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Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In September 2005, Brett Kebble, a prominent South African mining magnate, was killed on a quiet suburban street in Johannesburg in an apparent “assisted suicide”. The top-level investigation that followed was a tipping-point for democratic South Africa. It exposed the corrupt relationship between South Africa’s chief of police and Interpol president Jackie Selebi and his ...more
438 pages
Published 2011 by Pan Macmillan
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Phew, I cannot imagine why I constantly want to read these kind of books. They spin me into a depression which no pill can remedy for several weeks!

Mandy Wiener wrote: "If there is anything I have learnt during the process of writing this book, it has been the inherent value of the concepts of loyalty and trust. For many of those I interviewed, the value placed on a person's word far outweighs that of a legal document or signature. Most have placed their faith in me on the basis of my undertaki
Apr 22, 2011 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Side note: This review originally appeared on the women24 website, which you can find here.

An in-depth look at how the death of Brett Kebble exposed corrupt relations between high-profile public servants and organised crime syndicates.

2005 saw the death of the mining magnate, in what was eventually declared as an "assisted suicide". The years of investigation that followed exposed the corrupt relationship between SA's former Chief of Police, Jackie Selebi and businessman, Glenn Agliotti.

In excha
Apr 30, 2011 Tania rated it really liked it
I have a lot of respect for Mandy Weiner. How she managed to keep tabs on all the developing events of this case, and keep a cool head in the face of being charmed by the "bad guys" is a marvel. And yet she did it, and she got a book out of it too.

And what a book it is. This is a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in politics and the dirty games politicians play to keep themselves in power. It's also a tale of how the South African political system has a lot of growing up to do.

It see
Jan 22, 2012 Mya rated it it was ok
The story itself is interesting and intriguing. I think that the author did a good job with Mikey Schultz, Nigel and Kappie as characters, but others weren't as well developed and harder to relate to. She also would slip into journalism mode quite often and there was a lot data to try and absorb (names, dates, information) which I struggled with as sometimes I had to concentrate quite hard to keep track of everything. I did find it quite a tiring book to read, but I think if you're interested in ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Al rated it it was amazing
This book really kept me interested from the first page to the last - well-written and an easy style that makes for easy-reading, despite it being quite a heavy subject.
Her ability seems to lie in the fact that although you know full well that these guys are "bad boys" you still cant help liking them.

Her research was fantastic and her obvious ability to engage well with the people interviewed came through well.
I would this book to anybody who has an interest in politics in SA - her background in
Ulrike Hill
Aug 19, 2013 Ulrike Hill rated it it was amazing
Mandy Wiener has brought the characters to life in a well written book. At times i felt some sympathy for the three killers until I am reminded of the fact that they are thugs. Wiener has highlighted the fact that the criminals are actually the ones who are in power with friends in high ranking positions. The book shows that money and an inept crime fighting force can buy you your freedom. A compelling read.
Oct 21, 2012 Mariaan rated it liked it
another example that things are not always what they seem. This man lived a lavish life and was bankrupt. The amount of money he stole and used to keep up his lifestyle is just crazy. Still no one has any idea if he was assasinated or assisted, who knows. As for Mickey Schultz and his buddies, they are no heroes, they are just no justifying killing someone ..
Aug 31, 2014 Lara rated it it was ok
Sorry to Mandy but I thought this book was very poorly written, edited and put together. The random, choppy movement from one piece to another made no sense whatsoever. You get introduced to individuals in later chapters that you've already come across a few times before. There is no sense of flow at all. Also, I became very annoyed with this "journalistic" account of a factual news story with many criminal elements that had all this personal, clouded judgements and opinions and very 'unjournali ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I was riveted by this non-fiction exposé of South African crime from the top down, infiltrating government, police, state agencies, drugs-and-clubs, the massive security industry, you name it. The author’s due diligence is compelling, and I was transfixed with her ability to non-judgmentally win the trust of criminals in getting them to talk.
But was I shocked? No, because I lived in South Africa for four years (I’m Canadian) and have made at least six trips back there in the past six years, an
Jayne Bauling
Jan 12, 2014 Jayne Bauling rated it liked it
Liked isn't really the word, but this revised and updated edition was a fascinating read. Killings and corruption as criminals, tycoons, politicians and other assorted scumbags scramble to protect their interests.

'They are laughing at us in Sicily,' someone tweeted to the book's author at one point.

For sure. The events around Brett Kebble's death, Jackie Selebi's downfall and the activities and antics of wannabe Mafioso Glenn Agliotti are bizarre, but most mind-boggling of all are the many insta
Mar 26, 2012 Eddy rated it really liked it
First off, let me say that I think Mandy Wiener did an absolutely amazing job of putting this book together. I highly commend her for her tenacity, resilience and courage in the face of all the challenges presented in covering this story.

There are a few reasons why I didn't give this book a 5 star rating. The first being that I sometimes found it difficult to follow exactly who was speaking in some of the dialogues between characters with Mandy also 'speaking' as the storyteller. I also found t
Sally Seymore
Dec 05, 2014 Sally Seymore rated it liked it
Not a good read but a necessary one, especially if you are interested in 'stories' about South Africa. Many Wiener has been following this case as it unfolded and wrote it as she went along with her investigative journalism. Well done Mandy.
Diane V-R
May 22, 2011 Diane V-R rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
The hype surrounding this book is well-earned and this talented South African author deserves the 4-star rating (as of 22 May 2011) on Goodreads.

