Shortlisted for the Sunday Times/CNA Literary Award for Nonfiction
Land. Race. Murder. Betrayal. These Are Not Gentle People is the true story of a case that broke a South African town, and of what happened next. It’s a courtroom drama, a profound exploration of collective guilt and individual justice, and a fast-paced literary thriller.
These Are Not Gentle People by Andrew Harding
On a warm summer’s evening in 2016 a group of white farmers gathered in the corner of a field outside Parys, in the Free State. At their feet lay two black men – suspected thieves. The events that followed would come to haunt an entire community, tearing families apart, stoking racial tensions, and culminating in an explosive and profoundly revealing trial. In this nuanced literary thriller, Andrew Harding tells the story of one moment of collective fury, explores its impact on a fractured town, and captures the drama of a Hawks investigation and the courtroom battles that built up – over years – to a furiously contested and stunning conclusion.
These Are Not Gentle People is a true story, a courtroom drama, a profound exploration of collective guilt and individual justice. The story of the brutal beating and death of two young men and those accused of committing the crime. Set in the small farming community of Parys in the Free State it is a true story of crime, punishment and redemption. When a whole community is on trial, who pays the price? Award-winning foreign correspondent and author Andrew Harding traces the impact of one moment of collective barbarism on a fragile community – exposing lies, cover-ups, political meddling and betrayals, and revealing the inner lives of those involved with extraordinary clarity.