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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Launch – Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored by Mandy Wiener (8 May)

As a follow up to the bestselling Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2010), the new book from Mandy Wiener, Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored, examines how organised crime, gangsters and powerful political figures have been able to capture the law enforcement authorities and agencies. These various organisations have been eviscerated, hollowed out and left ineffective. They have been infiltrated and compromised and, as a result, prominent underworld figures have been able to flourish in South Africa, setting up elaborate networks of crime with the assistance of many cops. The criminal justice system has been left exposed and it is crucial that the South African public knows about the capture that has occurred on different levels.

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Pan Macmillan to represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa

Season of Crimson BlossomsBorn on a TuesdayThe Lazarus Effectnullnull

Pan Macmillan is delighted to announce that as of July 2016 the company will represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa.

Cassava Republic Press is a leading African publishing house and their list comprises an eclectic selection of quality literary fiction, non-fiction, crime, young adult fiction, children’s books and romantic fiction under the Ankara Press imprint. The publisher aims to spotlight the vibrancy and diversity of prose by African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Their 2016 fiction list includes Elnathan John’s breathtakingly beautiful Born on a Tuesday which tackles unexplored aspects of friendship, love, trauma and politics in recent Northern Nigerian history; Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s mesmerising Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, a subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss and the erotic yearnings of an older woman; the crime novel Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, a controversial and gripping story of an affair between a devoted Muslim grandmother and a 25-year-old drug dealer and political thug.

Cassava Republic Press has headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria with a second base in London. Since its founding 10 years ago in Nigeria, it has become a dynamic and truly international publishing house that Pan Macmillan is proud to represent.

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Join Alex Eliseev at Exclusive Books for the launch of Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder

Invitationto the launch of Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder by Alex Eliseev

Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani MurderExclusive Books and Pan Macmillan take great pleasure in inviting you to the launch of Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder by Alex Eliseev.

Eliseev is an award-winning journalist and editor at Eyewitness News. Cold Case Confession is his hotly anticipated new book, and is included in the 2016 Homebru Selection.

The launch will take place at Exclusive Books Hyde Park on Thursday, 23 June. Don’t miss it!

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A must read: Cold Case Confession: Unravelling the Betty Ketani Murder by Alex Eliseev

Cold Case Confession


If you are reading this then I am dead.

This is the opening line of a letter hidden under a carpet for a decade. The chilling words are followed by a confession to a murder committed nearly 13 years earlier. The chance discovery of the letter on 31 March 2012 reawakens a case long classified as “cold”, and a hunt begins for the men who kidnapped and killed Betty Ketani – and were convinced they had gotten away with it.

The investigation spans five countries, with a world-renowned DNA laboratory called in to help solve the forensic puzzle. The author of the confession might have feared death, but he is very much alive, as are others implicated in the crime.

Betty Ketani, a mother of three, came to Johannesburg in search of better prospects for her family. She found work cooking at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, and then one day she mysteriously disappeared. Those out to avenge her death want to bring closure to Betty’s family, still agonising over her fate all these years later.

The storyline would not be out of place as a Hollywood movie – and it’s all completely true. Cold Case Confession goes behind the headlines to share exclusive material gathered in four years of investigations, including the most elusive piece of the puzzle: who would want Betty Ketani dead, and why?

About the author

Alex Eliseev is a senior reporter and editor at Eyewitness News. An award-winning journalist, he has reported from as far afield as Haiti, Japan, Libya and Russia. Eliseev has worked for some of South Africa’s top newspapers, including The Star and Sunday Times. He is a regular contributor to Daily Maverick and was able to work on this book with the assistance of a Taco Kuiper grant.

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‘Tears and celebrations’ – Alex Eliseev on the guilty verdict for Betty Ketani’s murderers

nullThree men were today convicted of killing Thandiwe Betty Ketani‚ a chef at a popular Johannesburg restaurant‚ nearly 17 years after she disappeared.

