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Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

Killing Kebble: @MandyWiener’s Replies to Twitter Questions about Her Bestselling Book

Killing KebbleKilling Kebble, Mandy Wiener’s gritty, fast-paced true crime tale of how Brett Kebble’s death blew the lid off Johannesburg’s underworld, is a best-seller – and is now available as an eBook (ePub) at

Ten copies of the Killing Kebble eBook were up for grabs in Pan Macmillan’s eBook giveaway. Below are Mandy’s responses to the ten best questions submitted via Twitter.

@NyakalloLephoto asked: “Had Kebble not died when he did, would our politic[s] have taken a different course?”

Brett Kebble was shrewd and calculating and ensured that he funded all parties and had a slice of every pie. He gave money to the ANC as readily as he gave to the DA. In that way he always ensured that he curried favour with whoever held power in the country. However, in the years before his death he aligned himself with Jacob Zuma. They both had a common enemy in the National Prosecuting Authority and its former director Bulelani Ngcuka. Kebble felt that by supporting Zuma and ANC Youth League leaders like Fikile Mbalula, he had made himself a target for those aligned to President Mbeki. If Kebble were still alive today, he would be sitting pretty. I don’t think our politics would have taken a different course though – Kebble would have just benefited more.

@bornfreesa asked: “Do you think criminal tendencies are so engrained in the freedom fighters it has become a norm?”

I do believe that there is a serious culture of ‘entitlement’ amongst the top political elite and the leadership in law enforcement in the country. There is a sense amongst many that they have dedicated their lives to the struggle and they have compromised to such an extent that they deserve far more. For someone like Jackie Selebi, who had spent years at the vanguard of the struggle, I don’t believe he ever though that he would have to answer to a court of law. We’re also seeing the emergence of a culture of money amongst that elite and that will be the downfall of so many ex-freedom fighters who are now leading the country. The problem is endemic.

@loyisothevictor asked: “I imagine this case has shed some light on the justice system, what are some of your insights?”

I think this case has exposed the critical flaws in the justice system in the country. I say in the book that the case against Glenn Agliotti was a victim of the criminal justice system in the country, as it became the battlefield for the fight between two agencies of the state – the SAPS and the Scorpions. It shows that if there is insufficient political will and ineffectual prosecutors, anyone can get away with murder.

@shauntrennery asked: “If you could go back in time and ask Brett one question, what would it be?”

There is the obvious one … “Were you an active participant in your own murder?” but I would also be fascinated to know about how he managed to ferret away so much money, how he was able to plunder and pillage an established, listed company and how he got away with that malfeasance for as long as he did.

@tjaartvdwalt asked: “Will there be a sequel?”

The sequel is certainly playing itself out at the moment but I’m not sure if there will be a sequel in the form of a book. The story is not ripe to be told yet, in the same way that I had to wait for the Kebble story to be ripe to write.

@nachofine asked: “What was your most exciting day when writing Killing Kebble?”

Judgment day in Glenn Agliotti’s murder trial, for purely selfish reasons. I had already done extensive interviews with Mikey, Nigel, Kappie and Agliotti. But in order for me to be able to use them in the book, I needed Agliotti to be acquitted and the three shooters to be granted indemnities by Judge Frans Kgomo. It was the worst possible outcome for the State and for the dispensation of justice, but for me it was exactly what I needed. In the subsequent chaos and excitement, I jumped on a table to interview Agliotti and ripped my jeans open on live TV. Quite a moment!

@shaunmarran asked: “Were you ever worried while writing that someone [would] prefer it as never-published and would ensure it was never finished?”

Not at all. Look obviously there are some people who are named in the book who would have preferred to have been kept out of it all, but I don’t think anyone was adequately aggrieved to go to those kinds of lengths to stop me from publishing it. John Stratton and his attorneys indicated in an official letter that I ran the risk of litigation if I published certain material but at no stage did I ever feel that someone would stop me from publishing it.

@jaycee_k asked: “Mandy did you ever feel intimidated when interviewing the underworld thugs who were involved with killing Kebble?”

I could never have interviewed them if I wasn’t confident enough to do so and the only way I was able to earn their trust and respect was by not being intimidated by them. In many situations they operate on the currency of fear and intimidation and that’s how they earn their respect and street cred. If I played into that I would never have been able to entice that genuine emotion that comes across in the text.

