I'm an investigative journalist and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Safety, Governance and Criminology (SaFGo), University of Cape Town. Other connections are an associate of Southern Write, a group of African travel and natural history writers and photographers, a writer for the Conservation Action Trust and a former editor of Getaway magazine in Cape Town.

As a criminologist, I was one of the co-drafters of the Youth Justice White Paper for the Mandela government which became the Child Justice Act. I'm a specialist in adolescent deviance and was one of the founders of the Usiko Trust working with high-risk youth.  I am  also a trustee of the Chrysalis Academy and founder of Umzi Wethu, a residential programme for Aids orphans.

I have a PhD in political science, an MA in criminology, a BA in African history and have published a post-doctoral study on gangs, rituals and rites of passage. I have held lectureships in Journalism (Rhodes) and Criminology (University of Cape Town) and conducted my PhD research at SOAS, London University.

I was the first Writer in Residence at South Africa’s Antarctic Sanai 4 base (2005/6) and have written 17 books, many articles and chapters. My writing awards include a Mondi Award for my column on the environment, Natural Selections, and the City Press Non-Fiction Award for my book Gang Town. My wife, the novelist Patricia Schonstein, land I live in Cape Town.


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