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BOOKS: There Should Have Been Five by Marilyn Honikman

There were 354 000 South Africans of all races, including 25 000 women, who volunteered to serve in South Africa's defence force and nursing services in the fight against Hitler, the Nazis and the Italian Fascists in World War Two. This book tells of one of these men, Job Maseko, whose heroic deed was almost forgotten for 50 years: He managed to destroy a German vessel with a homemade bomb while imprisoned in Tobruk. Why was he not awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery?

There Should Have Been Five is published by Tafelberg. Order it here.


Marilyn Honikman has been involved with writers most of her life. She says: “But I was a ‘smous’, a marketer, not a writer. Everyone else in my life was always the writer – from the authors whose books I marketed at Ravan Press and David Philip Publishers to my colleagues, the journalists at The Weekly Mail and Mail and Guardian where I was for fifteen years, again not a writer, but the sales and marketing director.”

She has run marketing and reader research workshops for newspaper publishers, editors and marketing managers in Khartoum, Kigali, Beirut (with Iraqi publishers), in Hanoi and in South Africa. Before this she taught History, English and Art in KwaZulu Natal.

There Should Have Been Five (published in April 2016) is her second book. In 2010 Tafelberg published The Mystery of the SS Waratah and the Avocado Tree.

She lives in Newlands, Cape Town.

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