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We will not be silenced

Gangster book launch halted by protestors

By: Kay Evans

Tuesday, 9 April, saw a peaceful book launch at Sandton City’s Exclusive Books turn serious when the shop was stormed by protestors, some wearing ANC T-shirts, and tearing out pages of the book.

The African National Congress (ANC) has distanced itself from the disruption caused at Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book launch. The book launch was shutdown, unfortunately and even though security was present and very tight, the protestors refused to leave.

As the launch was taking place, the ANC Youth League in the Free State stated that it will burn copies of the book at a dumping site in Mangaung. The ANC Youth League’s Free State provincial secretary Reagan Booysen commented on the book burning plans. “We are calling society and we have come out clearly as the ANC Youth League in the Free State [and saying] ours is a planned event and not a coincidence while saying that people must burn those books because there’s no truth in that book.”

Penguin Random House (PRH), the publishers of the book have been appalled at the behaviour of those who disrupted the launch of Gangster State at Sandton City and are worried about threats of the books being burned in the Free State.

PRH have stated that they welcome the ANC’s statement condemning those who undermine citizens’ freedom to speak, write and publish. We specifically call on the leadership of the ANC, under President Cyril Ramaphosa, to personally ensure that there will be no further disruptions or violence at Gangster State events in the coming days and weeks.

They are grateful to those engaging critically with the book, and encourage all peace-loving citizens and members of the media to attend future Gangster State events to take the discussion further. The next book launch will be held on Thursday 11 April at 18:00 for 18:30 at Exclusive Books V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.

The infamous book, available in stores now, takes a look at powerful forces within the ANC that risk losing everything if corruption and state capture come to an end. At the centre of it all is Ace Magashule, a man considered by some as this country’s most dangerous politician.

In this explosive book, investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh ventures deeper than ever before into Magashule’s murky dealings, from his time as a struggle activist in the 1980s to his powerful rule as premier of the Free State province for nearly a decade, and his rise to one of the ANC’s most influential positions.

Sifting through heaps of records, documents and exclusive source interviews, Myburgh explores Magashule’s relationship with the notorious Gupta family and other tender moguls; investigates government projects costing billions that enriched his friends and family but failed the poor; reveals how he was about to be arrested by the Scorpions before their disbandment in the late 2000s; and exposes the methods used to keep him in power in the Free State and to secure him the post of ANC secretary-general.

Gangster State is an in-depth, uncensored and unflinching examination of the ANC’s top leadership in the post– Jacob Zuma era, one that will make readers come to the realisation that when it comes to the forces of capture, South Africa is still far from safe and at peace.