In one of the most momentous cases in South African legal history, Nicole Barlow emerged victorious against the malicious persecution by Petro-props (Pty) Ltd, marking one of the earliest instances acknowledged as a SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participants). High Court Judge Karel Tipp, in his delivered judgment, made a notable statement about Nicole…

“…….All things being equal, Ms Barlow and the Association bear a standard that any vibrant democratic society would be glad to have raised in its midst. Their interest and motivation is selfless, being to contribute to environmental protection in the common good. None of them stand to gain material personal profit. Their modus operandi is entirely peaceful. It is mobilised within a self-funding voluntary association. It is geared towards public participation, information gathering and exchange, discussion and the production of community-based mandates. Its accompanying public discourse and media coverage have been fair, with participants and readers alike being presented in a balanced way with the viewpoints of all sides. In my view, conduct of that sort earns the support of our Constitution. In this context, it should be borne in mind that the Constitution does not only afford a shield, to be resorted to passively and defensively. It also provides a sword, which groups like the Association can and should draw to empower their initiatives and interests.”

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Fuelling Environmental Corruption

Corruption is pervasive in both local and global authority structures. One need only glance at a newspaper, watch the news on TV, or browse X (formerly Twitter) to be bombarded with a constant stream of reports about government and corporate corruption and criminal activities.

Her exploits earned her the moniker, the Brockovich of Boksburg by the Mail and Guardian. After the famous Erin Brockovich who was instrumental in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) involving groundwater contamination in Hinkley, California.

This memoir chronicles Nicole’s18-year struggle to expose the corrupt relationship between officials, including the late MEC, at the former Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE), and the developers of a British Petroleum fuel station. More importantly, it demonstrates how such corruption devastates the environment, contaminates water resources and destroys lives.

The memoir offers a gripping account of her intense personal and public efforts to uncover the dark connections between government and corporate interests. It delves into the complex network of corruption involving officials and the MEC at the former GDACE, as well as the Directors of Petro Props, the company behind the fuel station.

The book aims to shed light on the rampant corruption that exists between developers and government officials, and its severe impact on the environment and people’s health. In addition, it reveals a broader spectrum of criminal activities, including bribery, secret meetings, court battles, arson and even murder.

Hani’s Assassin

Who killed Chris Hani? The convicted perpetrators were Janusz Waluś and right-wing sympathiser Clive Derby-Lewis, who both claimed during their trial and before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that they acted alone. However, there have long been suspicions of other nefarious influences and the possibility that they were manipulated by a foreign power.

In her new book, Nicole Barlow delves deep into these suspicions and uncovers some startling revelations. Most notably, her investigation was spurred by an anonymous phone call from a whistleblower with inside knowledge of the assassination and a distinctive accent.

This fast-paced narrative explores not only the assassination itself, which brought South Africa to the brink of civil war, but also the peculiar reluctance of the South African security services to investigate thoroughly after arresting Waluś and Derby-Lewis. It also examines the influence of international arms industry lobbyists at the time, who wielded massive budgets for bribes and had powerful political allies like Britain’s Tony Blair, all of which stood in stark contrast to Hani’s principles.

Additionally, Barlow investigates the internal enemies Hani faced within the ANC, where his integrity was seen as a threat to some and the internal strains within the organisation as it struggled to present a united front during a critical period in South Africa’s history.

This book is essential reading for those interested in South Africa’s history and the roots of corruption that began to take hold as Mandela negotiated the nation’s future. Barlow’s in-depth investigation reveals that the many malevolent forces focused on a man who was widely seen as Mandela’s likely successor.