Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik by Sylvia Walker
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Publication Date: 09/18
NEW AND UPDATED EDITION OF THE MURDER THAT SHOOK SOUTH AFRICA! In September 2007, Ellen Pakkies, a working mother from Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, strangled her son to death. The judge in the subsequent trial sentenced her to community service for her crime. What drove Ellen to commit this horrific deed, and why the ostensibly light sentence for such a heinous crime? The story of what happened over ten years ago has continued to grip public interest, putting a spotlight on the dire and desperate situation faced by many parents of addicted children. A highly successful play was produced in theatres around South Africa in 2011/12, and a feature-length film has been made of this story and released in 2018. When Dealing in Death was first published in 2009, the scourge of drug addiction was sweeping across South Africa, affecting every level of society. Little, if anything, has changed since then, as this new edition reveals. It was Abie Pakkies’s addiction to tik, and the horrendous impact it had on his and his family’s lives, that drove Ellen to murder. Her trial exposed the dark underbelly of a community crippled by drug and alcohol abuse, and focused attention on the plight of those who live in poverty and do not have recourse to drug-rehabilitation centres and other measures effective in the treatment of addicts. Dealing in Death looks at the global and local drugs culture, the predicament of Ellen Pakkies and other mothers like her, and an impoverished community and the apartheid laws that gave birth to it.
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