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A powerfully gripping political thriller about rhino poaching and corruption in contemporary South Africa.
Written by former Labour MP and leading Anti-Apartheid and Anti-Nazi League campaigner Peter Hain, The Rhino Conspiracy is a true page-turner. A thriller that resonates with conscience, timeliness and deep knowledge of South African politics and wildlife.
The book’s backdrop is a political landscape in which a corrupt South African government has chosen to overlook lucrative rhino poaching. In the words of Mkhize, a young ranger, “It’s war out there. Those bastards have AK-47 assault rifles. They don’t mess about. To get those rhino horns they will murder anybody, destroy anything.” But he recognizes deep complexities too: “Wildlife is seen as something for rich whites, so poachers can be seen as sort of Robin Hoods. Kill a poacher and you can turn these communities against wildlife protection.”
This corruption has led a veteran freedom fighter to break his lifelong ties with the ANC. He wants to bring about change: “The Veteran had a responsibility – no, a duty – to act.” But he needs “help from a younger protégé. Someone to do the legwork, to be out there reporting back to him.” Enter Thandi, a young woman who was “Born Free but not a Born Forget’”. Unlike most of her peers, she knows history, and is inspired by Mandela and his ANC comrades, stirred by their “courage, determination and passionate commitment to democracy, to human rights, to social justice.” Having recently been on safari with Mkhize and struck up a bond with him, they both attend the Veteran’s political event and sign-up to his cause. The work is highly risky, and becomes riskier still as they uncover corruption on an international scale, with multiple individuals embroiled. The narratives move smoothly between different characters and perspectives, making for a tensely enthralling ride.
Passionate and pacey throughout, The Rhino Conspiracy is also underpinned by a vital commentary on the nature of bringing about change. In the words of the Veteran, “Big change never came solely from within the system, but from external force as well.”
An epic tale of corruption, collusion and courage set in contemporary South Africa.
In the South African veld poaching gangs are resorting to extreme levels of violence to hunt down valuable rhino horns. Battling to defend the dwindling rhino population, a veteran anti-apartheid freedom fighter is forced to break his lifetime loyalty to the ANC as he confronts corruption at the very highest level.
The veteran and his ‘born free’ colleagues are hell bent on catching the poachers and exposing their trade but first them must establish the truth. The stakes are high. Has Mandela’s ‘rainbow nation’ been irretrievably betrayed by political corruption and cronyism? Can the country’s ancient rhino herd be saved from extinction from state-sponsored poaching?
|Publication date:||2nd September 2020|
|Primary Genre||Political / Legal Thrillers|
Closing date: 09/08/2021
'Gripping, tense and timely' Alan Johnson; 'Masterful, a riveting journey behind the frontline of the battle to change Africa's wildlife'. Julian Rademeyer, author of Killing for Profit;
'A thrilling page turner about the fight for humanity'.
Zelda de Grange, personal assistant to Nelson Mandela 1994-2013;
'A racy thriller into the toxicity of Rhino poaching and state corruption' Ronni Kasrils former ANC underground chief;'Passionate and engaging. From a man whose tireless anti-apartheid activism supported the long struggle to free his friend and leader, Nelson Mandela'.
Jon Snow, Channel 4 Broadcaster.
'Highly readable and inspirational'. Desmond Tutu
Lord Hain was the Labour MP for Neath between 1991 and 2015. He was a senior minister for twelve years in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's governments, where he served as Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and as Leader of the Commons. He was also Europe Minister, Foreign Minister and Energy Minister. He chaired the UN Security Council, and negotiated international Treaties curbing nuclear proliferation and banning the conflict-inducing trade in blood diamonds. Peter Hain's childhood was spent in apartheid South Africa, a period that came to an end when his ...More About Peter Hain