Alex Eliseev, whose book on the case, Cold Case Confession, is expected out from Pan Macmillan in May, tweeted live from the Johannesburg High Court:

Carrington Laughton was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Ketani‚ while brothers and former policemen David and Carel Ranger were found guilty of culpable homicide and kidnapping.

Laughton was also convicted of the attempted kidnapping of another woman who worked with Ketani‚ Ruth Mncube.

Ketani worked as a chef at Rosebank Thai restaurant Cranks when she disappeared in May 1999. There was no trace of the Queenstown-born woman’s whereabouts until 13 years later‚ when a letter penned by Laughton and confessing to Ketani’s murder was discovered hidden in a Johannesburg house.

A few small bones were discovered in the garden of the house and these were later identified as Ketani’s. Her body lay buried in the garden under flower beds for five years before it was dug up and thrown in a river.

The motive for her murder may have been trouble with her employers at the restaurant.

Three other men had earlier pleaded guilty to being involved in her death and testified in exchange for lighter sentences. Laughton and the Ranger brothers had pleaded not guilty.

TMG Digital/TMG Courts and Law

For more on Cold Case Confession by Alex Eliseev, see:

The local non-fiction to look forward to in 2016 (Jan – June)

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Mandy Wiener Compares Brett Kebble’s Death with the Recent Suicide of His Father, Roger Kebble

Killing KebbleRoger Kebble, the father of Brett Kebble, was found dead in his car near his home in Bishopscourt yesterday afternoon.

It seems that the elder Kebble took his own life, and he did so in a way that is unnervingly similar to his son’s assisted suicide 10 years ago. His son came to notoriety for his massive fraud, shady business dealings and curious death, and was the subject of Mandy Wiener’s bestselling book Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed.

Wiener wrote an article about Roger Kebble’s death and her previous interaction with the man for the Daily Maverick:

Roger Kebble began his career as a shift boss, a mine captain who endeared himself to his men by drinking Black Label in shebeens on Sunday afternoons. Those who knew the Kebbles during those years, as they moved from one tumbleweed town on the reef to the next, describe Roger as being “as rough as a goat’s knee” or alternatively “as rough as a bear’s ass”. Over the years, he worked his way up the company ladder. Despite being crass and uncouth, he saw to it that his sons attended the prestigious St Andrew’s school in Bloemfontein, his own alma mater.

By the early 1990s he had retired and went off to spend his twilight years on a wine farm in the Cape. But he grew bored and threw his cash into a 65-year-old embattled mine called Rand Leases. In stepped his son Brett, fresh from a stint as an article clerk, who helped him orchestrate one of the great, brazen takeovers of the industry.

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Highlights from the Picador Africa Classics Inaugural Twitter Town Hall, Hosted by Victor Dlamini

On Tuesday, 16 June, Victor Dlamini hosted the #PicadorAfricaClassics inaugural Twitter Town Hall, with authors Mtutuzeli Nyoka, Thando Mgqolozana, Gcina Mhlophe, Perfect Hlongwane, Nthikeng Mohlele, Siphiwo Mahala and Jo-Anne Richards.

Stories of AfricaOur Story MagicJoziSmall ThingsWhen a Man Cries

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Picador Africa Classics is committed to the preservation of African writing. Picador Africa, an imprint of Pan Macmillan SA, celebrated 10 years of publishing local and African literature in 2014 and to celebrate this milestone published 13 time-honored titles as ebooks.

PEN International board member and author Margie Orford joined the conversation, as did Andrea Nattrass, Babongile Zulu and Wesley Thompson, and many more people asked questions.

During the Town Hall the authors spoke about their books, the places that inspired them and the language of their hearts. Dlamini (@victordlamini) asked Mgqolozana (@thando_mgqo) about how place becomes a character in his books, and whether he writes to disturb the peace:

Hlongwane (@perfecthow) spoke about his life-long love affair with language and the effect that Mongane Wally Serote’s view of the city of Joburg had on his writing:

Richards reflected on the way in which she addresses social issues through fiction (@joanne_richards):

Mahala (@SiphiwoMahala) shared the Department Of Arts and Culture’s strategy in transforming the literary landscape:


Mohlele (@NthikengMohlele) revealed his love of writing in Sepedi, talked about the significance of names and reflected on the Town Hall as a whole:

In conclusion to the discussion Dlamini tweeted:


* * * * * * * *

Follow the full conversation using the hashtag #PicadorAfricaClassics:


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What Next for Oscar Pistorius: The Former Paralympian’s Plans for Parole

Behind the DoorOscar Pistorius, the former paralympian who is currently serving a five year sentence for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has begun dreaming of plans for life after he is released.

