Book Launch: A South African Censor’s Tale

Lobby Books in conjunction with The Book Lounge, Protea Book House and Head Straight invite you to the launch of:

A South African Censor’s Tale by Kobus van Rooyen

Date: Sunday 7 August 2011

Time: 18:00 for 18:30

Place: Lobby Books, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town

RSVP to / 021 467 7606 by Wednesday 3 August 2011

Kobus van Rooyen (SC) will tell us about the time his house was petrol bombed by the far right and why, surprisingly, the soft-porn magazine Scope used to beg him to ban some of their publications.

A South African Censor’s Tale is a rollicking read, full of humour and true stories of a time when the Nats tried extremely hard to control the minds of South African citizens; until Kobus van Rooyen challenged them from within their own system.

Van Rooyen was involved in the unbanning of many previously banned books, magazines, movies and plays. He did not make many friends in doing so. Judge Deon van Zyl, who recently acted as a witness in the Shrien Dewani case, will also be on hand to share a few humorous tales. Van Zyl was involved in some of the high-profile cases discussed in the book.


Come and ask Kobus not only about apartheid’s censorship, but also about the new Protection of Information Bill promulgated by the ANC.


This is what Barry Ronge has to say about Kobus van Rooyen: “It was fascinating to see his insight beyond the immediate situation and how his practical, softly-spoken arguments led to landmark decisions. He broadened the space for honesty and topicality, and I remember, with awe, his championship of the Biko film Cry Freedom.”

André P Brink wrote the following: “It took Kobus van Rooyen to read the situation lucidly and with a level head, and set in motion a process which would eventually remove the stain of shame the apartheid system of censorship had left on the arts. This book is, essentially, an account of the battle that had to be waged in the eighties to recover the self-respect of the nation in the field of culture.”

Wine kindly sponsored by Leopard’s Leap


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