Judith February in conversation with Antony Altbeker

You are cordially invited to:

Judith February in conversation with Antony Altbeker

In this public event, Judith February will be talking to acclaimed South African author Antony Altbeker about his latest book, Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: A true story of murder and the miscarriage of justice and its implications for our justice system.

While conducting research for this book, Altbeker sat through the dramatic 2007 trial of Fred van der Vyver who was accused of using an ornamental hammer to bludgeon his girlfriend Inge Lotz to death. When the trial began, a guilty verdict seemed certain: the police had found his fingerprints at the scene, the alleged murder weapon had been found in his car, and a blood stain on the bathroom floor had been matched to one of his shoes. Yet, after a high-profile trial, in which some of the world’s leading forensic investigators testified, and which cost his family more that R10 million, Van der Vyver was acquitted.

Fruit of a Poisoned Tree is available at Lobby Books for R195

But the story is far from over. The outcome of the trial was rejected by the family of Inge Lotz. His career in tatters, Van der Vyver, in turn, is suing the Minister of Police for nearly R50 million, alleging that all the evidence against him was fabricated by detectives. In Fruit of a Poisoned Tree, Altbeker explores the extraordinary circumstances in which the justice system failed both Fred van der Vyver and Inge Lotz. Part courtroom drama, part investigative journalism, Altbeker enters the heart of the challenges confronting the judicial system in South Africa today.

Fruit of a Poisoned Tree is Antony Altbeker’s third book about crime and justice in South Africa. His first, The Dirty Work of Democracy, won the Recht Malan prize for non-fiction and was short-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton  award. His second, A Country at War with Itself, is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative accounts of the reasons for South Africa’s crisis of violence and of what to do to rectify it.

Judith February is the Manager of Idasa’s Political Information and Monitoring Service. She studied law at the University of Cape Town and has worked extensively on issues of good governance, transparency and accountability within the South African context. She is particularly interested in law as a tool for advocacy and the intersection between law and politics as well as the development and interpretation of socioeconomic rights jurisprudence in South Africa. She is a regular columnist and commentator in the media on politics in South Africa.

A delicious brown paper lunch will be for sale at the venue.

All welcome!

Date: Tuesday 1st June

Time: 12:45 for 1:00pm

Venue: Lobby Books, Idasa’s Cape Town Democracy Center, 6 Spin Street

Contact: Andreas Spath at aspath@idasa.org.za or 021 467 7606



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You are cordially invited to:

Judith February in conversation with Anthony Altbeker

In this public event, Judith February will be talking to acclaimed South African author Anthony Altbeker about his latest book, Fruit of a Poisoned Tree: A true story of murder and the miscarriage of justice and its implications for our justice system.

While conducting research for this book, Altbeker sat through the dramatic 2007 trial of Fred van der Vyver who was accused of using an ornamental hammer to bludgeon his girlfriend Inge Lotz to death. When the trial began, a guilty verdict seemed certain: the police had found his fingerprints at the scene, the alleged murder weapon had been found in his car, and a blood stain on the bathroom floor had been matched to one of his shoes. Yet, after a high-profile trial, in which some of the world’s leading forensic investigators testified, and which cost his family more that R10 million, Van der Vyver was acquitted.

But the story is far from over. The outcome of the trial was rejected by the family of Inge Lotz. His career in tatters, Van der Vyver, in turn, is suing the Minister of Police for nearly R50 million, alleging that all the evidence against him was fabricated by detectives. In Fruit of a Poisoned Tree, Altbeker explores the extraordinary circumstances in which the justice system failed both Fred van der Vyver and Inge Lotz. Part courtroom drama, part investigative journalism, Altbeker enters the heart of the challenges confronting the judicial system in South Africa today.

Fruit of a Poisoned Tree is Antony Altbeker’s third book about crime and justice in South Africa. His first, The Dirty Work of Democracy, won the Recht Malan prize for non-fiction and was short-listed for the Sunday Times Alan Paton  award. His second, A Country at War with Itself, is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative accounts of the reasons for South Africa’s crisis of violence and of what to do to rectify it.

Judith February is the Manager of Idasa’s Political Information and Monitoring Service. She studied law at the University of Cape Town and has worked extensively on issues of good governance, transparency and accountability within the South African context. She is particularly interested in law as a tool for advocacy and the intersection between law and politics as well as the development and interpretation of socioeconomic rights jurisprudence in South Africa. She is a regular columnist and commentator in the media on politics in South Africa.

A delicious brown paper lunch will be for sale at the venue.

All welcome!

Date: Tuesday 1st June

Time: 12:45 for 1:00pm

Venue: Lobby Books, Idasa’s Cape Town Democracy Center, 6 Spin Street

Contact: Andreas Spath at aspath@idasa.org.za

Tel: 021 467 7606

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