Daily Maverick

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A Pretoria Boy by Peter Hain. The book opens with the story of how Hain’s journey came full circle when he used UK parliament­ary privilege in 2017-18 to expose South African looting and money laundering, supplied with the ammunition by his “deep throat” source inside Zuma’s government. Returning to his childhood in Pretoria in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the book presents vivid descriptio­ns of his parents’ arrest, banning and harassment, and tells of how, at age 19, Hain organised and led militant anti-Springbok demonstrat­ions in exile.

Blood Trail by Tony Park. Evil is at play in a South African game reserve. A poacher vanishes into thin air, defying logic and baffling ace tracker Mia Greenaway. Meanwhile, Captain Sannie van Rensburg, still reeling from a personal tragedy, is investigat­ing the disappeara­nce of two young girls who locals fear have been abducted for use in sinister traditiona­l medicine practices. When a tourist goes missing, Mia and Sannie must work together to confront their own demons and challenge what they believe, and follow a bloody trail that seems to dry up at every turn.

Flight of the Diamond Smugglers by Matthew Gavin Frank. Frank sets out across the infamous Diamond Coast to investigat­e an illicit trade – the smuggling of diamonds by carrier pigeon – that supplies a global market. Uncovering a long-overlooked truecrime story that dates back to the founding of De Beers, the author weaves interviews with local diamond divers, who extract mineral wealth from the seabed by day and raise pigeons in secret by night, with harrowing anecdotes from former security heads, environmen­tal managers and vigilante pigeon hunters.

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