Dealing in Death - Sylvia Walker (Paperback)

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Product Details

30 Aug 2018
Supply Source
South Africa


Sylvia Walker
Paperback / softback
Struik Publishers (Pty) Ltd
Number of Pages
234 x 153 x 15mm (322g)


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 full-length movie has recently been made of this story, which will reach the big screen in September 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. The use of tik, particularly in the Western Cape, has skyrocketed, and it was Abie Pakkies's addiction to this drug, 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.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Biography & Autobiography / General
BIC Classification 1
Drug & substance abuse: social aspects
BIC Classification 2
Politics & government
BIC Classification 3
True crime
Library Subject 1
Drug addicts - Family relationships
Library Subject 2
Pakkies, Ellen
Library Subject 3
Drug addiction - South Africa - Cape Town
Dewey Classification

Author Bio

Sylvia Walker spent a large part of her career as a marketing manager with a blue-chip financialservices company. She has always had a keen interest in true crime, and left the corporate world at the end of 2014 to further pursue her interests. She is passionate about the empowerment of women, and through her personal experience knows that addiction is one of the most harrowing challenges a woman can face. She has written a number of books over the years, including Steeped in Blood (coauthored with Dr David Klatzow) and Smartwoman. She is currently the resident financial guru on the Cape Talk Early Breakfast Show, which airs every Friday morning.