The subsequent monograph is an attempt at understanding the substance of South African prison life and the strange narratives and rituals of prison gangs. It is by no means a comprehensive history of prison gangs in the Western Cape. Rather, it is potted and thematic, its conclusions interpretive and discursive. It is hoped that other researchers might use its ideas as a basis for further work.
Jonny Steinberg is a South African writer and scholar. He is the author of several books about everyday life in the wake of South Africa's transition to democracy. Two of them, Midlands (2002), about the murder of a white South African farmer, and The Number (2004), a biography of a prison gangster, won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. He was educated at Wits University in Johannesburg, and at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a doctorate in political theory.