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Protea Boekhuis

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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Boekbekendstelling: Jan Smuts – van boerseun tot wêreldverhoog

Jan Smuts, een van die bekendste Suid-Afrikaners van die twintigste eeu, bly ‘n omstrede figuur. Was hy een van die uitstaande staatsmanne van sy tyd of dalk ‘n verraaier van Afrikanerbelange en moontlik ‘n rassis?

In hierdie boek word generaal J.C. Smuts herwaardeer.

Smuts se rol as intellektueel (onder meer vader van holisme), militêre strateeg (hy het ‘n leidende rol tydens drie oorloë gespeel), politikus (vir ‘n halwe eeu in die “era van die generaals” was hy prominent) en staatsman (hy was ‘n dryfkrag agter die vorming van die Unie van Suid-Afrika, die Britse Statebond, die Volkebond en die Verenigde Nasies) word beoordeel. Altesaam 20 outeurs het help skryf.


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Kom gesels met die skrywer van Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike Namibië in Pretoria

Uitnodiging na 'n gesprek met Dirk Mudge

Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike NamibiëDirk MudgeProtea Boekhuis nooi jou graag na ’n gesprek met Dirk Mudge.

Marinus Wiechers en Riaan Eksteen gesels op Woensdag, 28 September met die skrywer oor sy boek, Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike Namibië.

Die gesprek vind plaas by Protea Boekwinkel Hatfield en begin om 18:30 vir 19:00. Toegang is gratis en verversings sal bedien word.

Moenie dit misloop nie!



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A life in politics – presenting Dirk Mudge: All the way to an independent Namibia

Dirk MudgeProtea Boekhuis presents Dirk Mudge: All the way to an independent Namibia, the English edition of the retired politician’s long-awaited autobiography:

At the age of 87 Mudge now publishes his long-awaited autobiography. This remarkable man was involved full time in the politics of South West Africa, and later Namibia, for a period of 33 years. He entered the political arena in 1960 as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the National Party of South West Africa. Mudge describes how he initially supported the ideologies of the National Party, but gradually came to change his views and politics. This inevitably lead to his resignation from the National Party and to the establishment of his own party: The Republican Party. He had a personal involvement in the drawing up of the new Constitution of the Republic of Namibia and tries to give answers to questions about why it took Namibia so long to reach independence. He also explains the role South Africa and the international community played in this major event.

Dr Piet Croucamp writes in his preface: “Mudge’s memoir does not relive the past in times of modernity. The reader becomes displaced ‒ in a way ‒ to a familiar but awkward if not painful past. The narrative, conceived in stigma and shame, is presented with a “respectability” or even bizarre “reality” which once was “normal” to some and an abomination to others. Dirk Mudge has made a remarkable contribution with a text which merits both literary and scholarly value. The work was not intended as a comprehensive history of Namibia ‒ it is a memoir about the life and times of Dirk Mudge.”

Also available in Afrikaans as Dirk Mudge: Enduit vir ’n onafhanklike Namibië.

About the author

Dirk Mudge is a farmer and retired politician.

Book details

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’n Karakoelpelskoper deel sy stories in Kruis en dwars deur ou Suidwes deur Piet Maritz

Kruis en dwars deur ou SuidwesKruis en dwars deur ou Suidwes: Herinneringe van ’n pelskoper deur Piet Maritz is nou beskikbaar op Protea Boekhuis se rakke:

Piet Maritz was vir jare lank ’n karakoelpelskoper in die ou Suidwes. Gedurende sy vele omswerwinge het hy baie interessante mense ontmoet en dinge ondervind. In Kruis en dwars deur ou Suidwes deel hy van hierdie herinneringe en laat jou lag, huil en verlang na vervloë dae.

Oor die outeur

Piet Maritz is in 1928 gebore op die klein dorpie Niekerkshoop. In 1945 verhuis hy na die ou Suidwes – waar hy vir jare lank ’n karakoelpelskoper is. Gedurende sy vele omswerwinge het hy baie interessante mense ontmoet en dinge ondervind. Sy liefde vir die ou Suidwes blyk duidelik uit sy boek.


