Andrew Harding left London in 1991, aged 24, and has lived abroad ever since. Formerly a freelancer with the Guardian and the Economist, he has since 1994 been a journalist with BBC News, most recently based in Johannesburg. For much of the past 25 years he has been covering conflicts, from the parliamentary rebellion in Moscow in 1993, to Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Sudan, DRCongo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Cote D'Ivoire, CAR, Burundi, Uganda, Libya and elsewhere. He is the author of The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia (2016)
Every so often a book comes very close to defining a nation. In this extraordinary, fast-paced and exquisitely written true story, South Africa's brutal and divided past, its complex present and contested future collide in an explosive narrative of murder, race, class and human cruelty. This is In Cold Blood meets Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Believe me, Andrew Harding has given us an instant classic. These Are Not Gentle People is a South African tragedy. Page after page reveals the painful truth, that the sun has set on Mandela's Rainbow Nation . . . The lives of the characters, from the landless and poor blacks, to the white landowners caught in a vortex of fear and oblivion, are a true reflection of South Africa's unfinished business - building a country that belongs to all . . . A gripping and painful read, told with empathy and nuance. These Are Not Gentle People, is an uncomfortable reminder that the past is not over.