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Prediction: Mashaba will prevail – Mashele won’t

Anyone writing Herman Mashaba’s unauthorised political obituary should note that scandals don’t topple politicians in South Africa.

Even in that bastion of democracy, the US, Donald Trump’s campaigning days are far from over. Some polls put Trump ahead of incumbent Joe Biden for next year’s presidential election. Remember that in a 2018 tweet, Mashaba expressed admiration for Trump successes.

Today, Mashaba can take comfort in the knowledge that his idol survived bigger setbacks than paying the princely sum of R12.5 million for an “unauthorised” biography that’s been withdrawn by the publishers.

ALSO READ: ‘Unaware of funding agreement’ – Herman Mashaba’s biography pulled from market

In real money, author Prince Mashele’s fee of $650 000 is dwarfed by the $5 million Trump has been ordered to pay in just one of the cases against him.

Charges of sexual abuse and defamation appear to have boosted Trump’s ratings in the polls. He still faces charges of business fraud for paying off porn-star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their sexual relationship. Neither this, nor any of the other controversies surrounding Trump will cost him many votes.

His supporters love him, no matter what. Similar blind faith has been evident among Mashaba supporters this week. They are duped into believing the fuss is all about political opponents trying to smear their champion. Such are the products of an education system where pupils cannot read for meaning.

On Twitter they argue, for example, that there’s nothing wrong with a rich man paying for a book about himself. Indeed, Mashaba has paid for previous books about himself. The difference here is that the latest book was marketed, on the front cover, as an unauthorised biography, which it isn’t.

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If you pay someone any amount to write a book about you and you retain the right to check it, the product is not unauthorised.

According to the Masterclass.com website: “The idea for an authorised biography sometimes originates from the subject themselves who seek out a well-respected journalist or author to write their story. An unauthorised biography, on the other hand, is undertaken without the consent of the subject.”

On this point, the withdrawn Mashaba book is not unauthorised.

Masterclass.com also says: “When a subject of a biography is unwilling to work with the author on a book about their life and often does not approve, it is known as an unauthorised biography. When the subject does agree to be interviewed and involved in the research process, the biography is typically authorised.”

Here, too, the book is not unauthorised. Unauthorised biographies sell better.

Publishers Jonathan Ball did not know about Mashaba’s involvement with the book, the payment received by Mashele, or the contract between Mashele and Mashaba. If they had known, they would not have published it, certainly not with “unauthorised biography” on front cover.

ALSO READ: PODCAST: Herman Mashaba discusses becoming SA’s official opposition, immigrants and more

The publishers were deceived, in the same way the reading public would have been deceived if apparent co-researcher Brutus Malada had not spilled the beans. Multiple lawsuits are likely. Much revolves around who deceived whom, when and how.

ActionSA, founded and funded by Mashaba, says he had no prior sight of the cover of the book, specifically the subheading: “An unauthorised biography”. Prediction: Mashaba will prevail – Mashele won’t.

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/opinion/prediction-mashaba-will-prevail-mashele-wont/

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