Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist


Prince Mashele ‘eternally grateful’ for R12.5m from Herman Mashaba, apologises for lying

The author says his book was financed through a funding agreement.


Political analyst and the author of Herman Mashaba’s book, Prince Mashele, has apologised following the controversy over the book he penned about the ActionSA leader.

Mashele made headlines in the past few days after it was reported Mashaba paid R12.5 million in his personal capacity to fund the book, titled The Outsider: The Unauthorised Biography of Herman Mashaba.

The author had denied in an interview with eNCA‘s JJ Tabane earlier this year that the ActionSA leader was involved in the process, claiming that he funds all his books.

He recently defended himself and maintained that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement which, in turn, prohibited him from disclosing funding details of his book to the publishers.

Jonathan Ball Publishers has since removed the book from the shelves.

‘Funding agreement’

In a statement, Mashele acknowledged that he should have not stated that the book was “self-funded”.

“I would like to offer a sincere and unreserved apology for my part in the controversy which resulted in the withdrawal of my book, The Outsider: The Unauthorized Biography of Herman Mashaba.

“While I was bound by a non-disclosure obligation, I accept that I should not have stated that Mr Herman Mashaba had no role to play in the funding of the book,” he said on Wednesday.

“The correct fact is that the research that led to the production of the book was financed through a funding agreement with Mr Mashaba, to whom I am eternally grateful. I offer my apology to Mr Mashaba who has since been associated with the controversy due to no fault of his own.

ALSO READ: Prediction: Mashaba will prevail – Mashele won’t

“I admit that the answer I gave to Professor JJ Tabane, which stated that Mr Mashaba had no role in the funding of the book, was incorrect. I apologise to Professor Tabane and the public in this regard.

“I would also like to thank Jonathan Ball Publishers since, despite their disapproval of my non-disclosure about the funding, they still maintained that ‘The manuscript that was submitted to us stood up to scrutiny… I appreciate the Publishers’ professionalism in my interaction with them. I confirm that no further media interview on this matter will be entertained,” the statements further reads.

‘Research project’

Speaking to SABC on Tuesday, Mashele claimed that the money Mashaba paid towards the book was a loan.

The author said he was yet to pay back the funds.

“In the contract, there was no provision that required me to disclose the source of the funding for the research project and I did not disclose because there was no provision and the contract I had signed with Herman had a non-disclosure provision so I couldn’t disclose with other parties the contract I had signed with Mashaba,” he said.

READ MORE: Prince Mashele: ‘Mashaba and I signed a non-disclosure provision’

He also told Radio 702 that the publishers had never asked him about the book’s financing when a deal for publication was signed in 2022.

Mashele admitted that Mashaba helped finance the book, but refused to reveal what he spent the funds on.

“Yes, he did fund the book with R12.5 million, and that money went into research; it was a four-year research project.”

Additional reporting by Siphumelele Khumalo

Read more on these topics

ActionSA Herman Mashaba

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits