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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Podcast: Liza Grobler Discusses the Response to Her Writing on Police Corruption

Crossing the LineLiza Grobler joined Jenny Crwys-Williams in studio at Talk Radio 702 to discuss her book, Crossing the Line: When cops become criminals.

The book started out as Grobler’s PhD thesis, which was awarded in 2006. She says that initially the police had reacted negatively when excerpts from her thesis were published in the newspapers in 2007 but that, since then, new police management in the Western Cape have come to understand and accept that they have a problem with corruption.

Grobler said that there are police stations in the Western Cape at which corruption is systemic, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate.

Listen to the podcast:

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Sarah Wild Discusses Zombie DNA and the Safety of Living in a City

Searching African SkiesSarah Wild, author of Searching African Skies and science editor at the Mail & Guardian, has written a Thought Leader column discussing two recent scientific studies – one that shows that unintentional injury death rates are 40% higher in rural areas than in cities and the other which describes the discovery of “zombie DNA” by researchers at Stanford University.

Whenever something goes wrong in my daily Johannesburg life, my mother — who I misguidedly call for words of comfort and solace — tells me that that’s what I get for “living in a place of wickedness”. (She harbours not-so-secret hopes of getting me to move to her bucolic paradise in deepest darkest Eastern Cape.)

However, I now have a trump card in my pocket: science, with a bit of hand-waving.

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Podcast: Clive Walker Discusses the Proposal for a Once Off Sale of SA’s Rhino Horn

The Rhino KeepersClive Walker, co-author of The Rhino Keepers: Struggle for Survival, joined a discussion on rhino poaching with Albi Modise, Chief Director of Communications at the Department of Environmental Affairs, on Talk Radio 702 with Jenny Crwys-Williams.

Walker said that he was surprised to hear that the government is considering a once off sale of the rhino horn stock and said he thought that there should have been a meeting called for all the concerned parties to discuss this, as he and his son, Anton Walker, suggested in their book. He said that a rational discussion is needed between all the different groups before a decision is made.

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Jacana Media to Distribute Books for International Publishers

Jacana Media is delighted to announce that we are distributing the following publishers in South Africa

Kyle Books is one of the UK’s most prominent publishers in the areas of cookery, health, lifestyle and gardening. Their books aim to inspire, assist and inform.

Prestel Publishing is one of the world’s leading illustrated book publishers with a stunning list of beautifully crafted books on all aspects of art, architecture, photography and design.

Douglas and McIntyre
is the preeminent publisher of books about current affairs, politics, art and architecture, First Nations culture, food and wine, and literary fiction.

Lars Müller Publishers has made a worldwide name for itself – and not just in specialist fields – with carefully edited and designed publications on architecture, design, and contemporary art.

Promopress specialise in the fields relating to design, creativity and collecting.

Think Publishing, Australia is a global, cutting-edge niche publisher.

Aurum Press publishes an exceptional range of high-quality general non-fiction with a focus on history, entertainment and sport.

Jacqui Small Books focuses on serious content, superlative design and mouthwatering photography. Whatever the subject, these books are built to last.

Frances Lincoln create illustrated books of the highest quality, with special emphasis on gardening, walking and the outdoors, art, architecture, design and landscape as well as children’s books.

Union Books is an unapologetically upmarket and intellectually ambitious imprint of Aurum Press that publishes a select number of beautifully designed books each year. The books they acquire exemplify the editorial and creative values they prize most and cater for an equally adventurous readership.

Fourthwall Books publishes beautifully designed and written books on art and architecture.

Bradt Travel Guides have a reputation as a pioneer in tackling ‘unusual’ destinations, for championing the causes of sustainable travel and for the high quality of its writing. Their books are as much travelogues as travel guides. Each is a one-of-a-kind expression of the author’s interests, personality, expertise and passion for telling it how it really is.

Pluto Press is one of the world’s leading radical publishers, specialising in progressive, critical perspectives in politics and the social sciences.

Paradigm Publishers is committed to developing quality educational materials and providing personalised service to educators.

