Books

Together with Matthew Blackman I write ‘irreverent histories’ of South Africa which are published by Penguin. Rogues’ Gallery lifts the lid on 350 years of fiendish corruption in South Africa. We are currently working on a second book about the elections that have shaped our benighted nation.

In a previous life I used to write novels and short stories too. You can see a few excerpts below.

Rogues’ Gallery

An Irreverent History of Corruption in South Africa, from the VOC to the ANC

If you reckon corruption in South Africa began with Zuma or even with apartheid, it’s time to catch a wake-up call.

Rogues’ Gallery tells the story of some of the biggest skelms to grace our (un)fair shores, showing that dodgy dealings have been a national pastime for as long as South African history has been written down.

The action starts with the machinations of three rotten colonial governors. Next up we have Cecil John Rhodes poisoning the land with theft, fraud and war, and Oom Paul Kruger’s corrupt and compromised Volksraads. Readers are then treated to apartheid’s finest feats in corruption: from the Broederbond’s perfect ten in state capture to the Department of Information’s peddling of fake news. And let’s not forget the hotbed of corruption that was the ‘independent’ homelands.

Add to this a few murders, plenty of nepotism and a state president who started out as a Nazi spy, and the gallery of rogues is complete. Irreverent, entertaining and impeccably researched, Rogues’ Gallery busts the myth that the Zuptas were the first to capture the South African state, showing that corruption has always been around – and that the tricks politicians play haven’t changed a jot.

“A well written, superbly researched and highly entertaining history of the crookery of our rulers from time immemorial.”
Andrew Feinstein, author of After the Party

What others are saying:

  • If it were up to me this book would be in every school in the country!
    Marianne Thamm, Daily Maverick
    Click to see full review
  • The more people who read it in South Africa, the better our chance of defeating those who use power for personal material gain.
    Andrew Feinstein, author of After the Party
    Click to see full review
  • An important book which is a must-read for anyone who wants to talk about corruption in SA.
    Theunis Engelbrecht, Rapport
    Click to see full review

More Rogues

Dig deeper with this collection of book reviews and newspaper articles connected to Rogues’ Gallery. 350 years of rampant government corruption in South Africa mean there's no shortage of fodder.

View archived more rogues

Creative writing

I did an MA in Creative Writing, and fiction is my first love. A short story of mine appeared in an anthology selected by JM Coetzee. And my first novel, Holiday Town, was shortlisted for the EU Literary Award.