Nelson Mandela, flanked by Walter Sisulu, his former wife Winnie and Cyril Ramaphosa reads his famous speech on a balcony at the Cape Town City hall after his release from the Victor Verster prison on February 11, 1990. Picture: Leon Muller
Four fabulous books of different genres that will appeal to everyone:

  • Speeches that shaped South Africa - from Malan to Malema by Martha Evans
  • The Last Hours by Minette Walters
  • Quiet Until the Thaw by Alexandra Fuller 
  • Lore of Nutrition by Tim Noakes and Marika Sboros

Speeches that shaped South Africa - from Malan to Malema by Martha Evans

South African history has been punctuated by some remarkable speeches, such as Nelson Mandela’s powerful and courageous statement from the dock during the Rivonia Trial or, on the other side of the spectrum, PW Botha’s infamous Rubicon speech, which failed to deliver anticipated reforms and intensified the conflict of the 1980s.

Who could forget FW de Klerk’s speech announcing the unbanning of the ANC and the imminent release of Mandela and other prisoners, or Mandela’s speech on the Grand Parade a few days later?

Speeches that Shaped South Africa is the first collection of these historic moments and it examines about 35 speeches from the beginning of apartheid to the present day.

The book includes Harold Macmillan’s “Wind of Change”, Thabo Mbeki’s “I am an African”, Ahmed Kathrada’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and Mmusi Maimane’s “Broken Man” speech.

Also included are speeches by Steve Biko, Helen Suzman, Winnie Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Julius Malema.

A narrative before and after each speech places it in historical context, explains who the speaker was and explores the effects and reception of the speech.

This is a fascinating account of South African history over the past 70 years, through the lens of important figures making significant public statements.

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Speeches that shaped South Africa

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county begin to die in their thousands.

In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people’s future - including the lives of 200 bonded serfs.

Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. They decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls.

With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures.

Lady Anne’s people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who has the courage to leave the security of the walls? And how safe is anyone when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo?

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Quiet until the thaw

Quiet Until the Thaw by Alexandra Fuller

Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage.

When escalating anger toward the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence.

Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys orphaned at birth in his meadow.

As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys in their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind.

But when You Choose returns to the reservation after three decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys.

A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family, but to all who have come before and will come after us and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected.

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Lore of Nutrition by Tim Noakes and Marika Sboros

“In the context of junk diets, embedded scientists, corrupt - or simply ignorant - doctors and dietitians, human health and omertas, what you believe about your personal nutrition will determine not just how you live, but also how you die.’ - Tim Noakes

What would you do if you discovered the food you have been told is good for you is actually the cause of your ill health?

In December 2010, Noakes was introduced to a way of eating that was contrary to everything he had been taught and was accepted as conventional nutrition “wisdom”.

Having observed the benefits of the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle first-hand, and after thorough and intensive research, Noakes enthusiastically revealed his findings to the South African public in 2012.

The backlash from his colleagues in the medical establishment was as swift as it was brutal and culminated in a misconduct inquiry launched by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

The subsequent hearing lasted well over a year, but Noakes ultimately triumphed, being found not guilty of unprofessional conduct in April.

In Lore of Nutrition, he explains the science behind the LCHF/Banting diet and why he champions this lifestyle despite the constant persecution and efforts to silence him.

He also discusses at length what he has come to see as a medical and scientific code of silence that discourages anyone in the profession from speaking out against the current dietary guidelines.

Experienced journalist Marika Sboros provides the full backstory to the HPCSA hearing, which reads like something out of a spy novel.

Written in an accessible style, Lore of Nutrition is informative, highly controversial and an eye-opener for anyone who cares about their health.

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Lore of nutrition