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Small matter of a horse: the life of ‘Nongoloza’ Mathebula 1867-1948, The

Van Onselen, C

Beskikbaarheid: In stock


Quick Overview

The small matter of a horse. The life of ‘Nongoloza’ Mathebula 1867-1948 tells the story of how a young man became a hardened criminal as the result of a minor incident. Nongoloza’s disillusionment had a profound effect on his worldview, he became deeply resentful and cynical – characteristics that would define the rest of his life. In an attempt to escape his unjust surroundings, Nongoloza found himself in Johannesburg, where he formed the “Regiment of the Hills” – a group of criminals that laid the foundation for notorious present-day prison gangs such as the “28” gang.
Nongoloza’s life is a poignant illustration of how political circumstances affect lives and how those lives encourage myths, setting in motion a spiral of events that eventually neither politics nor people have any control over.
The 2008 edition includes a foreword by Jonny Steinberg, author of the recently published and critically acclaimed The Number, One man's search for identity in the Cape underworld and prison gangs.


Professor Charles van Onselen is a researcher and historian at the University of Pretoria. In 1984 Van Onselen received the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize for New Babylon and New Nineveh and in 1997 he received the Alan Paton Award for The Seed is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper 1894-1985. His most recent research on Joseph Silver resulted in The Fox and the Flies: The Secret Life of a Grotesque Master Criminal (published in 2007).

Additional Information

Publisher Proteaboekhuis
Release date 30 Nov 2000
Skrywer Van Onselen, C
Dimensies 125 x 190 x 125 cm
Formaat Sagteband
Bladsye 68
isbn 9781869192419
Genre Geskiedenis

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