August 4, 2019
Carte Blanche Recounts the Strijdom Square Massacre
by SAPeople Contributor
Here’s the line-up of hot South African topics that the Carte Blanche team are investigating this Sunday 4 August (and available for South Africans abroad in most countries to stream from Tuesday 6 August).
Former uMkhonto weSizwe and apartheid police spy Bradley Steyn is still haunted by the Strijdom Square massacre he witnessed over thirty years ago in 1988 when he was just a teenager.
Seventeen at the time, Steyn came face-to-face with the Wit Wolf, Barend Strydom, who killed eight people in cold blood, and injured sixteen more.
For Steyn, it sparked a career in intelligence and a mission that continued to this day, to honour those who died on that fateful day.
Steyn – who now lives between SA and the USA – told SAPeople he has just finished a two month book tour of SA promoting his SA bestseller (co-written with Mark Fine) ‘Undercover With Mandela’s Spies, the Story of the Boy who Crossed the Square’.
The book uncovers “the journey my life has taken since I witnessed the 1988 Massacre”, he says. (The book is available in Sub Saharan African at EXCLUSIVE BOOKS and Australasia via Amazon.)
Carte Blanche interviews Steyn and recounts the events of the latter 1980s that painted a sombre picture of where racism and hate could lead the country. (Producer: Carol Albertyn Christie; Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender)
PRESS RELEASE by Book Publisher, Jacana Media
The Double Agent for Freedom: Inside Mandela’s Spy Unit with Bradley Steyn
“... we had just seconds before the shit hit the fan. Our target was prostrate on the floor with his eyes closed, so I led the way out through the collapsed wall to give Neil cover as he carried the dazed ‘Kumalo’ over his shoulder. A jumpy teen armed with a panga stood alone in the dark waiting to ambush us. He must have heard ‘Mrs Kumalo’s’ screams. I drew my cz-75 and barked, ‘fuck off!’ I was relieved when he dropped his weapon and fled. No one had to die. But we were running out of time.”
Bradley Steyn’s life is a perfect example of how fact can be stranger than fiction, as Undercover with Mandela’s Spies written by Bradley Steyn and Mark Fine shows. The memoir charts Steyn’s life – from the deeply traumatic experience of witnessing the Strijdom Square massacre in 1988 that leaves him with a severe case of PTSD, to being recruited by the underground ANC’s Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS). Written with sweltering clarity, Steyn details the dark and dangerous world of espionage, guns and the extremes both the apartheid government and the ANC went to to achieve their goals.
This astonishing true-life thriller provides a thorough account of one man’s explosive experiences during a highly unstable period in South Africa’s history and reveals for the first time some of the dirty secrets of a dirty war. Beset with all the makings of a spy blockbuster, Steyn’s every day with the Security Branch included surveillance, psychoactive drugs to weaken targets, war tactics, shootings and death. While navigating this dangerous world, Steyn was also battling PTSD and one can only imagine how the violent nature of this covert world impacted him.
He ends up being recruited by MK and used to infiltrate the crazed right-wing whose mission is to de-stabilise a South Africa on the brink of peace. With these forces pushing the nation toward a bloody race war, will his time run out before they discover he is working for Mandela’s spies? Undercover with Mandela’s Spies captures the horror of this war for freedom and the resilience of the men and women who fought for our liberation. With the Annie Costner documentary of Steyn’s unbelievable story set for release next year, and as we examine the results of this, our sixth democratic election, this book shows just how close to civil war we were.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Bradley Steyn is a former government contractor, specialising in risk mitigation, operational support, B2B and B2C within the US national security and defence arenas. Steyn now lives in California. He works as a security consultant in Beverley Hills.
Mark Fine is a South African born novelist specialising in historical fiction, social injustice and wildlife conservation. His critically acclaimed apartheid romance novel, The Zebra Affaire audibook on Audible has been nominated for a Voice Arts Award - Fiction.
Dealing with Wit Wolf Massacre | Subject of my new book
This South African newspaper article is an insight into my forthcoming book, UNDERCOVER WITH MANDELA'S SPIES. It tells of the torrid experience of my co-author Brad Steyn as a 17 year old when he stumbled into an active shooter, spree killing on 15 November 1988.
A white supremacist, called the White Wolf, was gunning down his compatriots in a city square because of the color of their skin! 8 innocent black South Africans died and 16 injured. Brad's emotional downward spiral and his subsequent undercover, espionage activities during the Liberation Struggle is the heart of the story. The book's working title is UNDERCOVER WITH MANDELA'S SPIES.
This article was originally published in the WEEKEND ARGUS [SUNDAY EDITION] October 31, 2018.
South African Expat’s Audiobook Nominated for Top US Award
Oct 10, 2018
The audiobook for a story set in South Africa – ‘The Zebra Affaire’ – has been nominated for a prestigious Voice Arts Award, which is the equivalent of the voice over and narration industries’ Grammy Awards.
The story is written by Californian-based South African expat Mark Fine from Johannesburg, and read by Capetonian and fellow SA expat Dennis Kleinman (who lives just an hour away in LA). ‘The Zebra Affaire’ – which features a love affair between a white woman and black man during the Apartheid era in SA – has the voices of all its characters read superbly by Kleinman… earning the book a Best Voiceover nomination in the ‘Audiobook Narration – Fiction’ category.
Fine said: “SO EXCITED! … South African Dennis Kleinman’s multi-accented voicings of all the characters within my novel was brilliant, stellar! Delighted his peers in Los Angeles have acknowledged his powerful performance… Congratulations Dennis Kleinman… and THANK YOU!”
The Awards will be held on 18 November 2018 on the Warner Bros with 'Avatar' and 'Aliens' actress Sigourney Weaver hosting. #HoldingThumbs!