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Wednesday, 11 August 2021

#CPUTWomen2021: Caryn Dolley

Alumna and award-winning journalist Caryn Dolley’s new book delves deep into South Africa’s underworld.

To the Wolves: How Traitor Cops Crafted South Africa’s Underworld is Dolley’s second book and has been featured in the Exclusive Books top 20 best-selling books of the week.

It tells the true-life story of how South Africa’s underworld came to be, what continues to fuel it today and how the deception and lies go all the way to the top.

“The so-called underworld is a combination of pure criminality, corruption within the state, purportedly legitimate private business and politics. It’s important to focus on it because, for example, in the case of intentionally tainted policing, it can equate to fatal State Capture where corruption (think a cop channelling a firearm to a gangster) can actually [lead] to murders on the streets. It eats into our safety,” says Dolley.

“There are several figures who have fought against this for decades. In a democratic South Africa, they are still fighting for us and in doing so are endangering their lives. The underworld is a convergence of ill intent and criminality from various sectors so fighting it and exposing it also requires collective input.”

Dolley has strong links to CPUT. She earned her National Diploma in Journalism in 2005 and her parents (Larry and Beverley Dolley) both worked at CPUT.

Her first job after graduating was as a reporter for the Cape Times, which was a continuation of her internship for her journalism studies.

“The practical requirement of the journalism course when I was a student - having to work in a newsroom - was invaluable.”

 As a journalism intern and junior reporter, she covered an array of hard news incidents, ranging from flooding and fires to various press conferences and crimes. She also often attended court cases resulting from crimes.

 “I didn’t get involved in crime reporting specifically, or set out to become a crime reporter, it is something that is a strand in broader reporting. Over several years I noticed there were overlaps between court cases, other happenings within the city (Cape Town) and further afield, as well as political issues and policing. The books were a result of exceptionally hard work/thinking, unpacking those overlaps and further contextualising them.”

 Her first book, The Enforcers: Inside Cape Town’s Deadly Nightclub Battles, was a tapestry of information dating back to pre-apartheid up until recently. It looked into so-called underworld fights over the nightclub security arena and policing.

 In her spare time, Dolley enjoys “being near plants, family time (near plants is a bonus), painting, cuddling two specific cats (especially a ginger gent), arts and crafts, baking using lemons (thanks to a well-positioned tree)”.

To the Wolves is available at bookstores and online via the Daily Maverick store here. It is also available on Amazon (Kindle format) here.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za