Of Tricksters, Tyrants and Turncoats: More Unusual Stories from South Africa's Past

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Zebra Press, 2008 - History - 232 pages
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The sequel to Of Warriors, Lovers and Prophets, this book is a collection of more colorful, fascinating - and mostly unknown - characters, spanning more than three hundred years of South African history. There are stories of slaves, lively Khoisan characters and the first 'Cape Malays' and Muslims. The story of the Xhosa prophet Makhanda, who nearly succeeded in taking Grahamstown from the British in 1819 and who later escaped from Robben Island, will take most readers by surprise. Also covered are the Foster gang of Johannesburg, who were indirectly responsible for the killing of Boer hero Koos de la Rey; David Pratt, the man who shot Hendrik Verwoerd in the head at the Rand Easter Show; and the three men who pulled off the biggest jewelry heist of the time, stealing Bridget Oppenheimer's jewelry in 1956. And there's the sensational and previously unknown story of how a right-wing attack using small airplanes at Nelson Mandela's inauguration in 1994 was thwarted at the last moment.

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About the author (2008)

MAX DU PREEZ is one of South Africa's foremost investigative journalists. After working as a political correspondent for various newspapers, he founded Vrye Weekblad, South Africa's first anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper, in 1988, and in the 1990s he launched the television programs Special Report on the Truth Commission and Special Assignment. Max's documentary film on King Moshoeshoe, The Renaissance King, aired on South African television in 2004. His books include Pale Native, Of Lovers, Warriors and Prophets, Oranje Blanje Blues and Of Tricksters, Tyrants and Turncoats. He is currently a political columnist for various newspapers and websites.

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