“... we had just seconds before the shit hit the fan.
Our target was prostrate on the floor with his eyes closed, so I led the way out through the collapsed wall to give Neil cover as he carried the dazed ‘Kumalo’ over his shoulder. A jumpy teen armed with a panga stood alone in the dark waiting to ambush us. He must have heard ‘Mrs Kumalo’s’ screams.
I drew my cz-75 and barked, ‘fuck off!’ I was relieved when he dropped his weapon and fled. No one had to die. But we were running out of time.”
Bradley Steyn’s life is a perfect example of how fact can be stranger than fiction, as Undercover with Mandela’s Spies shows.
The memoir charts Steyn’s life – from the deeply traumatic experience of witnessing the Strijdom Square massacre in 1988 that leaves him with a severe case of PTSD, to being recruited by the underground ANC’s Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS). Written with sweltering clarity, Steyn details the dark and dangerous world of espionage, guns and the extremes both the apartheid government and the ANC went to to achieve their goals.
This astonishing true-life thriller provides a thorough account of one man’s explosive experiences during a highly unstable period in South Africa’s history and reveals for the first time some of the dirty secrets of a dirty war. Beset with all the makings of a spy blockbuster, Steyn’s every day with the Security Branch included surveillance, psychoactive drugs to weaken targets, war tactics, shootings and death. While navigating this dangerous world, Steyn was also battling PTSD and one can only imagine how the violent nature of this covert world impacted him.
He ends up being recruited by MK and used to infiltrate the crazed right-wing whose mission is to de-stabilise a South Africa on the brink of peace.
With these forces pushing the nation toward a bloody race war, will his time run out before they discover he is working for Mandela’s spies? Undercover with Mandela’s Spies captures the horror of this war for freedom and the resilience of the men and women who fought for our liberation. With the Kevin Costner documentary of Steyn’s unbelievable story set for release next year, and as we examine the results of this, our sixth democratic election, this book shows just how close to civil war we were.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Bradley Steyn is a former government contractor, specialising in risk mitigation, operational support, B2B
and B2C within the US national security and defence arenas. Steyn now lives in California. He works as a
security consultant in Beverley Hills.
Mark Fine is a South African born novelist specialising in historical fiction, social injustice and wildlife
Undercover with Mandela's Spies: The Story of the Boy who Crossed the Square is published by Jacana Media