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Castle of Good Hope Hosts a Celebration of As the Crow Flies by Delville Linford and Al J Venter

Al J Venter

Many of the men who gathered in the Officer’s Mess at the Castle of Good Hope early in November wore a tie with a distinctive crow. They were soldiers who had fought under the command of Colonel Delville Linford in the legendary 31 Batallion some 40 years ago in the military campaign Operation Savannah.

Eavesdropping on the conversations it was clear that each man there had a story to tell, but they had come together to celebrate their collective story, and that of their erstwhile commanding officer, and they raised their glasses to honour his memory and to welcome the publication of As the Crow Flies: My Bushman Experience with 31 Battalion by Linford with Al J Venter.

Venter spoke about the challenges Linford faced and the context he had entered into. Brigadier Constand Viljoen had issued instructions that a base be established in the western Caprivi to accommodate, equip and train “Bushman soldiers” to help protect what was the South West African border against SWAPO. With the help of six national servicemen and 39 black troops, Linford established Camp Alpha. Combat Group Alpha participated in Operation Savannah from October 1975 to January 1976 after which the company was named 31 Battalion and operated in south-east Angola and Zambia.

Nicol Stassen and Al VenterAs the Crow Flies“In the battle for the independence of Angola,” Venter said, “the Bushmen had been marshalled by the Portuguese to do their tracking and attacks. They were extremely efficient at killing the guards without guns. With the Portuguese Carnation Revolution and the independence of Angola, the country was bled dry. When the Portuguese left, the Bushmen were abandoned to their own devices. The South Africans entered the region and, realising their potential, recruited the Bushmen.”

Delville Linford was given staff to form 31 Battalion but had a very difficult time in the beginning. “The attitude of the Portuguese had been to ‘live and let live’. The Bushmen had a job to do, but no real discipline had been established. They could stand at attention and march, but none of the traditional military rigmarole was imposed on them. Also, their training was a means to kill. They could track and scout, but when it came to military conventions they did only the basics. When they came south and the South Africans accepted them, Delville was under orders to make a large number of people into soldiers. He had to marshal them into a military community.”

Venter said that under Linford’s instruction the 31 Battalion built schools, and attempted to turn the Bushmen into “civilised” people in that environment. “Delville built camps but had to marshal people. The trackers were being sent through for our own border war. However, they were not issued with guns, so, when they were sent out to track with a squad of South African troops they would go through, hot on the trail, then trail would ‘go missing’. This happened half a dozen times. Eventually Linford got together with the Bushman leaders to find out what was going on.

“They held an indaba. In his own language the Bushman leader said, ‘Do you think we’re stupid? If we lead you there, who is the first one to get shot? You won’t give us guns. We aren’t going to take you to them.’ Linford was then faced with the challenge of making these troops fully qualified to make a fire drill,” Venter recalled.

At that point Operation Savannah happened. “The battles they fought were quite remarkable. At Benguela the place crawling with MPLA. The Cubans were coming through all the time. They got through and took the airport. There were South African troops but also a lot of Bushmen. The Cubans had already smuggled men into the country and saw the South Africans as a problem. When Operation Savannah was over, we had suffered just a fraction of the casualties because of the way we had husbanded our resources with just a few thousand people,” he said.

“We didn’t get to gates of Luanda but we got a long way north.” Venter had been in Luanda while this was happening. He was working for Scope magazine at the time. He shared his harrowing stories of death threats and capture with a Le Monde journalist, the torture and his narrow escape thanks to Francois Mitterand.

Returning to the subject of As the Crow Flies, Venter said of the Bushmen, “There are so many facets to their story.” He summarised an exchange that stood out in his memory between a captain who had issued a command of dubious wisdom. It illustrated the sharpness of the Bushmen when they countered him, implying it was not a very clever move. “‘Are you trying to tell me I’m stupid?’ asked the captain. ‘No Sir, you’re the cleverest captain I know!’ said the Bushman. ‘So, what are you saying?’ asked the captain. The Bushman replied, ‘A very clever man doesn’t make the kind of decision you’ve just made.’”

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Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:



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Pieter Mulder speel klaar met die leuens oor Afrikaans

Kan Afrikaners toyi-toyi?Pieter Mulder, leier van die Vryheidsfront Plus en skrywer van Kan Afrikaners toyi-toyi?, het onlangs ‘n artikel geskryf vir Maroela Media waarin hy puntsgewys die mites rondom Afrikaans ontleed en poog om dit verkeerd te bewys.