According to an article on OFM, Pistorius wants to work with children when he is granted parole. Pistorius’ lawyer says that he spends most of his time in isolation, and is still dealing with the death of Steenkamp.

Read the article:

Kruger told the Sunday Times newspaper that Pistorius was still “in bits and in shock” about Steenkamp’s death.

The lawyer said the athlete is keen to work with children in “whatever opportunity will present” itself.

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Mandy Wiener on the Jayde Panayiotou Case: We Should Have Guessed the Husband was Involved

Behind the Door“When pictures of Jayde Panayiotou began circulating on social media a few weeks ago, accompanied by a desperate plea to help find her, I didn’t think too much about it.”

So writes Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story co-author Mandy Wiener in an article for EWN reflecting on the developments of the case where the body of a young, beautiful teacher from Riebeek College Girls’ High School was found on outside a township in Uitenhage. After a major public outcry, a shock move occurred when Panayiotou’s husband was arrested for “allegedly orchestrating the hit on her”. From the moment she went missing the news went viral, being shared on social media around the country.

Wiener asks why South Africans always jump to the conclusion that the victim’s lover was involved, and mentions other high-profile cases where it also turned out to be so. She refers to Statistics South Africa’s Victims of Crime Survey and concludes that, when Panayiotou first disappeared “we really should have seen it coming”, referring to the fact that her husband was involved.

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And so it was when Jayde’s husband Chris Panayiotou was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the hit on her, that a chorus of ‘I told you so’ rang out. I certainly heard it more than once that day last week. People invariably think the lover did it and they have good reason to in this country. Look at the litany of so-called ‘high profile’ cases that have been characterised in this way.

The most obvious example is that of the Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s day in 2013. While the Paralympian was acquitted of murder, he was convicted of culpable homicide and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

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What Happens When Living the Dream Turns into a Nightmare? Alex van Tonder’s Debut Novel, This One Time

This One TimePan Macmillan is proud to present Alex van Tonder’s debut novel, This One Time:

What happens when living the dream turns into a nightmare?

Much-maligned blogger Jacob Lynch aka Brodie Lomax has been called many things: Professional Douchebag, the King of Fratire, Tabloid Maverick, Mr Misogyny, Revenge Porn Romeo, that Sex-Tape Guy and Assholepreneur. And now he can add “Multi-Millionaire” to that list.

With the renewal of his reality TV show as well as his eight-figure book deal, life is good for New York’s most notorious blogger. But he’s suffering from a serious bout of writer’s block, and the distractions of endless parties, drugs and meaningless sex are not helping. Trapped within his life of excess, he is teetering on the edge, the next stop: rehab. So Jacob flees the city for an isolated hunting lodge in Alaska where he can focus on getting his manuscript done, once and for all.

When the mysterious beautiful Alicia unexpectedly emerges from the icy landscape, he knows he shouldn’t invite her in, but pretty young things have always been his greatest weakness. The next day Jacob wakes up chained to a bed, and that’s when things take a turn for the terrifying.

Alex van Tonder has a straight razor on the pulse of pop culture. Scathing, witty and incisive.” – Lauren Beukes


Alex van Tonder lives and works in Cape Town. She studied copywriting for advertising and has had a successful creative career spanning more than 10 years. During this time she has both won and judged awards, and has worked on advertising campaigns for brands such as Levi’s, Microsoft and Johnnie Walker. Alex is known for her satirical blogs, including My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl, and was named one of South Africa’s most influential women on Twitter (@alex_vantonder) in 2011 by Memeburn. This One Time is her debut novel.

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