Mashaba’s book ‘The Outsider’ withdrawn by Jonathan Ball Publishers

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Media expert Tshamano Makhadi says it is wrong for the ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba not to disclose that his biography was in fact authorised.

Jonathan Ball Publishers announced on Monday that they are withdrawing Mashaba’s book titled “The Outsider – The Authorised Biography”.  This comes after Political Analyst Prince Mashele reportedly received R12. 5 million from Mashaba to write the book.

The publishers say their action follows Mashaba’s disclosure that he funded his own book and this is being widely seen as bribery.

Makhadi says Mashaba should have come clean even before the book was published.

“It sort of gives a wrong impression. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone coming forward to say, ‘I want you to write a book about me’. In that case, it’s authorised. That has been done many, many times. But in the case of Mashaba, it was projected as if it is unauthorised while money, in this case, was paid.”

Full interview with Makhadi: 

‘Academic thuggery’

Political strategist Brutus Malada has called Mashele’s approach to writing the book an “academic thuggery.”

Malada says what is being reported about Mashaba and Mashele raises some ethical issues. “Prince owed the public to disclose his relationship with Mashaba, as well as his involvement in ActionSA. Fred Khumalo called for what it is, that Prince is embedded. So this leads to the fourth point that I wanted to make, which is about hypocrisy. You cannot criticise other intellectuals about them being in the pockets of politicians, you go and get money to do a book which is supposed to be independent and then you don’t disclose about it.”

However, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont has defended Mashaba.

“It was actually commissioned when Herman Mashaba was the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg. It involved a deep three-year research project into the recesses of Herman Mashaba life and that required the financing of around R12.5 million for that research project to be concluded. The initial understanding with Mashele was that he will raise that money privately, but when it was realised that money could not be raised privately, Herman Mashaba offered to put up the initial capital for the project to begin.”