James on Die Groot Onbyt
Will South Africa be okay?
James-Brent Styan op Kwêla
Earlier this year I was in the hot seat at the Kwêla studio to discuss my findings and the journey to writing "Steinhoff en die Stellenbosse Boys".
Sabotage at Eskom?
Extract: The Bosasa Billions: The Watsons and the arson charges
In January 1987 Valence, Ronnie and Cheeky Watson went on trial for arson, fraud and attempted murder (of two employees who had been severely burnt) after their Port Elizabeth home burnt down. All three denied the charges. Gavin was not charged in the case, but he was questioned by the police. It was a trial unlike anything the Eastern Cape had ever seen. The public gallery was always packed with black supporters of the Watson brothers.
Watson was untouchable, ‘Bosasa Billions’ co-author says
Jacaranda FM interview
Extract: The Bosasa Billions
Watch: The Bosasa Billions book launch
Erin Bates in conversation with James-Brent Styan and Paul Vecchiatto at the Bosasa Billions book launch at the Open Book Festival in September 2019.
Bosasa and Watson Expert Panel Break
ICYMI: James-Brent Styan, author of The Bosasa Billions, joined Gushwell Brooks and Kyle Cowan, investigative journalist for News 24 to discuss the explosive case that is the death of Gavin Watson and what this means for the Bosasa Investigation.
OPINION: The enigma that was Gavin Watson
A new chapter in state capture:
Hot off the press:
The Bosasa Billions
In The Bosasa Billions, best-selling author James-Brent Styan and co-writer Paul Vecchiatto uncover the sordid story of how one company exploited the greed of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to establish an extensive tender network stretching right to the top of the ANC government.
Its cast of characters include:
• Angelo Agrizzi, the whistleblower who makes new revelations to Styan about the secrets behind Bosasa's glittering profit margins,
• Vernie Petersen, the prisons boss who waged a lonely battle against the dark forces taking over his department, and
• Gavin Watson, the ultra-religious Bosasa puppet master who parlayed his family's struggle credentials into vast wealth while leading his employees in prayer every morning. Ultimately, however, Bosasa was not in the business of saving souls, but selling them.
4 reasons the ANC has only itself to blame for the Eskom crisis
Earlier this week we learned that Power utility Eskom has reported a net loss after tax of R20.7bn for the 2019 financial year, with municipal debt rising to some R20bn. The power utility attributed the loss to a lower-than-expected 5.23% tariff increase granted by the energy price regulator for the 2018/19 financial year, a 1.82% decline in sales volumes, an above inflation wage settlement with unions, as well as the abovementioned escalating municipal debt. Read more
With talks of load-shedding rearing it's ugly head again in the near future, let's flash back to a piece James-Brent Styan wrote for News24 in February earlier this year.
The political capturing of Eskom started in earnest in 2008 when the company started handing out tenders and contracts for its new build program which at that time was worth around R385bn over five years.
Is the president is being briefed regularly, if not daily about the Eskom situation given the clear vulnerability and risk to the economy. It seems that even with the efforts made in the pas few months the president is still largely unaware of how dire things really are. It appears to be a massive Ramafailure.
By the Book: Q&A with James Brent-Styan
Anant Singh To Produce Biopic Of Heart Transplant Pioneer Christiaan Barnard
EXCLUSIVE: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom producer Anant Singh and his South Africa-based Videovision Entertainment have acquired the film rights to biography Heartbreaker: Christiaan Barnard And The First Heart Transplant. Written by author James-Brent Styan, the book was recently published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first human-to-human heart transplant, performed by South African surgeon Barnard.
Singh is producing the screen transfer with Brian Cox and Christian Halsey-Solomon exec producing. The story focuses on the impact of the pioneering surgery on Barnard’s personal life and South African society at large. The role of black medical staff including lab assistant Hamilton Naki and others is explored, as is the intense global rivalry that arose between other famous heart surgeons and Barnard. Today, there are about 3,500 people that have the surgery each year.
Interview on Espresso
Join me at the UCT Summer School 2020:
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