Early praise for God, Spies and Lies below.
“For a couple of months in the near perfect summer of 1990/1991, Jacob Zuma came to stay in my house in Norwood, Johannesburg… Twenty five years later, my former house guest has all but morally bankrupted Nelson Mandela’s ruling African National Congress. President Zuma’s vision-free leadership, corrupt personal behaviour and attempts to use his political power to distort the judicial system render him no better than Italy’s corrupt bunga-bunga partying ex-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.”
So begins GOD, SPIES AND LIES, an explosive insider's account since Mandela came to power of how South Africa got here -- and how things went wrong.
It takes you into the room with Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, into the Oval Office of the US President and the British Prime Minister’s Chequers country estate, as the fate of southern Africa was being set before and after 1994.
Among its revelations are:
How Nelson Mandela studied the Afrikaner Broederbond to end white rule at the same time as he set up the military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961.
The story of the apartheid spy who fooled the white liberal elite.
What made George Bush Senior change his mind about white rule in Southern Africa
How Robert Mugabe fooled South African intelligence
Why South Africa missed the Information Economy
How Jacob Zuma came under the spell of the Chinese Communist Party
What history tells us about the meaning of the late 2015 student protests
What it would take to get the country back on track
JOHN MATISONN has had a bird’s eye view of South Africa’s progress through apartheid and democracy. As a political correspondent, foreign correspondent and one of the pioneers of democratic South Africa’s free broadcasting environment, he interacted with every ANC leader since Oliver Tambo and every government leader from John Vorster to Jacob Zuma.
Now for the first time this seasoned and erudite insider reveals the secrets of a 40 year career observing the politicians, their spies and the journalists who wrote about them. As a patriot, he argues that the way to a better future can be found through an unvarnished examination of the past.
If you read one book on South Africa, make it this one!
‘A work of mammoth scope and importance… Matisonn’s engaging journalistic style keeps this sprawling narrative firmly on course…One of the most significant books of our time.’
Marianne Thamm, Daily Maverick
‘A great example of the best in journalism: a well written, immaculately researched view of recent South African history. It provides so many nuggets of information, so many insights and revelations that it should be the focus for debate and discussion for years to come.
‘A welcome antidote to the on-going attempts to bury and to mythologise much of the past, it should be a must read for everyone interested in the present state of affairs in South Africa — and how we got to where we are.’
Terry Bell, Columnist
‘A straight-talking, graphic account of journalism and its many secrets in the dark days of apartheid.’
Raymond Louw, ex-editor, Rand Daily Mail
`John Matisonn weaves his personal story through a fascinating and little known history.'
Professor Christopher Saunders, Historian
‘... crammed with revelations of political skulduggery. It should be read by everyone who cares about democracy, freedom of information and modern South Africa.’
Tim Knight, Toronto Star
‘… a compelling and enriching read… provides privileged access to the people and who have driven the headlines in this coun try for four decades.’
Julian Richfield, Cape Times
‘GOD, SPIES AND LIES is a masterpiece.’
Judith Todd, author of Through the Darkness
978-0-9946702-3-6 PRINT EDITION