@dumahs_hardahs asked: “How has your life changed since writing Killing Kebble?”

As a journalist, all you have is your reputation and your credibility. I do find that when I interview people now, I’m taken more seriously as my name is more familiar. Being in radio, I have always had the luxury of anonymity as most people don’t know what I look like. That has changed to an extent now.

@virtuallynormal asked: “What’s the best book you’ve read this year?”

Without a doubt James Brabazon’s My Friend the Mercenary. It’s real gutsy journalism and so raw. I devoured it!

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Congratulations to Mandy Wiener, Radio News Journalist of the Year!

Pan Macmillan extends heartiest congratulations to author Mandy Wiener, who was voted as South Africa’s Radio News Journalist of the year at last night’s National Press Awards. The tweets started flowing when the news was announced:

Radio news journo of the year goes to @MandyWiener for coverage of the Lolly Jackson story #ewn #npcawards. Well done Mandy!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Killing KebbleWiener won for her coverage of the Lolly Jackson murder. And, of course, her investigations into another murder will see further accolades sent her way, when her book, Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed is released by Pan Macmillan next month.

Earlier in March, Wiener was on-set at Cosmopolitan magazine for a #COSqueens shoot, where we sourced the picture above. Serious journalistic brawn and a touch of glam – Mandy Wiener in a nutshell. Congratulations once again!

Wiener also recently featured in the Sunday Times‘ “What I’m Reading” slot – check it out!

With time so short at the moment, I’ve developed an awful habit – reading multiple books simultaneously. I’ve just finished Peter Harris’s Birth, which should be mandatory for anyone born in this country post-1994. It made me realise how we teetered on the brink and came so close to imploding.

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Freedom House Analysis on Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF is Resurgent, and So is “The Fear”

The FearThe Guardian‘s Africa correspondent, David Smith, attended a discussion of a Freedom House survey on Zimbabwe’s political landscape today – and came back with some chilling commentary from analyst Prof Eldred Masunungure, who confirms that, although elections may be deferred for many months, among citizens “the fear” of Zanu-PF is very much in resurgence.

Here are Smith’s key tweets from the event:

Freedom House: 51% of Zimbabweans surveyed say their present living conditions are good, 32% say they are bad.less than a minute ago via web

Freedom House: 58% approve of power sharing between main parties. 25% disapprove. 46% say power sharing was a success. 21% say failure.less than a minute ago via web

Freedom House opinion poll in Zimbabwe: MDC 38%, Zanu-PF 17%, Undeclared 42%. Last year it was MDC 55%, Zanu-PF 12%, Undeclared 31%.less than a minute ago via web

Prof Eldred Masunungure: Freedom House survey shows Zanu-PF is resurgent in confidence, tail is up. Chiadzwa diamonds is a “game changer”.less than a minute ago via web

Masunungure: “Zanu-PF is back in town… With resurgence of Zanu-PF is also a resurgence of fear.”less than a minute ago via web

Masunungure: Decline of people who say they’ll vote for MDC is a “barometer of fear” in the population.less than a minute ago via web

Masunungure on Zimbabwe: “We are unlikely to have elections this year… The infrastructure for elections is simply not in place.”less than a minute ago via web

“Informed sources”: Discussions under way in Zimbabwe for “Egyptian model” if Mugabe dies suddenly with power in hands of security chiefs.less than a minute ago via web

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Nelson Mandela, the Record-Breaking Girl Scout Cookie Hawker?

Nelson MandelaAs a struggle-for-freedom icon, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the first president of the New South Africa, Nelson Mandela has understandably been showered with honours and accolades.

