The events of 2007 at the Reitz men’s residence at the University of Free State (UFS) remain etched visibly on the nation’s face and psyche. The video made of the humiliation of black adult support staff by young Afrikaner males was the clearest indicator of the extent to which our society remained deeply wounded by its ugly past. Rudi Buys was brought in as a consultant to help with the aftermath and was subsequently appointed dean of students. His book Brugbouers (Bridgebuilders) wrestles with the critical issues that came to the fore. He provides a participant-observer view of the complexities of wrestling with a past that is still present and threatening the future that is struggling to emerge. The book holds a mirror to all South Africans about matters from which they would like to avert their eyes. It is in the heat of the Reitz video affair that the widespread nature of persistent racism, sexism and chauvinism are exposed in their full flower. The perceived crisis of land res...

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