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Eight days in September: The removal of Thabo Mbeki – book review

Former DG in the Presidency Rev Frank Chikane speaks about his new book, 'Eight days in September: The removal of Thabo Mbeki'. Camera and Editing: Darlene Creamer

19th March 2012

By: Bradley Dubbelman


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A riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the removal of Thabo Mbeki as President of South Africa, which examines the build-up to events, describes the details of those eight days in September 2008 and explores Mbeki’s legacy.

Eight Days in September: The removal of Thabo Mbeki refers to the eight-day period in September 2008 when Thabo Mbeki was removed from office as the President of South Africa. At the time, Frank Chikane was Secretary of Cabinet and Head (Director-General) of the Presidency and in that capacity he was responsible for managing the transition from Mbeki to Kgalema Motlanthe and then on to Jacob Zuma. He thus had a front row seat to the unfolding drama and was one of very few insiders to be party to the transition in such a unique way.


In July 2010 Chikane published a series of articles with Independent Newspapers that came to be known as the ‘Chikane Files’. These form the basis of some of the content of this book (about a quarter of the book’s total contents), which Chikane says he feels compelled to tell from his perspective in an effort to provide an insider’s account of this key historical period.



Published by Pan Macmillan


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