But some of them are more unusual than others, as journalist Amanda Strydom discovered, presumably while doing research for a story on Madiba. Her Mail & Guardian colleague, Verashni Pillay, picked up Strydom’s find on Twitter:

Look what @A_Strydom found in this Wiki on Mandela ‘became a girl scout & sold most cookies in girl scout history’ than a minute ago via Echofon

And sure enough, nestled in the list of awards that Pillay’s link leads us to, are two mentions of the Girl Guides / Girl Scouts:


Awarded honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Indira Gandhi Award for International Justice and Harmony bestowed. Award received by Justice Minister Dullah Omar in New Delhi, India, January
Received the World Citizenship Award of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
U Thant Peace Award bestowed by Sri Chinmoy, 29 January
Created Knight of the Order of the Elephant by the Danish Queen Margrethe II, Copenhagen, 18 February



In July 2009, Mandela received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award presented by Venus and Serena Williams. Accepting on his behalf were his daughter and grandson.
In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly announced that Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, is to be known as ‘Mandela Day’ marking his contribution to world freedom.
In December 2009 he became a girl scout and sold the most cookies in girl scout history

At first, the notion of Madiba as a girl scout cookie hawker sounds rather implausible – but then you start to think… Who wouldn’t buy a cookie from Nelson Mandela? No one! Perhaps, then, one way or another – if he simply endorsed a variety of cookie (mmm, Lemon Chalet Cremes), or allowed his name to be associated with a cookie-selling drive – Mandela is indeed the all-time record-breaker in this regard!

(The Nelson Mandela Foundation, meanwhile, lists on its website the Girl Scouts / Girl Guides “World Citizenship Award” – though it tellingly calls the award “unconfirmed”.)

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Twitter: Commemorating Nelson Mandela’s Release 21 Years Ago

Nelson MandelaOn this day, 21 years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, after serving 27 years as a political prisoner of the apartheid state. Here is what some people are saying in commemoration of the event on Twitter (and if you’d like more, follow the “Mandela released” livestream):

Nelson Mandela was released from prison 21 years ago today. Read the speech he delivered on that day: than a minute ago via TweetDeck

When Mandela was released, he was driven in a Toyota Cressida, how times have changed.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

It is precisely 21 years today since Nelson Mandela was released from prison #Madibaless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

RT @GrandPrixDiary: How time flies, Nelson Mandela released from chokey 21 years ago today. Remember watching it on telly. Not sure who …less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

It’s 21 years ago today since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. A day to reflect and celebrate in South Africa! :-) less than a minute ago via web

Non existent lol.. RT @_KBMpofu: On this day, 21 years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from Prison. How old were you?less than a minute ago via Seesmic Desktop

“@MyNews24: Nelson Mandela was released from prison 21 years ago today. Do you remember where you were?” •in my mommy’s tummy ☺•less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

RT @boswandelaar: @mosaaberizing 21 years ago today nelson mandela was released and changed the nation. Today is a day of revolution. Bl …less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

RT @ChrisMcEvoy_: Nelson Mandela released 21 years ago to today. Thanks for everything, dude.less than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter


RT @702JohnRobbie It’s 21 years today since Mandela was released. Was anyone there? Any memories? yes excitement, singing, 2getherness..less than a minute ago via HTC Peep

RT @bonostreetteam: RT @The46664Bangle: 11 Feb: 21 yrs ago Nelson Mandela released frm prison. What wld u wish for him on this special.. …less than a minute ago via web

When Mandela was released, I was watching it from Steamboat Springs, CO, USA, with my brother & friends Linah and Diana Mathabaneless than a minute ago via web

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Tweet! Win a Copy of Nechama Brodie’s Inside Joburg

Inside JoburgStand a chance to win a copy of Nechama Brodie‘s Inside Joburg by visiting Pan Macmillan’s Facebook Page and leaving a comment on your favourite place in Joburg, or by tweeting your favourite Joburg destination with the hashtag #InsideJoburg. Go, Go Go!



Here are tweets from those who’ve entered so far…


…and here are some of our own tweets about Joburg’s hot spots taken from Brodie’s book. Call it a mini #InsideJoburg Twitter guide!

Did you Know: In the 1950s, Nelson Mandela lunched daily (Meal: Mince Curry) at Kapitan’s restaurant on Kort Street, near his law offices.less than a minute ago via Facebook

Did you know: Johannesburg covers a geographical area slightly larger than that of Greater London – some 1644 km2,… than a minute ago via Facebook

recommends the sinful Bundt cakes, mini lemon meringues & Brioches at Moemas than a minute ago via TweetDeck

The Best of Joburg: Bean There-have a cup on the premises together with a small snack or pastry… than a minute ago via TweetDeck

A day out with the Family visit the National Museum of Military History! @brodiegal than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Museum Africa (121 Bree Street) houses an astonishing collection of Africana, historical images and artefacts @brodiegalless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

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