Download the M&G's 'Nkandla: The Great Unravelling' e-book

President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead as pictured in March 2014. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead as pictured in March 2014. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

The Mail & Guardian released Nkandla: The Great Unravelling, an M&G e-book by associate editor Phillip de Wet, that tracks key events and major themes over the past four years during which the R250-million upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s homestead has dominated the news agenda. 

This book does not represent a new piece of investigative journalism. It does not seek to present every fact or every voice. What we have sought to do instead is provide a readable analysis about where the Nkandla tale came from, how it developed, and where it may be headed. 

The story itself broke in bits and pieces over the years, beginning in December 2009.
De Wet was assigned the task of bringing this story into context, taking those bits and pieces and weaving them into a comprehensive tale that started at a rough construction site in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, KwaZulu-Natal, and is still playing out loudly on the heels of the recently released public protector’s report, Secure in Comfort.

In the 12 chapters of Nkandla: The Great Unravelling, De Wet sifts through the key issues, difficulties and complexities of the Nkandla story, revealing a compelling story in his distinct, bold and easy-to-read voice that captures the essence of Nkandla – the story that would define a presidency. 

Nkandla: The Great Unravelling is available on Amazon for $2.99 or via Paperight outlets (see for more information). 

This is the M&G’s second e-book, the first of which came out last year with the launch of Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Hidden City, a project in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute and the African Centre for Migration and Society, which can be downloaded free on the M&G website at 

For general information about the book, please contact Tanya Pampalone on To schedule an interview with Phillip de Wet, please contact him on

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