BOOK: Sins of the Father by Dire Tladi (Porcupine Press)
The basement meeting room at the hotel in Lubumbashi is crackling with geopolitical undercurrents. The South Africans have been sent to finalise negotiations for a piece of a hydro-electrical project on the Congo River which, heaven knows, Eskom needs, and the French are there, ostensibly advising the Congolese but actually putting a spoke in the wheel – because they want the project for France.
The meeting breaks for tea. Young South African lawyer Siya Mfundo – a Dirco official – desperately needs a breath of air, so he starts up the stairs. He encounters a colleague who has had a very peculiar message on her cellphone: "We want him. The first one will be a warning. There will be many more." Puzzled, as his colleague hurries down the stairs, he carries on towards the lobby - and then the basement is decimated by a bomb.