'They fail upwards in Mpumalanga,' author Rehana Rossouw said during a Daily Maverick webinar on Thursday. Her new book, Predator Politics, explores how corruption has derailed land reform and conservation programmes in the province. It details an extraordinary history of alleged graft and details Deputy President David Mabuza's alleged role.
Rehana Rossouw's new book, Predator Politics: Mabuza, Fred Daniel and the Great Land Scam, is both an enraging account of how new and old political and corporate players have subverted democratic systems to build power and get rich, and an inspiring story of one man's courage and perseverance in the face of sustained attacks.
It's centred on Fred Daniel, a successful businessman who wanted to use his considerable wealth to pursue his passion for environmental conservation and community upliftment. In the late 1990s he bought a farm in Mpumalanga's Badplaas Valley. Realising the historical, scientific and environmental importance of the land, he then purchased surrounding farms.
He had 39,000 hectares, much of it that needed to be rehabilitated due to the effects of asbestos mining, and made significant investments in building the Nkomazi Wilderness Reserve. By the mid-2000s he had signed a deal to build a luxury One&Only...