Johannesburg. Easter weekend. 1993. Chris Hani, the charismatic ANC leader, is shot and killed outside his home by white supremacist Janusz Waluś in an attempt to stop talks to transform South Africa into a multiracial democracy. The aim of the assassination is simple and chilling: to tip the country into all-out civil war.
Twenty-two-year-old rookie journalist Justice Malala was one of the first people at the crime scene and he covered the growing chaos of the next nine days – the protests and police brutality, reprisal killings, arson and calls for paramilitary units to get combat ready. On the 30th anniversary of Hani’s death, Malala revisits the unforgettable events of these nine days. Unspooling political history in the style of a thriller, he takes the reader into the thought processes and consequential actions of the key players – from Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk to dangerous right-wingers such as Clive Derby-Lewis and prominent struggle leaders Cyril Ramaphosa, Bantu Holomisa and Tokyo Sexwale.
Through vivid archival research and revealing original interviews, Malala digs into questions that were never fully answered amid the tumult of the time: how influential were far-right elements within the government in inciting and even planning the assassination? And as the time bomb ticked, how did Mandela, De Klerk and their close confidants despite provocation and their own fears work together to choose the path of peace?