South Africa

AmaBookaBooka: Ex-jailbird says it’s cold outside the ANC, but not THAT cold (Podcast)

By AmaBookaBooka 3 October 2017

AmaBookaBooka is back with our second series of novel podcasts celebrating South African authors. Our first guest is Raymond Suttner, an anti-apartheid activist and jailbird who kept his own jail bird – a beautiful green and blue-tailed lovebird that became his prison companion. By JONATHAN ANCER.

Raymond Suttner was imprisoned for more than 11 years. His struggle memoir, Inside Apartheid’s Prison, has been re-issued with an introduction dealing with his more recent life outside the ANC.

Suttner tells AmaBookaBooka about his transition from liberal to underground activist prepared to die for his beliefs. He also speaks about the moment he was captured in 1975 and falling into the hands of a group of sadists. His weapon to get him through his ordeal of torture and solitary confinement was his idealistic single-mindedness. He reveals what he missed most during the eight years of his first stint in prison (spoiler: it’s not something a revolutionary should have missed).

The reasons Suttner joined the ANC in the first place are the same reasons he left it and he talks about what led him to serve the political party he had fallen in love with all those decades ago with divorce papers. The turning point, he says, was President Jacob Zuma’s rape trial and the cruelty it manifested.

Suttner takes AmaBookaBooka’s Sound Effects Rorschach Test and gives listeners an ear into the sounds inside an apartheid prison. DM

Photo: Raymond Suttner and JailBird


Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


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Days of Zondo

Cuffed with cable ties: Payback for Johan Booysen’s dogged pursuance of high-profile cases

By Jessica Bezuidenhout

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology" ~ Edward Wilson