Rattling the Cage

Brent Meersman

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Picador Africa

9781770107724
Synopsis

Most South Africans have strong views on our past and present, often based on how we have been personally affected by history, and an understanding of the challenges that face us as a country. But how well-examined and solid are these positions? Have your views been properly thought through? Are you correctly informed? Do you even have the facts straight?

Rattling the Cage takes the reader on an informed tour of the South African reality: from the highs and lows, the successes and failures, FW de Klerk’s gaffes to Fees Must Fall, the Oscar Pistorius trial, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, triple BEE, global warming, the Covid-19 pandemic, gay rights in Africa, and veganism.

Among the questions Meersman asks are: Do South Africans still believe in their Constitution and democracy? Why do so many young South Africans say Nelson Mandela was a sell-out and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a dismal failure? Is outlawing hate speech and criminalising racist behaviour really a good idea? Why do communities still burn down their schools? How did the Marikana massacre happen in the democratic era? Why are African immigrants increasingly unwelcome in South Africa? Can our media be trusted to tell us the truth? And how do we embrace climate change?

History, big-picture philosophy, grassroots journalism and a novelist’s eye – animated by a genuine sense of moral indignation at the current state of the nation – come together in these essays to provide critical perspectives on and insights into South Africa’s recent past and current political, economic and social undercurrents. No matter what your views are, you are sure to find your understanding of the country deepened, challenged and sometimes changed.