In die artikel, getiteld “Twaalf leuens oor Afrikaans”, verduidelik Mulder waarom dit verkeerd is om te sê dat Afrikaans “‘n witmanstaal” is en nie “‘n plek in Suid-Afrika” of Afrika het nie.

Mulder besin oor die algemene opvattings dat Afrikaans nie ‘n inheemse taal is nie en dus nie in Afrika hoort nie, en vertel verder waarom Afrikaans ook as akademiese taal internasionale erkenning geniet.

Lees die artikel:

4. Afrikaans hoort nie in Afrika nie want dit is nie ’n inheemse taal nie

Afrikaans se wortels is Westers maar met sterk invloede van Asië (Maleisië) en Afrika. Behalwe dat Afrikaans na die Afrika-kontinent vernoem is, word dit nêrens anders in die wêreld gepraat nie. Hoe kan dit dan nie ‘n inheemse taal wees nie? Die oneerlikheid van mense wat so sê is dat hulle dan ten gunste van Engels is, wat blykbaar as koloniale en Europese taal in Afrika hoort.


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Kom gesels met Tom Lanoye oor sy roman Gelukkige slawe by Protea Boekwinkel Stellenbosch

Gelukkige slaweSprakeloosProtea Boekhuis en Protea Boekwinkel Stellenbosch nooi jou graag om die bekroonde Nederlandse skrywer, Tom Lanoye, te kom ontmoet.

Gelukkige slawe, Daniel Hugo se Afrikaanse vertaling van Lanoye se gewilde Nederlandse roman, Gelukkige slaven, het onlangs by Protea Boekhuis verskyn. Gelukkige slawe vertel die verhaal van twee Belgiese mans met presies dieselfde naam en van, Tony Hanssen, wat hulleself op ’n keerpunt bevind.

Kom luister na die skrywer se gesprek oor Gelukkige slawe op Saterdag, 21 November om 11:00 by Protea Boekwinkel in Stellenbosch.

Moenie dit misloop nie!


Lees ook:



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Don’t Miss the Launch of As the Crow Flies by Delville Linford and Al J Venter at the Castle of Good Hope

Invitation to the launch of As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies: My Bushman Experience with 31 BattalionProtea would like to invite you to the launch of As the Crow Flies: My Bushman Experience with 31 Battalion by Delville Linford and Al J Venter.

As the Crow Flies is a hallmark volume with an introduction by General Constand Viljoen. In it Colonel Linford offers us – for the first time ‒ his own ‘warts and all’ report, not only of the legendary 31 Battalion but also of his career in the South African Army.

The event will take place at the Castle of Good Hope at 5 for 5:30 PM on Saturday, 7 November, and Venter will be speaking about the book.

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 7 November 2015
  • Time: 5 PM for 5:30 PM
  • Venue: Cape Town Rifles (Dukes) Officers Mess
    Castle of Good Hope
    Corner of Darling Street and Buitenkant Street
    Cape Town | Map
  • Refreshments: Wine and refreshments will be served
  • RSVP:, 071 635 0602

Book Details

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In Memoriam: Huldeblyke aan Voorbladnooi Nelle Dreyer (1950 – 2015)

VoorbladnooiNelle Dreyer, wie se outobiografie Voorbladnooi: Van Pleinstraat tot Parys in 2011 by Protea Boekhuis verskyn het, is vroeër vandeesmaand oorlede.

Johan Liebenberg en Louis Jansen van Vuuren, jarelange vriende van Dreyer, het op LitNet hulde gebring aan die voormalige supermodel – die eerste Suid-Afrikaanse model wat op Vogue se voorblad verskyn het. “Sy is dierbaar, vrygewig, snaaks, eerlik en lojaal. Nelle is soos ‘n suster vir my en ons kon oor enigiets en alles gesels. En lag,” skryf Jansen van Vuuren.

Izak de Vries het ook aan Dreyer hulde gebring met ‘n fotoartikel, ook op LitNet. Hy skryf: “Die mens agter die boek was net so warm, eerlik en reguit soos die mens in die boek. Passievol. Briljant. Nederig, al het sy presies geweet wat sy wil hê. Natuurlik ook: Pragtig. Beeldskoon, steeds laat in haar lewe.”

