277pp.,paperback, Johannesburg, 2017
Crispian Olver joined government in 1994. In 2015 he headed up a regional task team set up by Pravin Gordhan with the aim of rooting out corruption in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. This is his insider account of the intervention, and exposes how the metro was effectively controlled by a criminal network, closely allied to a dominant local ANC faction. Conducting the clean-up, he had to have a full-time bodyguard, never maintained a regular routine, and eventually had to flee the city for his own safety.
"This is one of the most incredible and gripping accounts of the rot and devastation of corruption in South Africa since 1994. How to Steal a City reads like a work of fiction, but everything here is sadly and devastatingly true...this dissection of where we are now will leave you angry, sad and yet aching to take positive action. We will be talking about this remarkable book for decades to come." Justice Malala, author of We Have Now Begun Our Descent
"Tough times lie ahead. How to Steal a City may be the best guide we have to how to 'de-capture' the South African state. There is information and insight here from the front line. It should become ammunition in the hands of many. We are lucky to have this book and we are lucky to have him, Read it. Read it now. And use it." Indra de Lanerolle, University of the Witwatersrand