Laying bare the blood and deceit

General Johan Booysen will share his story at the launch of ‘Blood On Their Hands’, in Port Elizabeth
General Johan Booysen will share his story at the launch of ‘Blood On Their Hands’, in Port Elizabeth Picture: Tebogo Letsie

Port Elizabeth news sleuths and book buffs will hear the inside story on the Hawks from General Johan Booysen this week, when the book Blood On Their Hands is launched here.

Author Jessica Pitchford and Booysen, the subject of Blood On Their Hands, will be speaking at 5.30 for 6pm on Wednesday, November 9, at the GFI Gallery in Park Drive.

“A must-read for all South Africans, especially leaders and opinion-makers. Now no-one can say, ‘we didn’t know’,” writes Robert McBride on the cover.

After graduating from Rhodes University in the 1980s, Pitchford became a news reporter in Johannesburg during one of the most turbulent and exciting times in South African history.

In the past 25 years, she has worked for Special Assignment, Carte Blanche and Checkpoint and thought she’d heard it all – until she met Booysen, who restored her belief in the adage “life is stranger than fiction”.

Blood on Their Hands explores how when Booysen hears that the new provincial police chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue and deceit.

Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he calls the “cabal” – and who he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad, with which he is closely associated.

RSVP to or call (041) 368-1425.

  • Blood On Their Hands: General Johan Booysen Tells His Truth is published by Pan Macmillan and retails for R285

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