New from Jonathan Ball: Hunting the Seven by Beverley Roos-Muller

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Never have seven people been so hunted. By assassins. By journalists, lawyers and activists in search of the truth and TRC investigators wanting justice for the victims’ families.

In 1986, seven young men were shot and killed by police in Gugulethu in Cape Town. The nation was told they were a “terrorist” MK cell, which was plotting an attack on a police unit. An inquest followed, then a dramatic trial in 1987 and another inquest in 1989. Finally, the fact that Eugene de Kock’s Vlakplaas unit plotted and drove the operation was revealed at the Truth and Reconciliation ten years after the murders, but Vlakplaas’s real agenda remained shrouded in mystery.

In Hunting the seven, Beverley Roos-Muller tells the story of the Gugulethu Seven and the hunt for the truth of their deaths. It took a decade and two dogged journalists, their canny lawyers, anti-apartheid activists and TRC investigators to get to the bottom of the extrajudicial killings. Sifting through the evidence and through original interviews with those involved, Roos-Muller reveals that it was Vlakplaas’s only operation in the Western Cape and was an elaborate, deadly scheme designed to keep the money rolling into the death squad’s slush fund.

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