The Small Matter of a Horse: The Life of Nongoloza Mathebula

The small matter of a horse: The life of Nongoloza Mathebula 1867–1948 tells how a young man became a hardened criminal.
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12,50 € *
Author: Charles van Onselen
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
Pretoria, 2007
ISBN: 9781869192419
Soft cover, 12x19 cm, 68 pages, English

Eine spannende Biografie, die beispielhaft für die Entstehung von Gegenwelten unter politischem Druck ist, hier von eindeutig kriminellen, die als erste Vorläufer des heutigen Bandenunwesens in Südafrika gelten.


The small matter of a horse. The life of ‘Nongoloza’ Mathebula 1867–1948 tells the story of how a young man in South Africa became a hardened criminal as the result of a minor incident. Nongoloza’s disillusionment had a profound effect on his worldview, he became deeply resentful and cynical – characteristics that would define the rest of his life.

In an attempt to escape his unjust surroundings, Nongoloza found himself in Johannesburg, where he formed the “Regiment of the Hills” – a group of criminals that laid the foundation for notorious present-day prison gangs such as the “28” gang.

Nongoloza’s life is a poignant illustration of how political circumstances affect lives and how those lives encourage myths, setting in motion a spiral of events that eventually neither politics nor people have any control over.