Mark Gevisser | How I became a victim of the Mbeki-Zuma spy-vs-spy wars

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Mark Gevisser working at his home in Kalk Bay, a few years after his break-ins in Johannesburg. Photo: Tommy Trenchard
Mark Gevisser working at his home in Kalk Bay, a few years after his break-ins in Johannesburg. Photo: Tommy Trenchard

Author Mark Gevisser reflects back on two home break-ins, in which he lost two laptops, just after his book "The dream deferred" was published, and just after the Polokwane conference. He writes that he views the break-ins as some kind of fall from innocence about his home country, which – like the robberies at his home – felt invaded rather than protected by the government constitutionally required to do so. 

One night in April 2008, at dinner following a well-publicised event promoting the first edition of The Dream Deferred in Johannesburg, I received a call from my neighbours. They, too, were not at home, but their 17-year-old had apprehended someone trying to break into our house, and had seen the intruder off with his father's gun.

We had recently moved in, and we were equally unsettled by the neighbour's boy with a gun as by the news of the intruder. We finished our dinner quickly, bade our hosts good night, and returned to our new home, high up on Melville ridge. Somewhat rattled, we drew the curtains against the city's lights twinkling all the way to the Magaliesberg, and went to sleep.

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