Burnet Media is one of the hottest publishing houses in South Africa, with imprints Mercury and Two Dogs.

Roberts Birds falls under the John Voelcker Bird Fund and is dedicated to furthering the interests of ornithology in Southern Africa.


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Even the Cows were Amazed: Gill Vernon Tells the Incredible Stories of Shipwreck Survivors (1552-1782)

Even the Cows were AmazedNew from Jacana, Even the Cows were Amazed: Shipwreck Survivors in South-East Africa, 1552-1782 by Gill Vernon:

Between the 16th and 18th centuries a number of European ships involved in trade with the East came to grief on the south-east African coast, the most famous being the Grosvenor (1782). In almost all cases there were survivors, both passengers and crew, whose stories were later recounted and written down. And what stories these are.

Many parties undertook epic journeys on foot from the wreck site to reach places where they might be rescued. The survivors of Portuguese vessels headed north towards present-day Mozambique, where it was known that Portuguese trading vessels occasionally made anchor. The Dutch and the British, on the other hand, headed west towards the Cape. These hazardous journeys involved great feats of endurance for the survivors, who tramped by foot for hundreds of kilometres through unknown territory and met (and bartered with) local people along the way whom common stereotypes of the time demonised as hostile savages.

Even more remarkably, a few parties of survivors constructed their own small ships from the wreckage and sailed off to seek rescue.

About the author

Gill Vernon, who was formerly director of the East London Museum, has studied and researched the narratives of the survivors and has herself travelled along the routes that some of the overland parties followed and visited Mozambique in order to determine exactly where they went. In this book, which is based on her recent PhD dissertation, she retells the story of the survivors’ experiences and examines why some parties managed to survive much better than others – usually, because of good leadership and respectful dealings with the local people. She also describes how, instead of seeking rescue, many slaves who survived from the wrecks, and some Europeans too, decided to settle in Africa, where they managed to integrate well in local society, so much so that when rescue parties later came across them, they refused to leave and return to Europe.

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Duncan Green: Aid Agencies Need a Clear Understanding of What Constitutes a Responsible Exit

From Poverty to Power“Aid agencies need a clear understanding of what constitutes a responsible exit”, writes Duncan Green, author of From Poverty to Power: How active citizens and effective states can change the world, in The Guardian.

Green says that it’s not a question of whether or not aid should be pulled, but one of how it should be done: “Ending the aid relationship should be a moment of mutual celebration, not public mud-slinging.”

The spat between South Africa and Britain over ending its (very small) aid programme has sparked another round of debate about whether British aid should be going to middle-income countries (the last round was over aid to India, which seems to particularly rile the Daily Mail).

But whatever the rights and wrongs of ending aid to South Africa – whose economy is growing slowly, but with sky-high levels of inequality and 10% of the population living with HIV – aid agencies are inevitably going to have to shift money around as the world changes. Countries rise and fall, aid priorities change and new opportunities, such as the opening up of Burma, will arise, to which aid should of course respond.

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Podcast: Paul Weinberg Discusses the Umhlaba 1913-2013 Exhibition That He Helped to Curate

Dear EdwardMichael Coulson interviewed Paul Weinberg on Radio Today about the Umhlaba 1913-2013 exhibition that he helped to curate at the Iziko National Gallery along with David Goldblatt, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa and Pam Warne.

Weinberg is the author of Dear Edward: Family Footprints. Listen to the podcast:


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Video: Sarah Wild Discusses the Little-known History of Astronomy in South Africa

Searching African SkiesOne of the most surprising and interesting things that Sarah Wild found, while doing research for her book on the Square Kilometre Array, Searching African Skies, was “just how long the history of astronomy is in South Africa”.

Since the 1600′s, Wild explains in a video interview with Aerodrome, the stars have been used by sailors to navigate their way to the southern tip of Africa and when the 1820 settlers arrived from England, they had an astronomer aboard.

Now this history “has culminating in us sharing the biggest scientific astronomical project in the world,” Wild says, referring to the SKA.

