their plans to destroy the entire Tutsi population and 800000 men, women and children perished. South African Hamilton Wende witnessed it first-hand as the soundman for a BBC documentary team. This is an edited extract from his diaries of Rwanda and surrounding countries at the time, titled ‘Valleys of Silence’

THE first morning we were in Kigali, Frank took us behind the lines, away from the fighting, and we filmed the damage that the taking of Kigali had wrought. The destruction of a new war was evident in the large numbers of useful things that had been discarded, such as the carton of ballpoint pens spilt on the street or the roofing material that lay untouched on a factory floor. The war was still too close for someone to take them.

The suburbs were quiet now. We couldn’t even hear the explosions at the front. There was just the trundle of wheelbarrows along the rubble-strewn streets as people moved to and fro among the wreckage, fetching water that the Rwandan Patriotic Front had trucked in from the river a few miles out of town.

It was obvious that the suburbs had been bitterly fought over, that in many places territory had been conceded house by house. The walls of many buildings were filled with bullet holes, rocket scars, the roofs twisted and torn open by mortar shells, the interior walls pockmarked by shrapnel. Here and there dried, almost skeletal bodies in military uniform lay forgotten under piles of rubbish inside the houses, and on the walls of some of them blood stains were smeared on the plaster like giant unearthly maps, each wavy brown line marking out the topography of sudden death.

In a garden only 100m from the windows that we left open at night, we found the corpses of two men and a woman rotting and desiccated on the concrete floor of the patio. The bodies of the two men lay side by side and there were neat holes in the backs of their skulls where they had been shot, execution-style. The woman’s arms were outstretched and there was a wedge-shaped gash in the back of her neck where she had been hacked to death. All the fingers of both hands had been chopped off below the second knuckles. I had heard of this, but not seen it before. Often, the murderers first chopped off the noses and fingers of their victims before killing them — to torture them for the crime of being born Tutsi and having “straight” noses and “long” fingers.

As we went from place to place in Kigali, the spirit world of the myriad dead crowded around us and became as real as the world of the guns and the bombs. How much of Rwanda lay hidden, unseen — like the corpses we had only stumbled on by chance — I did not know, but day by day, after near sleepless nights, the horrors multiplied around us so that, in the end, we walked and ate and filmed in a state of exhausted semi-delirium.

Then we were at the epicentre of Rwanda’s holocaust — the palace of President Major-General Juvenal Habyarimana, now abandoned and closely guarded by the Rwandan Patriotic Front. If we looked through the chapel window into the banana fields outside, we could see the wreckage of the Mystère-Falcon jet in which Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi had been travelling when it was shot down on April 6, only a few weeks before.

The glass on the fish tank was smeared with a dried green-brown paste. The bottom of the huge, once ostentatious tank was filled with a layer of sticky muck, but there were no dead fish lying mixed in with the scum — they had almost certainly been eaten. The kitchen, too, was empty of every edible thing. The silver knives, forks and expensive crockery lay untouched in the cupboards where they had been neatly packed. But the food was all gone — not even a grain of salt had been left.

Outside, a pair of peacocks called forlornly in the empty, luxuriant garden. Inside, the stiflingly ornate white-carpeted reception rooms on the ground floor had hardly been touched. We walked upstairs to the second, more private, living room. Glass from a fallen crystal chandelier crunched underneath our hiking boots and a pair of cabinets from China with white lacquer and gold inlay stood against the wall. Everything in this house spoke of the gilded paranoia of a man haunted by the terror of the poverty that lay just outside the breeze-block walls surrounding his property.

Further up and further in we came to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom. The floor was littered with perfume bottles, silk ties and crumpled satin sheets. Beyond lay a small sitting room with deep wooden panels that formed neat, unobtrusive cabinets. One had contained videotapes and books, another a collection of hunting rifles — all looted, but with a surprising number of gleaming brass cartridges still lying all over the floor — and another cabinet concealed a concrete staircase that led to the third floor.