Lees die huldeblyke:

Nelle Dreyer: ‘n Ster verskiet
Louis Jansen van Vuuren

Ons – ek en Nelle – is studente aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch en ons behoort aan dieselfde modelagentskap in Kaapstad. Sy is reeds ‘n legendariese skoonheid op Matieland. Wie kan die gelaaide oomblik en uitspattige gejuig vergeet toe sy as Sjampanjenooi voor die skare op Coetzenburg uitstap. Dit was nie slegs die hoop op oorwinning wat die skare laat jubel het nie. Dit was ook ‘n kollektiewe, onderbewuste herkenning van skoonheid. Daardie onpeilbare element – je ne sais quoi. Die x-faktor. Óf jy het dit, óf jy het dit nie. Nelle het dit. In oorvloed.

Murray la Vita skryf in 2011 in Die Burger na aanleiding van ‘n onderhoud met Nelle Dreyer:

Benewens haar natuurlike skoonheid – die oë, die mond, die lenige figuur – is Nelle ook iemand met ‘n sonderlinge styl en uitstraling.

Nelle Dreyer
Izak de Vries

Danksy Annari van der Merwe, wat ook goed bevriend was met Nelle, het die manuskrip by Protea beland. Daar was nooit enige twyfel dat ons dit moes uitgee nie. Die boek was so eerlik, so reguit. So anders…

Nelle Dreyer het lewendig geword op papier. Uit haar woorde is ’n hardkoppige, slim mens met baie foute aan die wêreld gewys.

Die boek is koelbloedig eerlik. Dit is ’n navolgingswaardige biografie.

Lees ook:



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As the Crow Flies: Colonel Delville Linford’s “Warts and All” Report of the Legendary 31 Battalion

As the Crow FliesProtea is proud to present As the Crow Flies: My Bushman Experience with 31 Battalion by Delville Linford with Al J Venter:

As a relatively recent military campaign, Operation Savannah entered the annals of South African military tradition four decades ago. Though there have been several books published about this “bare bones” strike force that marched almost unimpeded a quarter the way across the African continent, few are aware of the significant role played during the course of these hostilities by a fragmented Bushman unit led by one of the most enigmatic personalities to emerge in uniform since the end of World War II.

Until now, Colonel Delville Linford has had very little to say about his role as commander of Combat Group Alpha, or of that played by his Bushmen soldiers. In this volume he allows us a peek under the covers, not only how this tiny combat force operated, but also many “behind the screens” machinations which explain how the unit was formed.

Following the independence of Angola from Portugal, a significant segment of that country’s Bushman community crossed the border into what was then still South West Africa – Namibia today – and sought refuge with the South Africans. He goes on to tell us a lot about the Bushman people themselves: the nature of their society, tribal traditions, bush-craft, customs that have become ingrained with time, historical fears, life in the wild, tracking ‒ as well as much else about a historical culture that goes back millennia. Together with many of Colonel Linford’s empathetic observations of these often-intriguing “little” people, all go towards making for a rather fascinating read.

A hallmark volume with an introduction by General Constand Viljoen, Colonel Linford offers us – for the first time ‒ his own “warts and all” report, not only of the legendary 31 Battalion but also of his career in the South African Army.

About the Authors

Delville Linford was the South African Army’s last liaison officer at Serpa Pinto from April 1973 to July 1974. Because of his knowledge of Angola and its people, he was tasked by Brigadier Constand Viljoen to establish a base in the western Caprivi to accommodate, equip and train these Bushman soldiers so that they could help to protect the South West African border against Swapo. With the help of six national servicemen and 39 black troops, Linford established Camp Alpha. Combat Group Alpha participated in Operation Savannah from October 1975 to January 1976 after which the company was named 31 Battalion and operated in south-east Angola and Zambia.

Al J Venter, now living in the UK, has written over 40 war books, including Allah’s Bomb, Iran’s Nuclear Option, and Iraqi War Debrief, War Dog: Fighting Other People’s Wars, Barrel of a Gun: A War Correspondent’s Misspent Moments in Combat, War Stories by Al J Venter and Friends, Gunship Ace – The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary, Shipwreck Stories, Mercenaries African Stories by Al J Venter and Friends.

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