The book is riveting and at times jaw-dropping, more so since a fair number of events and meetings occurred near (and sometimes in) the area I live.

The book is not a regurgitation of news reports but an intricate and fascinating puzzle pieced together by the author through comprehensive interviews, courtroom attendances and on-the-scene experiences.

Alex Rogers
Jan 18, 2013 Alex Rogers rated it really liked it
Very good. Read this during a 24-hour delay at Oliver Tambo Airport, and it kept me sane! Fascinating delve into the underbelly of modern South Africa. very well researched, clearly presented, good writing and a tremendous insight into the characters. Not all journalists (particularly radio journalists) can write good books, but Wiener has hit the jackpot here. I think non-South African readers may struggle with the complexity and unfamiliar names, but its well worth the effort to keep up with t ...more
The book was an interesting read. Good job for a first novel. I am sure subsequent books written by Ms Wiener will improve with time and continuous writing.
Aug 28, 2013 Jehan rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I read this some time ago, and still cannot come to terms with the fact that this book is non-fiction. Mandy Weiner did a spectacular job narrating this gruesome story, and I was amazed at how vividly she was able to recall all the events surrounding herself and the saga. While reading this you will constantly slip into the belief that this in fact fiction. Great case in point for "Art imitates life". In our collective minds, this type of mafia-based violence is something from the narratives, bu ...more
Jason Bagley
Mar 25, 2013 Jason Bagley rated it it was ok
As much as I enjoyed reading about the whole Kebble saga, I don't think the book was that well written. I constantly felt myself struggling to keep up with all the people that are introduced / mentioned in the book and the myriad of sub-plots that seem to appear out of nowhere.

This book is just as much about Jackie Selebi as it is about Brett Kebble, which isn't something I bargained for, nor wanted to hear that much about. Too much politics & characters in the book and not enough juicy stor
Sabine Heckmann
Dec 25, 2012 Sabine Heckmann rated it it was amazing
The reality of communication in this country is truly revealed in this 'story'. All the immense effort that mandy put into this investigation is quite remarkable but as always everything is questionable? Was the 204 part of the deal from the beginning? Really bad show of apparently top assassins that can eventually pull off their job in a decent car-at least they could watch movies all day to avoid the police. So as we walk through our cities everyday beware as u might bumb into a murderer-say h ...more
Oct 18, 2015 Suzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. Seriously good investigative journalism. I enjoyed the sense of narrative that Mandy Wiener managed to create. I also enjoyed the mixture of interviews, tweets, reports, dialogue and court action. It did slow down and become quite repetitive towards the end, but so did the case I suppose.
Ruan Viljoen
Aug 06, 2013 Ruan Viljoen rated it liked it
It's a fascinating story,but the writing could have been better. Lots of names,places and details are often dumped in s short space of time which makes it difficult to follow.

That said,I would still recommend this book. It provides a unique glimpse into the underworld of SA and how politics come into play. And I thought stuff like this only happened in the movies!
May 11, 2012 Courtenay rated it really liked it
Great read into the psyche of some of South Africa's most dangerous men, bouncers, our politicians and how they all intertwine in business and politics. A must read for all south Africans, even though we'll never know what happened to Bret Kebble, you'll find a lot out about the shannigans of our country's top politicians!
Feb 12, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and petrifying at the same time.
Mathilde Myburgh
The longest article I ever read. Mandy Wiener, I experienced her as a bit pompous. I guess a certain degree of that is absolutely necessary if you're going to succeed as a writer in any form. Congratulations on spending so much of your time on this sick plot, Mandy.
Aug 14, 2013 Enid rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
a real page turner. being South African and knowing what breaking news this was and also knowing the exact location of the killing, made this book all the more interesting. excellent although I did feel that Mandy made the reader sympathise with the killers.
Richard Mulholland
Apr 27, 2011 Richard Mulholland rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, non-fiction
This is a very well written book - I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The author's pacing and structure was excellent, If I have any criticism is that she does sometimes appear to come across as a bit of a groupie to some extremely dodgy geezers.
Jan 29, 2013 Alli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing account of 1 of just many violent deaths that take place in South Africa. Interesting exploration of the different social and economic classes that the murder of Brett Kebble brought together.
Nov 08, 2012 Caleb rated it really liked it
Great book. I was amazed at what I read. For such an intricate and involved incident, I thought Wiener did the best possible job presenting it in a clear and engaging manner. Fantastic!
May 06, 2013 Christal rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
This book may feel like stumbling upon a journalist's notebook instead of an eloquent literary work, but it is a fascinating insight to current day problems of South Africa.
Apr 06, 2013 Hela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Interesting' read....I think I expected to end up with a definite idea of what happened, but one doesn't, which perhaps disappoints, not that it actually should.
Oct 02, 2011 Cathie rated it really liked it
Difficult to say that I "liked" the book, but it was certainly enlightening, and makes me look at my world a little differently.
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Mandy Wiener is an award-winning journalist for Eyewitness News and Talk Radio 702.
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“I realise I'm behind on this but Rebekah Brooks was married to Ross Kemp of Gangs fame?! And she assaulted him? That explains so much.” 2 likes
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