Through the hidden door and up the stairs was the study of the owner of the house, filled with personal bric-a-brac: framed photographs, a medal in a white satin case, an ornate carved walking stick. The desk was covered in dust and broken tiles from where a stray mortar bomb had hit the roof above.

And more lay beyond: a few more steps and we were led into a tiny private chapel with rows of wooden pews and hymn books neatly stacked on the shelves behind each pew. Long rays of sunlight streamed in through a small window in the back. In the front there was a beautiful carving of a black Christ bleeding from the cross. The only thing that was out of place were the handfuls of communion wafers strewn across the floor in front of the altar. Here and there, one could see where the boots of soldiers had trodden on the unleavened bread and crushed it into the fibres of the thick woollen carpet.

It was in these very rooms that Habyarimana had played the delicate and perilous game of trying to juggle the competing demands for a power-sharing government made by the invading Rwandan Patriotic Front — progressively winning more and more territory and increasingly supported by the outside world — and the murderous reluctance of the radical Hutus in his own clique to surrender any power.

It was this attempt at moderation that brought about his own death and precipitated the bloodbath. The sad irony is that the massacres came at a time when Rwanda was closer to a solution to its problems, perhaps, than at any other time in its history. A peace accord had been brokered at Arusha, in Tanzania, and there seemed to be every possibility of installing a power-sharing government made up of Hutus and Tutsis from different political parties.

Then the president’s plane was shot down. Most analysts are convinced that the missile that brought the plane down came from the nearby barracks of the presidential guard. In addition, the evidence clearly suggests that the initial massacres were carefully planned, months in advance. Within an hour of the plane being downed, the genocide began. The presidential guard and units of interahamwe militia known as the “Zero Network” went from house to house, killing Tutsi and Hutu opponents of the government who were on the hit list — the men and women we had met at Byumba on our first day in Rwanda.

From Kigali, the killing spread across the country. After the initial politically motivated liquidations, the butchery was directed almost entirely against innocent Tutsis. The massacres were halted only by the rapid advance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanual Quist from Ghana, with the UN forces in Kigali, watched helplessly from his barracks as people were taken away and killed: “From our compound, I saw lines of refugees. At a roadblock I saw them pull one man out. They looked at his identity card and dragged him away to the side of the road. They hacked him twice in the neck, then they turned his body over and hacked him in the back of his head. Then they went through his pockets. When the man who had done the hacking was finished, he wiped the blood off his machete on the back of his trousers and went back to the roadblock.”

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First published in the Sunday Times and used with permission

West End Production of War Horse to be Screened Around South Africa

Handspring Puppet Company (hardcover)The Handspring Puppet Company’s War Horse will be broadcast in cinemas around South Africa.

The internationally acclaimed production was screened live from London’s West End to cinemas around the world on 27 February, 2014, but if you missed out on that performance never fear, War Horse will be screened locally at Ster Kinekor theatres from 12-24 April in South Africa.

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. Filled with stirring music and songs, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing lifesized puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this landmark production in a cinema near you.

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Kaylan Massie and Debbie Collier Present Executive Salaries: Who Should Have a Say on Pay?

Executive SalariesIn Executive Salaries: Who Should Have a Say on Pay? the 2012 executive pay packages of 50 of South Africa’s largest and most influential listed companies are examined.

A 2006 study by Crotty and Bonorchis revealed that, on average, the CEOs got paid more than R15 million a year – more than 700 times the minimum wage in certain industries. The authors predicted that without government intervention, executive packages would continue to sky-rocket. Unfortunately these predictions have come true, despite employment equity measures and changes to corporate governance requirements in King III. The average cash and benefits package of the 50 CEOs studied in 2012 came to almost R13.1 million and, once the gains on the vesting and exercise of share options is included, this average rises steeply to almost R49 million.

