The Misery Merchants: Life and Death in a Private South African Prison – The only account of the madness at Mangaung Prison
More about the book!
Thabo Bester, ‘The Facebook Rapist’ and prison escapee, will now be charged with murder. Bester, who ran a business from jail, escaped from Mangaung Prison last year, having faked his suicide.
What exactly has been going on at Mangaung Prison, and for how long? And who knew?
Ruth Hopkins’s book The Misery Merchants: Life and Death in a Private South African Prison tells the shocking story of Mangaung Prison.
Hopkins’s brave and extraordinary book is an exposé of Mangaung Prison, a privatised prison, run by G4S, the largest security firm in the world. Hopkins’s story of a broken prison, in which prisoners were forcibly given anti-psychotic drugs and tortured with electric shock ‘therapy’, also details the flow of money in and out of the prison, the links with MPs, and the shocking ‘governance’ of the prison by G4S.
‘Written with gripping narrative force and meticulous research, The Misery Merchants is a searing indictment of a far-reaching, vile injustice committed by a company making millions off the backs of human beings. For anyone who cares about the matrix of crises of our current world – mass incarceration, capitalism, government corruption – this book is a must read.’ – Baz Dreisinger, Author of Incarceration Nations: a Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World
‘Compellingly written and painstakingly researched over nearly ten years, this engrossing narrative details Ruth Hopkins’s attempts to expose and bring to account abuses in the G4S-run prison near Bloemfontein. It challenges each of us to think better, more deeply, and more practically, about what is done, in our name, in our country’s prisons.’ – Edwin Cameron, Former Constitutional Court Justice
‘Blending justified anger with deep and impressive investigative journalism, this book takes you inside the reality of privatised prisons in all its ugly manifestations. At a time across the world when privatisation is surging in use and abuse, from prisons to war, Hopkins skilfully articulates the dangers of this often undemocratic and unaccountable move and warns that the very idea of democracy is at stake if we allow it to continue.’ – Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist, film-maker and author of Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe
Ruth Hopkins is an award-winning investigative journalist based in South Africa. She worked as a journalist and editor with the Wits Justice Project in Johannesburg from 2012 to 2018, producing content about wrongful convictions, lengthy remand detention, police brutality and various other criminal justice issues. Ruth wrote a book on trafficking women into Europe, I Will Never Let You Go Again (published in 2005), based on five years of research in Albania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Ukraine.