Don’t Shut Up Jacana Conversation: The Unlikely Mr Rogue book launch (26 Nov)
Join Jacana Media for the launch of The Unlikely Mr Rogue: A Life with Ivan Pillay by Evelyn Groenink.
Redi Tlhabi, Evelyn Groenink and Ivan Pillay will explore issues as diverse as intimacy in the Struggle, working underground, the return from exile, sacrifice for the common good, fake news, and the plundering of not just a state, but a spirit.
‘Weaving history and contemporary politics, from Natal to Russia, Lusaka to Amsterdam, this is the story of anti-apartheid stalwart Ivan – is that even his name? – Pillay. For the Unlikely Mr Rogue, who will defy friend and foe in the fight for principle and ethics, his vindication is simply the correct outcome.’
Date: Thursday 26 November 2020
About the book
The Unlikely Mr Rogue is the story of the quiet man behind the so-called ‘rogue unit’ at SARS, who has become a lightning rod for so many in politics today.
It takes the reader on a journey – Ivan Pillay’s growing up in Merebank, KZN, his politicisation, his friendship with Pravin Gordhan and his running of Operation Vula from Lusaka, reporting to Oliver Tambo. In some ways, the setting up of SARS was Operation Vula revisited. Many of the same operatives were now working for a higher purpose. And this higher purpose, of providing the money to reduce inequality in the state, was a daily mantra for Gordhan, Pillay and others. They really believed in it.
Groenink tells of the early 1990s in Lusaka, of their falling in love, of the insecurity in coming back to the country, and the times when Ivan was in charge of stationery in the bowels of Shell House. This is the story of a good man, an unlikely man, a quiet man, determined to use SARS to fund the post-liberation nation-building, and his downfall at the hands of his enemies and a scurrilous Sunday Times.