The Unlikely Mr Rogue

A life with Ivan Pillay

It’s just Ivan Pillay’s luck to be married to investigative journalist Evelyn Groenink, bestselling author of Incorruptible: The Story of the Murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani. She tells the story of their lives apart and then together. From Evelyn’s time in the Dutch anti-apartheid movement to her move to Lusaka in 1990, and from the politicisation of a young Ivan Pillay in Merebank, KZN, who joins the ANC and goes into exile, to the crossing of their paths in Zambia and their falling in love.

Pillay was, during the Zuma years, a leader of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) when a smear campaign was conducted against him. The smear was that Pillay set up a ‘rogue unit’ of investigators at the tax agency. He speaks here for the first time, of the days of exile and working with Oliver Tambo; of Operation Vula; the return home; and most tellingly of his time at SARS and the insidious campaign against him and others in the top layers of what once was a world-class tax institution.

The story pulls back the curtains on a party and state which once held the moral high ground, but was debased. As broadcaster and author Redi Tlhabi says: ‘Weaving history and contemporary politics, from Natal to Russia, Lusaka to Amsterdam, this is the story of anti-apartheid stalwart Ivan – is that even his name? – Pillay. For the Unlikely Mr Rogue, who will defy friend and foe in the fight for principle and ethics, his vindication is simply the correct outcome.’

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Mr Rogue in the news

A road behind us and one ahead

In the midst of a pandemic, who wants to read about a life of the past?I regularly wonder if it’s still relevant, my story of the seventeen-year-old boy who desperately wanted to find freedom and the ANC; who walked over borders amid veld fires to go fight oppressors; and who,

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Vula

15 May 2018. Trying to write about the first time I spent time with Ivan, on a visit to Lusaka at the end of 1990, I keep coming back to Operation Vula.  Which is not very romantic, and therefore slightly annoying. I had just decided to put more romance into

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Incorruptible

The story of the murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani

It is often thought that Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani were assassinated by apartheid forces simply because they were freedom fighters. But ‘Incorruptible,’ a nail-bitingly thrilling reflection of Evelyn Groenink’s painstaking research over the past 30 years, shows the truth is different. All three tried to keep their organisations, the ANC and SWAPO, free from wrongdoing. They stood against mafias who had invaded their movement’s inner circles. They were not only brave anti-apartheid fighters: they were incorruptible.

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