Cape Town – Exclusive Books says the Cape Town launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State was postponed on the advice of police and Waterfront management. The retailer was roundly criticised after Myburgh made an appeal on Twitter to "mobilise" after the announcement of the postponement.
Myburgh claimed that the retailer was "scared of a few rascals" after the book’s Johannesburg launch was disrupted by supporters of Ace Magashule on Tuesday. The ANC Youth League in Free State backtracked on threats to burn the book after Luthuli House and the youth body’s national leaders warned against it.
“The decision to postpone the launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State at our Waterfront store on Thursday 11 April was reached after a three-way discussion with the South African Police, Centre Management at the V&A Waterfront and ourselves," said Exclusive Books Grattan Kirk in a statement released on Friday.
"Western Cape service delivery protest marches were scheduled for the same time as our launch and the police had been put on high alert for those protest actions. They advised us that they would be unable to provide any security support to us in the event of any similar disruption, as we experienced at our Sandton store on Tuesday 9 April, and therefore their recommendation was to postpone the event to a date when they could lend their support.
"In addition, given the recommendations of the police and V&A Waterfront management we were advised that any damage or injury arising from the protest action would not have been accepted by our insurance company. We continue to stand by freedom of expression, Pieter-Louis Myburgh and Penguin Random House,” he said.