Book finally launched after delay due to security concerns

Moderator Redi Tlhabi in discussion with Pieter-Louis Myburgh at the launch of controversial book Gangster State, Unravelling Ace Magashules Web of Capture at the Waterfront.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh had a chance to launch his book, Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, at the V&A Waterfront’s amphitheatre on Wednesday April 16 after the event had been postponed the week before due to safety concerns.

The launch was to be hosted at Exclusive Books at the Waterfront, however, this was rescheduled after discussions between the Waterfront, Exclusive Books and the police.

The concerns arose after the launch of the book in Sandton, Gauteng, on Tuesday April 9, was disrupted by a group of protesters.

According to reports, they wore ANC T-shirts and proceeded to rip apart some copies of the book and threw pages around (“Book ‘launched’ at freedom protest”, CapeTowner, April 18).

Exclusive Books CEO Grattan Kirk apologised to the public and to Mr Myburgh for the postponement. “I have received more than a couple of bullets, so I came to sincerely apologise.”

He said the postponement was for the benefit of public safety as they could not provide protection should there have been a disruption.

However, the public enjoyed a peaceful launch, while Mr Myburgh discussed the book with moderator, Redi Tlhabi.

Of the disruption in Sandton and the postponement by the V&A Waterfront, Mr Myburgh said corporates like the V&A Waterfront and Exclusive Books have to “hold hands with us”. “We cannot be bullied with our right to freedom of speech. We need the backing of the corporate world.”

Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture details the dealings of Ace Magushule from his time as a struggle activist in the 1980s to his powerful rule as Premier of the Free State province for nearly a decade, and his rise to one of the ANC’s most influential positions.

Investigative journalist and author Mr Myburgh explores Mr Magashule’s relationship with the Gupta family and other tender moguls; investigates government projects costing billions that allegedly enriched his friends and family but failed the poor; reveals how he was about to be arrested by the Scorpions before their disbandment in the late 2000s; and exposes
the methods allegedly used to keep him in power in the Free State and to secure him the post of ANC secretary-general.