‘No one’s tried to take me out.’ – Mandy Wiener chats about death threats and her new book Ministry of Crime
More about the book!
5FM’s Nick Hamman interviewed author and respected investigative journalist Mandy Wiener recently about her new book, Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored.
The book explores the nexus between organised crime figures, corrupt police officials and powerful politicians.
Wiener sprang to prominence in her coverage of the Brett Kebble and Jackie Selebi trials back in 2010, which culminated in her bestselling book Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed (2010).
‘The first question I get asked anywhere I go is “aren’t you scared?” and “have you ever had a death threat?”, Wiener says.
‘I kind of laugh them off, because when I put myself back in that head space it just wasn’t an issue for me. It was irrelevant. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have kids then, and I thought I was going to become a Christiane Amanpour, I was going to be on the front lines, I wanted to cover conflict.
‘I always thought I would be a war reporter, so covering crime and protests and civil unrest wasn’t nearly as bad as what it could be if I was literally dodging missiles.’
Wiener is now married with children. Ministry of Crime is the result of many hours spent in the company of some of South Africa’s most high-profile and dangerous gangsters and criminals, but Wiener says she doesn’t feel she is in danger because of her career.
‘I think a lot of it is more intimidation and threat,’ she says. ‘The truth is we are very fortunate that we live in a country where we have great freedom of the press. There have been threats against journalists, but no journalists have actually been killed.
‘No one’s tried to take me out. It’s actually the whistleblowers and the police officers and the prosecutors that go after these guys that face the real risk.’
Listen to the conversation: