Publisher Jonathan Ball withdraws The Outsider, a biography of Herman Mashaba by Prince Mashele from bookshelves

By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

The recently released book, a biography of ActionSA leader and business tycoon Herman Mashaba, titled The Outsider written by well known political analyst Prince Mashele, has been withdrawn from the bookshelves by publisher Jonathan Ball Publishers. This latest dramatic event on the local publishing industry follows a complaint by the researcher of the book Brutus Malada, who over the weekend sensationally claimed that the book contrary to what the author claims, was an authorised biography

Prince Mashele

The researcher who was hired by Mashele maintains that not only did Mashaba okay the manuscript, but that the author was paid R12.5 Million by  Mashaba, and part of that payment was his fee as the researcher about the life and times of the successful businessman-turned politician, amounting to more R3.2 million.

Ever since this sensational revelation by Malada, who feels that his contribution to the book was not acknowledged by Mashele and that he was not even invited to the launch of the book at Wits University a few weeks ago, debate has been raging on  in publishing circles about the book. However ever since it was on the bookshelves a few weeks ago, the The Outsider,  retailing at R340 became one of the top sellers at Exclusive Books.

However Jonathan Ball Publishers in a statement sent to CITYLIFE/ARTS on Monday evening, has now decided to pull off the books from the shelves as it says Mashele did not disclose material facts surrounding the authorship of the book, and Mashaba’s close relationship with the authorship.

As has been reported over the weekend by various media outlets, the person who spilled out the beans surrounding the circumstances of the authorship of the book,  Malada, is a husband to DA member Mpho Phalatse, a former Mayor of Johannesburg, to who at one Mashaba was her boss. For the record, Mashaba once suspended Phalatse for her public support of Israel, before reinstating her as MMC for Health in the City of Johannesburg.

 “Following the disclosure that Herman Mashaba had funded the writing of a biography about him by Prince Mashele, as confirmed by Mashaba in a media release today, Jonathan Ball Publishers is left with no option but to withdraw The Outsider from the market.
 Jonathan Ball Publishers was unaware of any funding agreement between Mashele and Mashaba when we signed a publishing agreement with Mashele in 2022. We view this as a material non-disclosure on the part of the author and as a breach of trust.
 We also want to note that the contract Mashaba quotes from in his statement is from 2019 and is not the contract that was signed between Mashele and Jonathan Ball Publishers,” the publisher says in its statement.

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