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Review: Muriel Hau Yoon 

Black Beach, by Daniel Janse van Rensburg and Tracey Pharoah (Penguin Random House SA)

This is by no means your average survival tale of some gung ho testosterone-loaded Rambo-type who endured months of gut-wrenching confinement in a hell-hole prison for some illicit arms deal or failed coup.

Rather, this is the true story of Daniel Janse van Rensburg from Hoekwil, near George – a regular, honest-to-goodness, South African husband, father and son, who gets swallowed up in a Machiavellian maelstrom when a legitimate business deal with a well-connected local tycoon in Equatorial Guinea goes horribly wrong.

It is the stuff of nightmares that can randomly hit any one of the thousands of South Africans currently navigating the high-risk-high-reward minefield of doing business in Africa – where corruption and the abuse of power come in 50 shades of grey.

It isn’t as though Janse van Rensburg is a newbie to the continent. Born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1966, he worked since 1994 in Angola, Namibia and later in West Africa, assisting multinationals to carve footholds in burgeoning African markets.

In 2013 he was working in Equatorial Guinea, one of the… Read more

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