ABOUT THE BOOK: South Africa as a nation has not yet faced its Holocaust namely the brutal and inhumane displacement of millions of its citizens, too casually referred to as Forced Removals. Consequently, one of the most pressing issues in the urban ghettos of the Cape Flats is that of gangsterism and the difficulties facing the authorities to contain this pandemic which is closely tied to a deprivation trap of poverty, marginalisation, isolation, structural unemployment, dashed hopes and anger. This book is a short, critical and self-reflective retelling of a story about extreme criminal gang warfare, community peace building and economic reconciliation in one of South Africa’s most violent and dangerous neighbourhoods created by Forced Removals; a place called Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats of the City of Cape Town, during the 2012/2013 period. The topic under discussion in this book is the intervention that created the conditions for one of the longest ever ceasefire moments in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats; an intervention called “community peace building through industrial consciousness” and also described by the media as “reconciliation talks.” 

To order: Send email to rubenrr@mweb.co.za  or info@rrf.org.za (Available from Author only)

Price: R220 per copy (excl. postage)


Gangsterism and Economic

Reconciliation in South Africa


Ruben Richards


IFN Media, Nov 2015




169 pages


Nation-building, Crime, Business,

Reconciliation, Politics,

Conflict Mediation




This is a brilliantly conceived book, written by an authentic, visionary leader, who presents readers with an interesting and fascinating case study into how the gang violence of the Western Cape could be approached.                  (Faseeg Manie, Principal, Lavender Hill High School)


We are reminded in this book about the power of confronting exclusion from our human and economic communities.                                   (Melani Burke, Chairperson, StreetSmart SA)


This book challenges South Africa to face and repair the legacy of its Holocaust namely Forced Removals. I will certainly look to communities like Lavender Hill with new insight and understanding.                                        (Chantal Bruckner, Member, National Khoi and San Council of South Africa) 


Dr Richards’ observations about the interplay between the two economies - the legal and the criminal -  is revealing  ….  a must-read for all those who have the securing of the future of South Africa at heart.            (Charles Robertson, CEO, Visual International Limited)


This book is, among others, a diagnostic tool for all facilitators. It’s an eloquent account of engagement without judgement. The book is signposted with possibilities for peace and economic liberation. It is a must read for all who want to contribute positively to rebuilding an equitable society. (Zenzile Khoisan, Senior Journalist, Independent Newspapers, Cape Town)


In authentic style, Dr Richards clearly outlines the impact that an economy which is fraught with imbalances has on the lives and cultural traditions of ordinary people.                                                       (Sizwe Ngqame, President, Black Business Chamber)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cape Town born Ruben Richards is the quintessential African Renaissance person with a career and life journey that has crossed geographical and professional boundaries: a tradesman, author, entrepreneur, academic, cleric, civil servant, conflict mediator and international democratic governance consultant. After qualifying as a fitter and turner tradesman he completed studies in South Africa, USA and Europe, graduating in 1995 with a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town.  He has served in both the public and private sector holding positions including: Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Violations Committee of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Deputy Director-General of the Scorpions, and CEO of one of the largest marine and general engineering companies in Southern Africa. He has recently founded a non profit organisation through which he consolidates and channels his philanthropic and nation building energies. The mission of the Ruben Richards Foundation (RRF) is to bring holistic healing to traumatised and marginalised communities. For more info visit: www.rrf.org.za  and  www.rubenrichards.co.za


Order your copy

(or sponsor copies for others)

For example Khapametsi Maleke (International Advisory Board member) has sponsored 10 copies for distribution to those who really need the book but can’t afford it. Thank you Khapametsi.


3 Steps to owning your copy of the book

Price: R 220 per copy excl postage (approx R30); 

Order ten (10) copies and get postage free to one address.


Step 1 - Make payment to: Ruben Richards Foundation, Standard Bank of SA,

                Account number   071   522  379, Rondebosch Branch, SWIFT address SBZAZAJJ.


Step 2 - Email or fax or sms proof of payment with delivery address to

                 info@rrf.org.za  or rubenrr@mweb.co.za or 086 684 684 7  for sms 082 498 0608


Step 3 - Receive you book in the post