South Africa: 'It Is There, Where They Burn Books, That Eventually They Burn People'

Protesters at the Sandton launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh's book Gangster State: unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture.
editorial

Our colleague, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, has written the smash-hit #GangsterState - Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture. In it, he chronicles the building of the patronage networks by using state funds. On Tuesday, we saw evidence of the Gangster State at work and of Magashule's network in full swing.

It's early April, and a student union announced a cleansing, a literary purge of the books containing dirt and being more akin to puke than reading matter. Soon after, thousands of books were hauled out across the country and burned while crowds were shouting obscenities...

"... students threw the pillaged, banned books into the bonfires with a great joyous ceremony that included live music, singing, 'fire oaths' and incantations... ."

They were joined nationwide by the party's most fiery speakers denouncing the filth contained in the pages...

"This is a strong, great and symbolic deed - a deed which should document the following for the world to know - Here the intellectual foundation ... is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise... " bellowed one of the greatest orators, chosen to inflame the base, and keep it angry.

It was the proper...

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