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Synopsis

South African history will never be the same again … Shunning the predictable, Max du Preez has put on his investigative journalist’s cap and examined our past from a fresh perspective. The result is a collection of extraordinary and mostly unknown stories, all meticulously researched and written in an engaging and lively style. Instead of regurgitating the story of Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival at the Cape, he tells the tales of a Portuguese viscount killed on a Cape beach in 1510, of the Khoikhoi chief who was kidnapped and taken to England in 1610, and of the saucy goings-on between slave women and their European settler lovers. There’s the story of King Moshoeshoe’s remarkable conduct when cannibals ate his beloved grandfather, and Shaka’s sexuality is explored via his relationship with his mother and the woman who loved him without ever touching him. Sidestepping the old clichés about the Anglo-Boer War, Du Preez recounts the story of an Afrikaner broedertwis - General Christiaan de Wet and his brother Piet, who joined the British forces and fought his own people. The reader is taken through every stage of our history, up to the story of apartheid South Africa’s nuclear bombs, and the secret dealings and intrigue during the negotiations leading up to the 1994 elections. This is South African history as you’ve never seen it before: a colourful mosaic of our rich heritage.

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