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How to Steal a City by Crispian Olver
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How to Steal a City

The Battle for Nelson Mandela Bay: An Inside Account

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Narrator Charl van Heyningen

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Length 10 hours 3 minutes
Language English
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Summary

How to Steal a City is the gripping insider account of this intervention, which lays bare how Nelson Mandela Bay metro was bled dry by criminal syndicates, and how factional politics within the ruling party abetted that corruption.

As a former senior state official and local government ‘fixer’, Crispian Olver was no stranger to dodgy politicians and broken organisations. Yet what he found in Nelson Mandela Bay went far beyond rigged contracts, blatant conflicts of interest and garden-variety kickbacks. The city’s administration had evolved into a sophisticated web of front companies, criminal syndicates and compromised local politicians and officials. The metro was effectively controlled by a criminal network closely allied to a dominant local ANC faction. What Olver found was complete state capture – a microcosm of what has taken place in national government.

Olver and his team initiated a clean-up of the administration, clearing out corrupt officials and rebuilding public trust. Then came the ANC’s doomed campaign for the August 2016 local government elections. Having lost its way in factional battles and corruption, the divided party went down to a humiliating defeat in its traditional heartland.

Olver paid a high price for his work in Nelson Mandela Bay. Intense political pressure and even threats to his personal safety took a toll on his mental and physical health. When his political support was withdrawn, he had to flee the city as the forces stacked against him took their revenge. This is his story.

Buy one get one free

This month only!

Become a member and shop our members-only, 10th anniversary buy-one-get-one sale in support of local bookstores.

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Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more