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  • Searching African Skies: The Square Kilometre Array and South Africa’s quest to hear the songs of the stars by Sarah Wild
    EAN: 9781431404728
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Fred Hendricks, Lungisile Ntsebeza and Kirk Helliker Examine Land Reform in The Promise of Land

The Promise of LandNew from Jacana, The Promise of Land by Fred Hendricks, Lungisile Ntsebeza and Kirk Helliker:

The starting point for this book is that the current land reform policies in the country fail to take this colonial context of division and exclusion into account. As a result, there is an abiding land crisis in South Africa. The book examines the many dimensions of this crisis in urban areas, commercial farming areas and communal areas. It argues for a fundamental change in approach to move beyond the impasse in both policy and thinking about land. Of particular importance is that social movements have a critical role to play in charting a new course, both in respect of access to land and in influencing broader policy options. Struggles from below are crucial for rethinking purely statist efforts at land reform and the book grapples with the interplay between oppositional campaigns of social movements and the state’s policies and responses.

Essentially, the book argues that in South Africa the 1994 transition from apartheid to democracy has not translated into a process of decolonisation. In fact, the very bases of colonialism and apartheid remain intact, since racial inequalities in both access to and ownership of land continue today. With state-driven attempts at land reform having failed to meet even their own targets, a fundamental change in approach is necessary for South Africa to move beyond the deadlock that prevails between the objectives of the policy, and the means for realising them. It is also necessary to question the targets set for land redistribution: Will these really assist in changes for the majority?

About the authors

Fred Hendricks obtained his PhD in Sociology from Uppsala University, Sweden. He is currently the Dean of Humanities at Rhodes University and his research interests include: Land and Agrarian Questions and Pensions and Development.

Lungisile Ntsebeza has a PhD from Rhodes University. He is currently the Director and Holder of the AC Jordan Chair in African Studies and the NRF Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa at the Centre for African Studies. His research interests include the role of traditional authorities in democracy.

Kirk Helliker has a PhD in Sociology from Rhodes University. He is currently the Head of Department of Sociology at Rhodes and his research interests include: Agrarian reform, civil theory, theories of emancipation, and Zimbabwe.

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JP Landman Shows How to Get Beyond the Panic and Drama of Today’s Headlines with The Long View

The Long ViewNew from Jacana, The Long View: Getting Beyond the Panic and Drama of Today’s Headlines by JP Landman:

Is South Africa going to make it? Are we going to become a shining example of a modern society, a proud member of the world’s leading countries? Are we going to be OK? Are we already OK? Or are our worst fears going to become reality? That despite being geographically and culturally one of the most amazing countries in the world, we’re going one way, straight down, all the way? Are we becoming a failed state?

That’s the question South Africans ask themselves now and then. And that’s the question I would like to answer in this book.

I want to answer the question simply but compellingly. I don’t want my answer to be a thumb-suck or a knee-jerk reaction. Nor do I want to be an optimist or a pessimist. I want to be a realist. As an economist, that’s what I am. I let the facts speak. I would like to give you long-term, good, solid facts. An informed view.

I call it the Long View.

I base it on the stuff that transcends the daily drama we see on TV and in the newspapers. It’s information that you can hold on to. Something that gives you a proper understanding of the realities of South Africa.

Next time you’re standing around a braai or sitting around a dinner table and some okie starts gaaning aan about the latest drama, you don’t need to go into a tailspin yourself. Give him five facts. Then carry on making the most of your meal. And this country.

About the author

JP Landsman is a self-employed political and trend analyst. His focus areas are trends in politics, economics, social capital and the interplay of demographics and economic growth. JP is a popular speaker and enjoys consistently good ratings.

He has a BA and LLB degrees from Stellenbosch (1978), studied economics at Harvard (1998 and 2005), and obtained an MPhil in future studies (cum laude) from Stellenbosch (2003). In 2009 he completed a course at Oxford University on the economies of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

He is a visiting professor at the University of the Free State where he lectures on trends in South Africa’s political-economy.

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