Wonga Coup

Wonga Coup

3.63 (385 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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On 7 March 2004, Zimbabwean police impounded a plane, which flew in from South Africa with 64 alleged mercenaries on board. The group, led by Nick Du Toit and former SAS member Simon Mann, were planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Within a few days of the failed takeover, Du Toit appeared on television and admitted everything, almost certainly encouraged by torture. Once investigators started to piece together the facts they found that the elaborate plot was funded not by oil tycoons but by celebrity investors. Several names were put forward, including Sir Mark Thatcher and scandal-prone author Jeffrey Archer. In November 2004 Britain's foreign secretary, Jack Straw, admitted that his government knew about the plot three months before it took place. The target of the coup was Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea and one of the last relics of old-fashioned tyranny in Africa. But the plotters were not campaigning for democracy. Equatorial Guinea is Africa's 3rd largest producer of oil, pumping 350,000 barrels per day, and the coup plotters wanted a share of these oil billions. Adam Roberts tells the amazing story of the coup plot, recounting the drama in detail, and explaining the significance of the events of March 2004 and their aftermath. He also uses the narrative to shed light more broadly on Africa's politics and economy, providing a rich understanding of a continent that is still all too poorly known and the great scramble for control of the continent's bountiful resources.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 30mm | 421.85g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 1861979347
  • 9781861979346
  • 1,648,373

Review quote

Daily Mail -'Impressively researched and briskly narrated...takes readers into a world where slippery chancers and thuggish ex-special forces type, mostly South African, rub shoulders with spooks and dodgy financiers.' Publishers Weekly - 'The most terrifying thing about this chronicle of a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea is that it's not a Graham Greene novel but a true story. An irresistibly lurid tale...he lifts the curtain to the backrooms of power in postcolonial Africa.' Sunday Times - 'riveting and superbly researched...a brilliant, mordant, blackly comic read.' Observer - 'Adam Roberts shows, with merciless precision, how the dogs of war panicked where they should have been cool, and screwed up where they should have been clinically efficient.'show more

About Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is the Southern Africa correspondent of The Economist. He contributes essays and book reviews to the Times Literary Supplement and political journals in Africa. He lives in Johannesburg.show more

Rating details

385 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 18% (68)
4 42% (160)
3 30% (115)
2 9% (34)
1 2% (8)
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