South Africa’s widening income inequality and its history of racism, poverty and social unrest demand that something more be done to reverse this trend. But what will it take for companies to rein in excessive executive salaries? In Executive Salaries we consider these questions:

  • How do you strengthen the shareholder’s say on pay to ensure that the board of directors responsible for setting pay take into account multiple stakeholder interests?
  • Should the courts, the Department of Labour, employees, the tax man or the remaining 99% of society have a say on what the 1% are being paid?
  • How do you modify corporate governance standards, the tax code and labour legislation to achieve these goals?
  • How do we turn shareholders into activists and empower the workforce?
  • Is change only possible if a more fundamental shift in attitudes is achieved?

This book addresses these pressing issues and considers possible mechanisms to rein in excessive executive pay.

Without these interventions, South Africa will continue on a path of instability and unrest, while the rich get richer and the poor become poorer.

About the author

Kaylan Massie was born and raised in Canada. She received an Honours degree in Economics from Queen’s University and a Law degree from the University of British Columbia. During her university studies she received numerous academic awards and scholarships. After graduating from law school and completing her articles at one of the leading corporate law firms in Canada, Kaylan qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2009. Upon qualification, she began practicing litigation, labour and employment law, representing clients before courts, the labour relations board and labour arbitrators. In 2011, she moved to South Africa with her husband and enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. She graduated with distinction with a Master’s degree in Labour Law in 2012.

Debbie Collier
is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is an associate of the Institute of Development and Labour Law. After receiving her BA LLB from Rhodes University, Collier completed pupillage and later articles and practiced as an attorney in the Eastern Cape specialising primarily in employment law matters. In 2001, Debbie joined the UCT Law Faculty as an assistant lecturer and IT co-ordinator and was subsequently awarded her LLM and PhD at UCT. Debbie’s core teaching responsibilities, and primary field of research, is in employment law and development, with a focus on workplace discrimination and the law.

Ann Crotty was born in Ireland, and educated in Ireland, England, Wales and Malaysia. With an MA from Trinity College in Dublin and an MBA from University College, Dublin, she has always been hot on the heels of investment issues. Her MBA thesis covered the use of derivatives by the institutional investors in Dublin. In 2010 she received her MPhil in Company Law from UCT. Her thesis covered conflicts of interest presented by share repurchasing. Since first coming to South Africa, Crotty has risen through the ranks of South African journalism to become one of the best financial writers the country has to offer. From uncovering questionable incentive arrangements at Nedbank to her decisive work on executive pay, she never fails to keep her readers enthralled or incensed. Crotty was named journalist of the year in 2005, along with her colleague Renee Bonorchis, for their work on executive pay, which was published in Business Report. In 2006, Crotty was names Sanlam Financial Journalist of the year for her work on the contentious proposal to merge Sasol and Engen. In 2013 she won the Economy and Industry Section of the Sanlam Award for coverage of the farm workers’ protest in the Western Cape.

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New from Sunday Times Books: Hamilton Wende's Valleys of Silence: Into the Rwandan Genocide

Valleys of SilenceSunday Times Books, an imprint of Times Media Books, presents Valleys of Silence, Hamilton Wende‘s firsthand account of the Rwandan genocide:

Sunday, April 7, marked 20 years since the beginning of the tragedy in Rwanda, during which an estimated 800,000 people – roughly 20 percent of the country’s population – lost their lives.

“A suffocating darkness surrounds me. Choking diesel fumes fill the air inside the container truck. I am nearly thrown off my feet as the vehicle jerks to a halt. A dead silence reigns. There is a loud groaning of steel as the handle of the door of the container is twisted open. A single beam of sunlight pierces the darkness, illuminating a sea of terrified children’s faces.” So begins Wende’s harrowing account of the Rwandan genocide, which he witnessed as a reporter in 1994.

His personal diary takes us back to that time, a document that reminds us, 20 years later, that we must never forget. Valley of Silence is a digital short that, more so than most, will make a lasting impact.

“Hamilton Wende’s Rwanda diary merges history, personal witness and political analysis to illuminate the dark spaces of the human heart.” – Robyn Curnow, CNN Africa Correspondent

Illustrated with the author’s photographs.

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